GCash will require starting this month its 76 million users to activate its new DoubleSafe security feature to prevent unauthorized account access.
The mobile wallet provider made the announcement on Friday, March 17.
Before DoubleSafe, GCash already required two levels of authentication or 2-Factor Authentication.
The first level of security is the OTP (One-time PIN), a unique number combination sent only to the user’s mobile number.
The second level of authentication is the MPIN (Mobile PIN), a 4-digit passcode that only the customer or GCash owner should know.
Now, users have to activate a third layer, DoubleSafe, for every first login to a new mobile phone to ensure their continued protection.
The feature uses facial recognition, which means that even if a user inadvertently shares their MPIN and OTP to fraudsters, their account cannot be accessed from another device without scanning the owner's face – ultimately preventing account takeovers.
To avoid being scammed, users should not open unfamiliar links, according to GCash Head of Fraud Management Miguel Geronilla.
Scammers often send messages with links, luring recipients with enticing “prizes” or a chance at a high-paying position.
To counter this, GCash has stopped sending links via SMS, emails, and other messaging apps.
Never share personal information, he warned.
It’s common practice for scammers to call individuals and pose as GCash representatives to gather personal user information.
GCash will never ask its customers for MPINs and OTPs and will only reach out to customers through official channels.
Another rule is, double check before buying items online.
Fake online sellers and shops offer too-good-to-be-true deals to lure individuals into purchasing their products.
GCash recommends double checking online offers, as well as checking reviews to ensure authenticity.
To report scams and other suspicious activities, users can go to the the GCash Help Center via the GCash app or at https://help.gcash.com/, Chat with Gigi, and choose “I want to report a scam.”
Beyond security features, GCash signed a memorandum of agreement with the Philippine National Police Anti-Cybercrime Group (PNP-ACG) to go after fraudsters and scammers.