GCash equipping mobile app with 'double authentication' to allay fraud fears

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, November 24) — GCash, a mobile wallet backed by Globe Telecom and Chinese billionaire Jack Ma, continues to build up its security features to stem the surge in scam attacks, this time using selfie biometrics.

On top of the SMS OTP (one-time password), GCash said Thursday it would roll out an added layer of authentication using facial recognition technology, ensuring that only the owner can link the account to a specific device.

After keying in the OTP, users would need to take a selfie scan to verify their identity before accessing the GCash account.

"This feature removes customers' dependence on SMS OTPs which has been exploited by some fraudsters to scam users. It will provide a unique identifier that can't be phished by scammers," said Winsley Bangit, chief customer officer of GCash.

The double authentication feature is being eyed for launch in December.

In September, GCash also rolled out the anonymity feature, which hides users' full names in its send money service.

This came as Filipinos dealt with the rising cases of deceptive text messages seeking to steal subscribers' personal information.

The company also signed a memorandum of agreement with the Philippine National Police Anti-Cybercrime Group (PNP-ACG) to strengthen both parties' efforts in going after criminals involved in smishing, online fraud, e-scams, vishing, and other cybercrimes.

GCash is the country's leading mobile wallet with 71 million users.