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With the surge in online and mobile transactions over the past few years, digital bank fraud has become more prevalent than ever. Fraudsters have gotten more creative in their ways of hacking into your accounts, and stealing your information and money.

To make sure your online banking activities are safe and secure, banks enforce an extra layer of protection for your transactions in the form of a One-Time Password (OTP).

What’s an OTP?

Simply put, an OTP is an automatically generated numeric or alphanumeric code sent via SMS or email that verifies a user for a transaction.

How does an OTP work?

With an OTP, you need to go through an extra step in the login process or payment transaction to verify that you’re the account owner. When triggered, the app or website requires an OTP before completing a transaction. The OTP is sent by your bank to your registered mobile number or email, and expires in five minutes or less.

Every OTP you receive is unique and generated specifically for the transaction you’re
making. This helps prevent fraudsters from accessing your login credentials and
stealing from your account.

How to keep your OTP secure

  1. Never share your OTP with anyone. This includes your family members, friends, and people claiming to be representatives of your bank, telco, and subscription networks. Service providers NEVER ask for your OTP. If someone contacts you and urgently asks for your OTP, immediately change your password and report the fraud attempt to your bank.
  2. Limit the devices you use for transactions. Your banking apps and accounts should only be accessed through one device. This makes it easy for you to know if an OTP request is being made for your account. If you receive an OTP and you didn’t make a transaction, call your bank to report the suspicious activity, and change your login details right away.
  3. If you lose your phone, report it immediately. OTPs are sent to your mobile number. If your phone gets stolen, fraudsters can receive the OTPs triggered by their takeover attempts of your account, and ultimately steal your money. It’s best to call your telco and bank right away so they can block your number and account in the event that you misplace or lose your phone.

Remember, only you should know and enter your OTP directly on your mobile banking app or a secure payment gateway.

Adapted from “How to keep your OTP secure

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