Globe and UnionBank sign data sharing agreement to fight online banking fraud


Union Bank of the Philippines (UnionBank) and Globe Telecom (Globe) have signed an agreement that would allow the sharing of data necessary for any investigation of online scams.

As part of the agreement, Globe will provide UnionBank with information about cell phone numbers potentially used by fraudsters to help investigate online banking fraud. This will help Globe detect illicit activity within its network. UnionBank, for its part, will also trigger and share relevant information necessary to pursue investigations in accordance with the Data Privacy Act and Data Sharing Agreement.

The alliance aims to speed up online fraud investigations with more people being scammed through phishing activities.

According to Irish Almeida, privacy officer at Globe, a subscriber had to go through the tedious process of seeking help from the police or the court before obtaining the necessary account information from a scammer. By the time a request was granted, the scammers may have had a SIM card, which was usually prepaid.

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“Sometimes subscribers give up, and they don’t continue,” Almeida said. “With this agreement, we are helping our subscribers protect themselves from criminals.”

“This partnership will make this process much faster and is a step forward in working with the BSP (Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas) to ensure a safe and secure digital economy for all,” said Joey Rufo, Chief Security Officer of the information, Union Bank. “Furthermore, this partnership is the first of its kind in the Philippines between a telecom operator and a bank, making it a real game-changer.”

Using the obtained data, both parties can monitor activities such as usage patterns and mobile activities of scammers. Whatever the outcome of this surveillance system will be passed on to law enforcement who will then investigate the matters.

During the pandemic, smishing has increased. Text messages with malicious links are sent to subscribers promising jobs or prizes for fake sweepstakes. When victims click on the link, they are likely to download malicious software (malware) that extracts information from their phones or devices.

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