GCash Stops Account Takeovers with New DoubleSafe Feature

In a move to protect users from account takeovers and scams, GCash rolled out a new feature called DoubleSafe as part of its GSafeTayo campaign.

The Philippines is no stranger to financial scams, with 42% of respondents who have experienced digital fraud attempts through phishing attacks during the first quarter of 2022. What’s more, 38% of respondents were targeted with money or gift card fraud schemes, according to data from Statista.

Thankfully, scams have dropped by 11% from April to June 2022, compared to the same period last year, according to a study from global information and insights firm TransUnion. But even so, scams are still prevalent and it is important to be vigilant and careful.

With that being said, GCash—the Philippines’ number one financial app—rolled out a new feature “DoubleSafe.” This game-changing security feature aims to safeguard its users from account takeovers.

How DoubleSafe Works

To access one’s GCash account, users need to undergo two levels of authentication, or a 2-factor Authentication. The first level of security is the OTP (One-time PIN), which is a unique number combination sent only to the user’s mobile number. As for the second level, it’s an MPIN (Mobile PIN)—a 4-digit passcode that only a GCash user would know.

DoubleSafe, however, is an added protection that aims to strengthen the security of GCash’s 76 million users as it prevents unauthorized account access. Thus, starting March 2023, GCash will now require all users to activate DoubleSafe in order to add an additional layer of security to their respective accounts.

But how does DoubleSafe work? For one thing, it uses facial recognition, which means that even if a user shares their MPIN and OTP with fraudsters—whether on purpose or accidentally—their account cannot be accessed from another device without scanning the owner’s face, thereby preventing account takeovers.

DoubleSafe will be activated for every first log-in to a new mobile phone in order to ensure the continued protection of its users.

GSafeTayo: Awareness Against Scams

Aside from this new security feature, GCash will also be working with the Philippine National Police Anti-Cybercrime Group (PNP-ACG) in going after fraudsters and scammers—formalized by a signed memorandum of agreement with PNP-ACG in 2022.

“GCash is one with the PNP-ACG in making sure that these cybercriminals are put behind bars while reminding the public on how to safeguard their accounts,” GCash Head of Fraud Management Miguel Geronilla says. “Together with the authorities, other relevant government agencies, and our users, we can ensure that GSafeTayo.”

With that, GCash will be intensifying its GSafeTao campaign, which aims to educate and spread awareness against fake sellers, suspicious links, as well as other common forms of scams through a series of awareness and education materials. Through the campaign, customers will be able to join GCash in the fight for true account security.

GSafeTayo cautions users against sharing their information with strangers.

How to Avoid Scams

The GSafeTayo campaign focuses on providing prevention tips to help the public avoid being scammed. Here’s how users can protect their accounts and their finances and how GCash has done its part in countering them:

Don’t Open Unfamiliar Links

Scammers often send messages with links—thus luring recipients with enticing “prizes” or a chance at a high-paying position. These are usually too good to be true, which is suspicious in itself. To counter this, GCash has stopped sending links via SMS, emails, and other messaging apps. 

Never Share Personal Information

Some scammers call people and pretend to be GCash representatives in order to gather personal user information. Remember that GCash will never ask its customers for MPINs and OTPs and will only reach out to customers through its official channels. 

Double-check Before Buying

Fake online sellers and shops offer too-good-to-be-true, enticing deals that lure people into purchasing their products. GCash recommends double-checking online offers and checking reviews to ensure authenticity. 

“At GCash, the safety and peace of mind of our customers are very important to us. With DoubleSafe and our intensified GSafeTayo campaign, our users will be protected from scammers and account takeovers,” ends Geronilla. “But aside from security measures, we are also ramping up reminders to our 76 million users on how they can safeguard their accounts.”

Through GCash’s unrelenting efforts to protect its users’ hard-earned money and the collective cooperation of its customers and partners, we can make sure that with GCash, #GSafeTayo. To report scams and other suspicious activities, users can go to 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.”