Customers must visit bank branches to transfer locked funds

DBS, OCBC, and UOB announced new security measures on Monday to protect customers from scams by allowing them to lock their funds digitally, with unlocking requiring an in-person visit to the bank.

Customers across these banks can now use their mobile apps or Internet banking to lock their funds securely, ensuring that these funds cannot be digitally transferred out. OCBC customers also have the option to use ATMs for this purpose.

DBS initiated the rollout of its new feature called digiVault on Monday, with OCBC and UOB set to introduce theirs on Thursday.

More from OMY: OCBC introduces money lock feature for customer accounts


Through digiVault, customers can digitally secure their money in a designated account, which remains inaccessible for digital transfers.

The process involves applying for a digiVault account via digital banking, usually approved within a minute. Upon receiving a push notification confirming the readiness of the vault, customers can start depositing funds into it.

Accessing these funds requires visiting a DBS or POSB branch for identity verification. Once verified, the funds will be transferred to their DBS or POSB account.

Closing the vault account also requires a branch visit.

DBS plans to make digiVault available to all DBS and POSB customers by 7 December.

Additionally, customers opening and depositing funds into a digiVault between 27 November and 29 February 2024 will earn an extra 1.8% per annum interest on their average daily balance as part of a promotional offer. This interest will be provided as a lump sum at the promotion’s conclusion.

Only the first digiVault account for those with multiple accounts will qualify for this additional interest. Customers can also choose to lock their fixed deposit accounts, preventing premature digital withdrawals or changes to maturity instructions.

“This reduces the risk of scammers prematurely withdrawing fixed deposit funds digitally, should they gain unauthorised access to customers’ phones and accounts,” stated DBS.

For those seeking to lock their fixed deposit accounts, DBS offers the option to use their digibot on the bank’s website, prompting customers to authenticate their request. The locking process typically takes about two working days, with customers receiving a notification email upon completion. To unlock a fixed deposit, customers must visit a bank branch.


UOB customers now have the option to open LockAway accounts, where digital payments and outbound transfers are restricted. Accessing locked-up funds is only possible by visiting UOB bank branches and verifying one’s identity.

“UOB is also evaluating ATM withdrawals as an additional mode of cash dispensation, and may introduce it in the near future subject to customer feedback,” said UOB.

Starting from 30 November, customers can digitally open LockAway accounts via the bank’s website, app, or branches.

“Given the nature of the account, there will not be a minimum initial deposit or balance requirement,” shared UOB.

“As an additional safeguard, no cheque book will be issued for the UOB LockAway Account, and existing cards cannot be linked to it.”

Account holders can view their balances and deposit funds digitally, with interest rates for LockAway accounts to be announced soon.


Meanwhile, OCBC customers can use the Money Lock feature without needing to open a new bank account. They can lock funds through the app or internet banking in multiples of S$10, with the minimum being S$10 and the maximum being their available balance.

Funds can only be unlocked at OCBC ATMs or by visiting a bank branch, and starting 30 November, customers can unlock their money at OCBC branch ATMs, with a rollout to all OCBC ATMs by the end of December.

OCBC assured customers that locked funds are aggregated with unlocked funds for interest calculation, ensuring they don’t miss out on bonus interest earned.

“Customers must consider their regular or recurring expenses, near-term needs and plan for emergencies, and only lock excess funds that they do not require for use in the foreseeable future,” said OCBC.

In recent months, over 750 victims fell prey to Android malware scams, leading to losses exceeding S$10 million. Scammers lure victims into installing malicious apps, often disguised as service advertisements on social media platforms, subsequently stealing sensitive information, including bank login details.

The Central Provident Fund (CPF) Board also implemented a default online withdrawal limit of S$2,000 a day for members aged 55 and above, starting 30 November. This limit can be adjusted online up to S$200,000, but any increase requires Singpass face verification and a 12-hour cooling period.

Members seeking to disable online withdrawals can activate the CPF withdrawal lock, setting the daily withdrawal limit to S$0 and allowing withdrawals only in person at CPF service centres. Re-enabling online withdrawals mandates increasing the limit with Singpass face verification and a 12-hour processing period.

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