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OCBC’s new security upgrade sparks user frustrations over app access concerns

OCBC’s augmented security feature, unveiled via Facebook on Sunday, has triggered user frustrations due to app access issues.

The heart of the matter lies in situations where the mobile banking app refuses to launch, triggered by the OCBC app identifying a ‘non-official app’ on the user’s device.




SINGAPORE: In an age where safeguarding personal and financial information is paramount, the significance of robust security features cannot be overstated, particularly within the realm of mobile banking applications.

On 6 August, OCBC made an announcement on its official Facebook page about the introduction of its latest security enhancement.

While enhancing security remains essential, there is a potential drawback to consider: Could heightened security inadvertently result in usability challenges for customers attempting to access their accounts?

This question emerged as OCBC customers expressed their frustrations in the comment section of the bank’s Facebook post.

The source of contention lies in instances where the mobile banking app refuses to launch, as long as the OCBC app detects ‘non-official app’ in the user’s handphone.

The bank’s security algorithm categorizes these apps as potential malware threats.

Elaborating on this development, OCBC stated, “We have implemented a security feature in our OCBC Digital app to further safeguard our customers from malware. With this enhancement, we can detect any app that has been downloaded from unofficial app stores.”

“Once these apps are detected, if you do not uninstall them, you will not be able to log in to our internet banking and/or the OCBC Digital app. Uninstall these apps now to access the online banking service.”

Online outcry over accessibility issues

The online community responded with an influx of comments on OCBC’s Facebook page. A user reported their inability to launch the OCBC Digital app due to Microsoft Authenticator being flagged as malware.

The user lamented the inability to settle credit card dues as a result of this predicament.


Other comments expressed confusion, citing instances where expatriates rely on apps specific to their home countries, which may not be available through official app stores.


Furthermore, a subset of users raised valid questions about the extent of OCBC’s jurisdiction in dictating the array of downloadable applications on customers’ devices.


In a bid to assuage the burgeoning concerns, OCBC addressed the matter in the same post, offering clarity on Monday (7 Aug).

The bank affirmed that its latest security augmentation does not intrude upon or retain customers’ personal data.

Instead, it solely identifies applications sourced outside official app stores, thereby offering a preemptive safeguard against potential malware threats.

The bank underscored that, in order to avail themselves of the OCBC Digital app, customers must uninstall the flagged application and subsequently reinstall it through official app store channels.

Notwithstanding these efforts to mitigate the situation, customer difficulties persist.

Several patrons reported continued challenges with accessing the OCBC Digital app even after adhering to the prescribed guidelines.

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