You might have seen on TV the woman whose online banking account was hacked and who lost 100,000 pesos to the hacker. The money was easily transferred by the hacker because the woman's online banking system offers the option to Send Money to any local bank account without prior enrollment of the recipient's account. This option is very helpful to certain business people but can be very risky.
BDO and BPI has certain online banking features that make them safer. This is not to promote these banks; this is just to describe their security features so you can think about what is not safe with your bank's online banking.
BDO Online Banking
1. BDO requires two login steps.
It's just like opening two locked doors one after the other before you can enter.
The first step requires your user name and password.
The second step requires your One-Time Password (OTP) or the correct answer to the Challenge Question.
You will know your OTP only if you're using the mobile phone no. registered with BDO.
This means that even if your username and password were hacked, the hacker needs to have your mobile phone SIM to be able to receive the correct OTP code.
2. The "Send Money to Another Local Bank" service requires you to enter the account owner's complete name, address, mobile phone no. and birth date.
3. BDO has maximum limits for funds transfer amounts and number of transactions for unenrolled accounts per day.
For "Send Money to Another Local Bank," the maximum transfer amount is 50,000 pesos.
To complete the transfer request, you must first enter the sender's complete name, address, mobile phone no. and birth date.
For "Send Money to Unenrolled BDO Account," the maximum transfer amount is 10,000 pesos.
4. BDO requires you to change your password every 3 months.
BPI Online Banking
1. BPI notifies you through email immediately after a successful login.
Activate this service because this service is optional.
Activate also your smartphone email notification so you'll be alerted if another person logged in to your account.
This means that in case another person was able to log in to your account, you can immediately call BPI's hotline to stop the break-in.
2. BPI notifies you through email immediately after a fund transfer or a bill payment.
Activate your smartphone email notification so you'll be alerted of the transfer or payment.
3. There's no "Transfer Money to an Unenrolled Account" option in BPI online banking on desktop or laptop.
You cannot transfer money to just any account. You need to enroll first another person's account before you can transfer money to it. Enrollment requires you to appear in person with your IDs at your branch or to send your enrollment form through postal mail to BPI and verify your enrollment over the phone.
This means that in case the hacker is able to get through, the hacker cannot transfer your money to his account or another person's account.
4. The "Transfer to Anyone" option is available through BPI's mobile phone banking but it is not automatic. It is optional. You need to activate this option using a BPI atm machine.
This means you will not have the risk associated with this if you do not want it.