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Press Releases

Launch of Two-factor Authentication for Internet Banking

The Hong Kong Monetary Authority (HKMA), the Hong Kong Association of Banks (HKAB) and the Hong Kong Police Force (HKPF) jointly announced today (Monday) the launch of two-factor authentication for Internet banking by the banking industry.

In view of the increasing acceptance of Internet banking services and the growing sophistication of Internet banking frauds, the banking industry in Hong Kong reached a general consensus in June 2004 to implement two-factor authentication for high-risk retail Internet banking transactions. Banks offering high-risk retail Internet banking transactions will have two-factor authentication ready for their customers by June 2005. Customers will need to adopt two-factor authentication if they wish to conduct those transactions.

"Two-factor authentication further strengthens the security controls of Internet banking and protects bank customers from Internet banking frauds," said Mr William Ryback, Deputy Chief Executive of the HKMA. "Hong Kong is one of the first places amongst the developed financial markets to establish such a regulatory requirement which enables Internet banking to continue to flourish under a safe and sound environment."

"To help the public familiarise with the significance, benefits and usage of the brand-new two-factor authentication, we will immediately launch a customer education programme. I am confident that, with the concerted efforts of the banking industry, the HKMA, the HKPF and the general public at large, we can ensure the convenience and safety of Internet banking for all in Hong Kong," said Mr He Guangbei, Chairman of HKAB.

"When managing finances through Internet banking, we must be careful," said Mr Man Chi-hung, Senior Superintendent (Technology Crime), Commercial Crime Bureau, HKPF. "Two-factor authentication will be added security in Internet banking. Hong Kong will continue to be one of the safest and most stable societies in the World."

The three common types of two-factor authentication being adopted by banks in Hong Kong are digital certificate, SMS-based one-time password and security token-based one-time password. More information on two-factor authentication can be found in a leaflet and a computer interactive programme available at the websites of the HKMA (www.hkma.gov.hk) and HKAB (www.hkab.org.hk), and at the Information Centre of the HKMA. Members of the public can also contact their bank for further information.

For further enquiries, please contact:

Hong Kong Monetary Authority
Jasmin Fung, Manager (Press), at 2878 8246

The Hong Kong Association of Banks
Eva Wong, Secretary, at 2521 1160

Hong Kong Police Force
Wong Hung-fu, Senior Inspector of Police, at 2860 2928

Hong Kong Monetary Authority

The Hong Kong Association of Banks

Hong Kong Police Force

30 May 2005

Last revision date: 1 August 2011
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