DBS, UOB & OCBC to Start Physical “Money Lock” Feature This Week


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To combat the increasing scams in Singapore, DBS, UOB, and OCBC Bank users can now lock their funds in their accounts, preventing digital transactions. 

This feature, allowing in-person withdrawals only, will be launched by UOB and OCBC on 30 November 2023. 

DBS Bank will introduce its feature to customers between 27 November and 7 December 2023.

The “money lock” helps protect against fraud by preventing unauthorised access to hacked accounts. This measure responds to the rising 2023 scam cases, including malware scams that give fraudsters control over victims’ devices to empty their bank accounts.

Think of it as your financial superhero cape, defending your account from the clutches of cyber villains.

With scam cases rising in 2023, including those malware schemes, it’s time to lock the door on digital criminals and keep your money safe and sound.

“Money Lock” Feature Introduced

Users of UOB and OCBC Bank now can secure their funds effortlessly via the banks’ digital applications or websites, all the while ensuring their funds continue to accrue interest.

This groundbreaking “money lock” system has been rolled out in response to a notable uptick in cases involving compromised bank accounts due to various fraudulent activities, including the notorious malware scams that allow perpetrators to seize control of victims’ devices and financial holdings.

Here’s the lowdown on how this money lock feature operates.

Of course, first things first: You need to have money in your account to be able to lock the money.

UOB’s money lock feature is called the LockAway Account, and it is designed with simplicity and security in mind. It does not require a minimum initial deposit or allow existing cards to be linked to the account.

Furthermore, UOB customers will find that premature online withdrawals from fixed deposit accounts are no longer possible, as in-person visits to the bank’s branches are now required for such transactions.

This enhancement serves as a protective measure, preventing customers from succumbing to impulsive decisions in response to scammer demands.

OCBC customers, in contrast, have the added convenience of retrieving locked savings directly from a bank ATM using their debit or credit card, along with their personal identification number (PIN).

To make the most of this security feature, OCBC advises customers to lock only surplus funds they won’t need in the near future. Additionally, a minimum balance of at least S$10 in their accounts is required to utilise this feature.


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OCBC proudly describes its feature as a “much-needed safeguard”.

Meanwhile, DBS Bank is set to launch its feature digiVault by 7 December 2023.

Setting up digiVault is a breeze, taking just a minute through the “more” tab in the Digibank app, and there’s no minimum balance requirement.

Furthermore, starting on 27 November, DBS is extending the capability to lock up fixed deposit accounts.

Once locked, this safeguard prevents the execution of any premature digital fund transactions or alterations to the fund’s maturity date online.


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More Than $330 Million Worth of Scams In the First Half of 2023

According to The Straits Times, a spokesperson from the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) said that while the “money lock” feature may introduce some inconvenience for customers, it plays a pivotal role in curbing the damage potential scammers can inflict quickly.

The idea of locking up funds gained traction within the banking industry as a strategic response to the escalating scam cases. 

It even found its way into discussions in Parliament earlier in 2023.

Unfortunately, scam incidents have persisted in Singapore throughout the first half of 2023, with a staggering 22,339 cases reported from January to June, involving a total sum exceeding $330 million.

During this period, at least 750 unfortunate individuals fell victim to malware scams, resulting in losses exceeding $10 million.