Aboitiz-led Union Bank of the Philippines and Ayala-led Globe Telecom Inc. have forged an information sharing agreement to combat online banking fraud preying on clients.
In a statement on Friday, UnionBank said the agreement was signed on March 24.
Under the deal, Globe will provide UnionBank information about mobile numbers potentially used by fraudsters to help in investigations into online banking fraud.
For its part, UnionBank said it will share relevant information necessary to pursue investigations in accordance with the Data Privacy Act and with the data sharing agreement.
The alliance between UnionBank and Globe comes as online fraud has become a growing threat with the rise in digital transactions, especially during the pandemic.
“Currently, when it comes to gathering information in relation to fraud investigations, banks and telcos have to go through a tedious process of court orders first. This partnership will make that process a lot faster, and is a step forward in working with the BSP to ensure a safe and secure digital economy for all,” said Joey Rufo, UnionBank chief information security officer.
“Also, this partnership is the first of its kind in the Philippines between a telco and a bank, which makes it truly a game-changer."
Globe chief information security officer Anton Bonifacio said the agreement takes the existing collaboration between the telco and the banks a step further.
At present, banks report phishing schemes to Globe, which the telco investigates and blocks accordingly.
Privacy Commissioner John Henry Naga lauded the two companies for their partnership.
“I would like to commend Globe and UnionBank in executing this agreement despite it not being required under the Data Privacy Act. This goes to show our stakeholders' continued efforts in promoting data privacy and protection within their organizations,” said Naga.
Citing the second quarter 2021 Financial Crime Report of Feedzai, a US-based company specializing in artificial intelligence-driven financial crime solutions, UnionBank said that 93% of banking fraud committed during the period was online.
Among the many ways online banking fraud is committed is through the use of mobile numbers in a scheme called "smishing."
The scheme is done via SMS or short messaging services. A perpetrator uses an anonymous phone number, claiming they are a representative of a reputable company, to extract sensitive personal information from unwitting victims, such as one-time passwords (OTPs) and credit card numbers.
According to UnionBank, this in turn allows them to commit fraudulent financial transactions, usually at the expense of the victims.
UnionBank expressed confidence that its partnership with Globe will help facilitate faster data gathering in fraud investigations linked to the use of mobile numbers, as the agreement does away with the need for court orders for such information exchange. — VBL, GMA News