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OCBC rolls out Money Lock anti-scam security feature

OCBC rolls out Money Lock anti-scam security feature

  • 27 Nov 2023

Funds locked in existing accounts cannot be digitally used or moved. Unlocking can only be done at an OCBC ATM or branch.

Singapore, 27 November 2023 – From 30 November 2023, 2 million OCBC Singapore customers will be able to lock funds in their existing OCBC bank accounts using OCBC Money Lock to safeguard against unauthorised transfers. This is a strong defence against malware and phishing scams.

Locked funds cannot be digitally transferred or used for the following purposes:

  • Local and overseas transfers, even between a customer's own accounts
  • New or existing payment arrangements e.g., GIRO, standing instructions or future-dated transfers
  • Bill or credit card payments
  • Fixed deposit placements or investments
  • Insurance purchases or payments
  • Loan or tax repayments
  • ATM withdrawals or transfers

Customers will be able to transact as usual with the remaining balances in their account which have not been locked. If these remaining balances are insufficient, they must unlock their funds before carrying out their transactions.

Stronger security without sacrificing interest earned on account balances

Customers do not need to open a new bank account to use OCBC Money Lock. The feature is available to all new and existing OCBC current and savings accounts.

Funds locked in the chosen account are aggregated with the funds that are not locked to calculate the interest to be earned. As a result, customers will not miss out on the bonus interest earned on their account balances for performing everyday banking transactions with accounts like the popular OCBC 360 Account.

Locking of funds is fast and easy. It can be done via the OCBC Digital app or Internet Banking. Customers select a deposit account and then decide the amount they wish to lock, in multiples of S$10, with the maximum amount being the available balance in the bank account. The minimum amount that can be locked is S$10.

Secure process to unlock funds

To ensure that scammers cannot easily unlock the locked funds, unlocking cannot be done using the OCBC Digital app or Internet Banking. Customers in Singapore can only unlock funds at OCBC ATMs or branches. Authentication at the OCBC ATM will require a physical ATM, debit or credit card, and their PIN. This secure offline process adds necessary friction to prevent scammers from unlocking the funds after gaining unauthorised access to customers' bank account login credentials or mobile devices. From 30 November 2023, customers will be able to unlock funds at OCBC ATMs located at OCBC branches which are accessible 24/7 or at any OCBC branch. By the end of December 2023, customers will be able to use all OCBC ATMs island wide to unlock their funds.

Customers residing overseas who wish to unlock funds can do so by submitting a request via the Secured Mailbox in the OCBC Digital app or Internet Banking. A customer service executive will get in touch with the customer within four working days. A stringent authentication process that follows ensures that the identity of the customer is established before the funds are unlocked.

OCBC Money Lock is thus an effective tool to fight malware and phishing scams, and with thorough cash flow planning, customers' day-to-day financial transactions will not be disrupted. Customers must consider their regular or recurring expenses, near-term needs and plan for emergencies, and only lock excess funds that they do not require for use in the foreseeable future.

Beaver Chua, OCBC’s Head of Anti-Fraud, Group Financial Crime Compliance, said: “We have seen scam modus operandi continuously evolve and become more insidious and difficult to detect. It is therefore important for us to implement innovative and effective ways to protect our customers’ monies. OCBC Money Lock adds to our already robust suite of security measures – from our account ‘kill switch’, to our security feature which blocks access to the OCBC Digital app if potential malware is detected on a customers’ Android device.

“OCBC Money Lock is a much-needed safeguard that hampers scammers from quickly gaining access and transferring out an unwitting customer’s monies. Customers will have added peace of mind knowing their hard-earned monies are ‘locked up’ and will be safe, even if their mobile devices or bank account login credentials fall into the wrong hands. At the same time, customers must continue to exercise vigilance as they are the first line of defence against all forms of scams.”

OCBC customer Ms Marie Fernandes, 26, is looking forward to the roll out of the new OCBC Money Lock feature. She said: “As a victim of a social media impersonation scam in 2018, I know first-hand how quickly some scammers work to siphon away our funds. For many months after I was scammed of $500, I was fearful of using social media to reply to people for fear the scam would repeat again and I'd lose my savings. I’ve become more vigilant since then. Now, knowing that I can lock up some of the monies in my bank account – as if I am using a physical safe to keep my monies safe – is a good balance of physical and digital banking. It gives me comfort to know that if a scam were to strike, my savings will remain safe and not be lost in an instant.”

How to activate OCBC Money Lock

OCBC Digital app

  • Step 1: Log in to the OCBC Digital app and tap on "You have (SGD)" to view your account(s)
  • Step 2: Tap on "Money Lock" banner, then "Get started"
  • Step 3: Set your preferred amount and tap on "Next"
  • Step 4: Review your locked amount and tap on "Lock funds"
  • Step 5: Tap on "Confirm"

OCBC Internet Banking

  • Step 1: Log in to OCBC Internet Banking and tap on "Money Lock" banner under "What you have (Assets)"
  • Step 2: Tap on "Get started"
  • Step 3: Set your preferred amount and tap on "Next"
  • Step 4: Review your locked amount and tap on "Lock funds"
  • Step 5: Tap on "Confirm"

You can view the amount of funds you have locked on the OCBC Digital app or via OCBC Internet Banking.

How to unlock funds

  • Step 1: Go to an ATM at an OCBC branch with your ATM, debit or credit card, and key in your PIN.
  • Step 2: Follow the instructions on the ATM screen to unlock funds from your account.
  • Step 3: Your funds will be immediately unlocked and released to your account for use.


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