27 February 2018

On 7 February 2018, the Monetary Authority of Singapore (“MAS”) announced it has issued new guidance to financial institutions (“FIs”) on the use of innovative technology solutions to facilitate safe, non-face-to-face (“NFTF”) customer on-boarding.

The guidance is set out in the MAS Circular titled “Use of MyInfo and CDD measures for non face-to-face business relations” (Circular No.: AMLD 01/2018) dated 8 January 2018 (“MAS Circular”). The MAS Circular deals with FIs’ use of MyInfo as a verified source of identification information and highlights considerations relating to the use of NFTF verification measures.

Use of MyInfo as verified identity information 

FIs will be able to use the MyInfo platform for customer identification and verification. MAS considers MyInfo to be a reliable and independent source for the purposes of verifying the name, unique identification number, date of birth, nationality and residential address of a customer who is enrolled on MyInfo.

Where MyInfo is used, MAS will not require FIs to obtain additional identification documents (for example, a customer’s NRIC or passport) to verify a customer’s identity. FIs are also not expected to separately obtain a photograph of the customer.

Clarification on customer due diligence (“CDD”) measures for NFTF business relations

 The MAS Guidelines to the MAS Notices on Prevention of Money Laundering and Countering the Financing of Terrorism (“MAS Guidelines”) provide that where verification of the identity of a client is performed by an FI without face-to-face contact (for example, electronically), the FI should apply additional checks to manage the risk of impersonation. The MAS Guidelines set out non-exhaustive examples of the additional checks that may be undertaken by the FI.

In addition to the existing examples in the MAS Guidelines, the MAS Circular provides that FIs can also consider applying the following measures:

  • Holding a real-time video conference that is comparable to face-to-face communication; 
  • Verifying the identity of a customer through a document the customer has signed with a secure digital signature using a set of Public Key Infrastructure-based credentials issued by a certified Certificate Authority under the Electronic Transactions Act; and 
  • Using biometric technologies (for example, fingerprint or iris scans, facial recognition) which should be linked incontrovertibly to the customer.   

Reference materials

The following documents are available on the MAS website www.mas.gov.sg:

 

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