CARDS & PAYMENTS | Staff Reporter, Singapore

DBS/POSB strongly urge cardholders to upgrade to chip cards

Allots $1.2m in prizes for early upgraders.

DBS/POSB is ramping up efforts to encourage its cardholders to actively upgrade their existing magnetic stripe cards to chip cards that provide enhanced security and protection. Through the “Great Singapore ATM Card Upgrade” campaign, the bank aims to raise awareness on the safety aspects of chip cards and will also be rewarding cardholders who choose to upgrade to more secure chip cards earlier.

Over the years, card usage in Singapore has increased and more people are shopping online and overseas. The number of DBS/POSB debit card holders has also grown by 30% over the last year. In-store debit card purchases represent around 65% of the average monthly volume while online purchases account for the rest.

In an effort to bring greater peace of mind to cardholders, the industry has continuously improved on its technology to ensure the integrity of card payments and usage across different channels. This includes moving towards the use of chip technology in recent years. Chip technology leverages on cryptographic encryption, which makes it difficult for card data to be copied.

By actively upgrading their existing magnetic stripe cards to chip cards, DBS/POSB cardholders can avoid any inconvenience when using their cards in Singapore and when they travel to countries that have adopted chip technology.

Since mid 2012, merchants have already started processing debit/credit card transactions using chip technology at points of sale in Singapore. From September 2013, cardholders will also need to enable the usage of magnetic stripe for all overseas transactions prior to travelling. The Singapore banking industry is also moving towards chip-enabled ATMs by the end of 2014.

“As the leading bank in Singapore, we have continuously stepped up on our security measures and systems to protect our customers against fraud. We see it as our role to also educate our customers on the latest technology available to them. With the industry moving towards the adoption of chip technology, it is important for customers to prepare themselves and upgrade to chip cards earlier so as to enjoy peace of mind,” said Anthony Seow, Head of Cards & Unsecured Loans, DBS Bank Singapore.

All of the bank’s point-of-sale terminals have already been upgraded to accept chip cards and by the fourth quarter of this year, all DBS/POSB ATMs will also be fully upgraded to read chip cards for all transactions.

Seow added: “With the increase of card use in Singapore, we think it is important to encourage our cardholders to adopt the more secure card options. By embarking on this campaign, we hope that more cardholders will get their family and friends to upgrade with them.”

Besides raising awareness through the “Great Singapore ATM Card Upgrade”, POSB will be giving away a total of SGD1.2 million worth of cash prizes to reward cardholders who upgrade to chip cards.

This campaign is also in line with POSB’s tradition of giving back to the community. It was in the year 1969 that POSB launched the first Lucky Draw which proved to be popular with both depositors and television viewers.

“Over the years, being neighbours first and bankers second, POSB prides itself on giving back to the community. Through this campaign, we hope to raise awareness among our 4.5 million customers on the enhanced benefits they will get to enjoy when they upgrade to chip cards. This is also a way for us to thank customers for their unwavering support,” said Derrick Goh, Head of POSB.

Since 2010, DBS/POSB has been progressively replacing customers’ magnetic stripe cards with chip cards that provide enhanced security. This is in line with the industry’s efforts to move towards chip technology and is expected to be completed at the end of 2014.

The bank has also introduced additional security measures to give customers added peace of mind. These measures include:
• Disabling the use of magnetic stripe for all overseas transactions from September 2013 onwards. Use of magnetic stripe at overseas ATMs was disabled since early 2012. Customers can enable their cards for overseas usage at any DBS/POSB ATM or iBanking.
• Disabling the overseas withdrawal function when suspicious activities are detected. Customers will receive an SMS alerting them to the disablement.
• Sending SMS alerts for local and overseas ATM withdrawals, NETS purchases/cashback and AXS transactions which are above a certain threshold.
• Requiring the activation of all new, replacement and renewal cards before they can be used.

Starting from September 2013 to December 2014, the bank will give 100 DBS/POSB cardholders who upgrade to chip cards an opportunity to win SGD1,000
each, every two months. This will lead to a grand draw in January 2015 where one lucky upgrader will win SGD500,000. Cardholders who have upgraded earlier from May 2013 onwards are also eligible for the lucky draws. The earlier cardholders do their upgrades, the more draws they can participate in.

DBS/POSB customers holding existing magnetic stripe ATM cards can simply upgrade to a DBS Visa debit card/POSB GO! debit MasterCard, or link their current/savings accounts to their DBS/POSB credit cards. Cardholders can upgrade via iBanking or at any DBS/POSB branch.

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