11 July 2024

The Thai Bankers Association (TBA) has offered an assurance that their mobile banking applications are secure and safe.

This assurance was in response to news of the arrest of a programmer, who claimed to have developed software that can transfer money and unlock facial recognition features within banking applications, making it possible to bypass biometric scanning and transfer amounts exceeding 50,000 baht through the software.

The Computer Emergency Response Team has conducted system checks throughout the banking sector and discovered that the software in question cannot be used with customer accounts because, to do so, it would require the account owner’s personal information, such as ID card number, bank account number and mobile phone SIM card. It also requires identity verification through facial scanning, PIN number and one-time password.

According to the TBA, single money transfers of more than 50, 000 baht and 200,000 baht within a day require facial scanning of the owner of the bank account.

Regarding the problem of “mule” accounts, the TBA warns that people who agree to open a bank account for other people to use are liable to a maximum prison term of three years and/or a maximum fine of 300,000 baht if convicted.

In order to protect themselves from falling victim to online scammers, the TBA offers the following advice:

  • Do not download programs from unknown sources (excluding certified and controlled sources such as Play Store or App Store.)
  • Do not reveal your mobile banking password or one-time password to other people.
  • Do not scan your face using unknown applications.
  • Do not select links attached to an SMS, because banks no longer send SMS with links attached to their customers.

Meanwhile, the Technology Crime Suppression Division have taken into custody an insurance broker, who allegedly sold information of his company’s customers to online scammers.

The broker’s insurance company has conducted an internal investigation and discovered that information of only 11 customers had been stolen and sold by the suspect.

Nevertheless, the Office of the Insurance Commission has decided to suspend his broker’s license for five years.