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BSP urge e-wallet users to be vigilant

Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas Gov. Felipe Medalla with the media after the 23rd Financial Stability Board-Regional Consultative Group in Asia Meeting and Workshop Press Conference in Mactan, Cebu on May 17. (PIA7)

CEBU CITY, Cebu, May 18 (PIA) -- Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) Gov. Dr. Felipe Medalla said although digital banking in the country is safe, account holders must remain cautious and vigilant against criminals.

Medalla said this in light of the recent incident involving unauthorized fund transfers of Gcash, in which approximately P37 million worth of account holders' money was transferred to two accounts in different domestic banks without the owners' consent.

Medalla said that it was a phishing incident, not hacking.

Hacking is the illegal access to one's information.

Phishing is when account holders voluntarily provide information needed for a digital transaction.

Medalla disclosed this to the reporters on the sidelines of the 23rd Financial Stability Board-Regional Consultative Group in Asia Meeting in Mactan, Cebu.

“For some reason na na-convince yung mga tao na ibigay yung OTP (one-time password) nila despite all the warnings na never share an OTP," Medalla added. 

Although it is reassuring to know that the most recent incident was not a result of hacking, Medalla emphasized that it would be best if the incidents did not happen.

He said that no matter how secure a digital wallet account is, the owner has the responsibility to still secure it by not sharing the OTP “because the last level of protection is that OTP.”

Medalla added that even without having received the money that was transferred into the two bank accounts, GCash was able to fully return the stolen amount to the owners of each account.

When GCash was able to check on it, he said that over 80% of the stolen money was still in the said bank accounts.

According to the most recent BSP data, the percentage of digital payments in all retail transactions in the nation increased from 20% to almost 30% in 2021.

The public has been encouraged to use digital financial transaction innovations by the government as part of the digitalization plans of the Marcos administration, as the central bank wants digital payments to account for about half of all financial transactions in the country by this year. (MYP/PIA7 Cebu)

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Myrtle Pasigan

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Region 7

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