Are requested permissions on Digibank mobile app necessary? DBS responds to Stomper's feedback

Submitted by Stomper Ah Boy

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Stomper Ah Boy downloaded the Digibank mobile application on his Samsung S6 yesterday (Oct 17) and was prompted to accept several permissions required for the app to work.

He sent Stomp screenshots of the app and the requested permissions. 

The permissions included allowing the phone to:

  • Take photos and record video
  • Access his contacts
  • Access photos, videos and files
  • Access the device's location
  • Make and manage phone calls
  • Send and view SMS messages

Ah Boy did not know whether to accept the permissions and declined it in the end.

He told Stomp: "Why does the app need access to so much information? I have many classified work related files and contacts in my phone."

He added that he thought it might be a phishing app with a 'malicious virus'. 

Stomp relayed the information given by Ah Boy to DBS.

In response to the Stomp query, a DBS spokesman said: "Access permissions allow us to give users the ability to perform certain actions with the Digibank app.

"For example, if the user needs to upload an image or document for a new product application, the permission allows us to display images or documents within the phone to the user.

"No images/files/documents can be transferred to the bank unless the user specifically chooses to upload the files to DBS."

He then explained the reason behind the requests:

  • Phone – This auto-dials our hotline when you click on the Call Us option
  • SMS – To receive OTPs and messages such as alerts, activations, etc.
  • Photos/Media/Files – Used to store and process images captured by OCR for quick credit application
  • Location – Locates nearest ATMs/Branches on request
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