Top of main content

Security device

Frequently asked questions (FAQ)

The new security device

What is a security device?

A security device is a small, portable electronic device, which generates random security codes for one-time use, required to log on and transact on HSBC online banking.

We have recently introduced a new security device with enhanced security protection. Please refer to the section functionality section for more details.

pictures of the existing security device and new security device

Added transaction security

The new security device provides HSBC online banking users an additional layer of security to protect against fraudulent transactions. This requires you to:

  • Key in beneficiary-related information on the device for every transaction
  • Generate a unique security code on the device to authorise each transaction

The new security device is PIN-protected

The HSBC security device is unique as it is PIN-protected. You will have to set a PIN during activation and this PIN will be required to unlock the device before each use.

What is a security code?

A security code is a single-use random number generated by the security device. The security code is to be used together with your username and password when accessing HSBC online banking. It will also be required for third party fund transfers, bill payments and updating of your details on HSBC online banking.

What is a serial number?

The serial number is a unique 10-digit number used to identify your individual security device. It is located at the back of your security device in the format of XX-XXXXXXX-X where X is a number (e.g. 12-3456789-0). This number also helps with identification in the case of multiple security devices in a household or company and should not be removed.

Are there any risks associated with the serial number on the security device being visible?

The serial number is used to identify which security device is associated with a specific customer and is only required for the activation process. There is no risk associated with the serial number being visible.

Upgrading your security device

picture of new security device

Can I choose not to upgrade to the new security device?

You are only able to use your existing device till 31 December 2012. Effective 1 January 2013, you will be required to log on to your HSBC online banking with the new device. To avoid any disruption to your online banking service, we encourage you to replace the device as soon as you receive notification from HSBC.

How can I upgrade my security device if I have no received notification from HSBC?

As part of this upgrading exercise, we will be notifying customers progressively over the next few months. You will be unable to upgrade to a new security device until you receive notification from HSBC.

My family member/friend has received a new security device from your Bank recently but I have not. Why is that so?

All HSBC online banking customers will eventually receive their new security device over the next few months as the issuance exercise takes place in batches. All existing security devices will be replaced by end 2012.

Once I have requested my new security device, how long do I have to wait for it to be delivered?

For customers with Singapore mailing addresses, the expected delivery time is 5 working days from receipt of your request for a new security device via HSBC online banking.

For customers with overseas mailing addresses, the security device may take up to 10 working days from receipt of your request, depending on your local post schedule.

After I have requested for the new security device, what should I do with my existing security device?

Please continue to use your existing security device to log on to HSBC online banking until you have received and activated your new security device. After the new security device is activated, you may discard your existing security device as it will no longer be valid for use.

Is it safe to send the security device by postal mail?

The security device is delivered to your mailing address as per the Bank's records. Prior to use, the security device must be activated online. Until activation is completed, the security device has no security value. It is safe to send the security device via postal mail, as a potential fraudster would not be able to attach the security device to your profile to commit fraudulent transactions unless they are in possession of all your HSBC online banking credentials.

If you suspect that your HSBC online banking credentials have been compromised, for Personal Internet Banking users, please call us on 1800-HSBC NOW (4722 669) in Singapore or (65) 6-HSBC NOW (4722 669) from overseas for assistance.

For Business Internet Banking users, please call our customer service centre on 1800 216 9008 (Singapore) or 65 6216 9008 (overseas).

Do I need to pay to upgrade to the new security device?

No, there is no fee involved.

How do I start using my new security device?

You will need to activate your new security device prior to use. For existing HSBC online banking customers, you can activate it immediately or within the grace period of 30 days from the date of issuance. Upon successful activation, you can start using your new security device to log on to HSBC online banking.

How do I activate my new security device?

Please follow the steps below to activate your new security device:

  1. Log on with your existing security device.
  2. Click the activation link and follow the on-screen instructions.
  3. You will need to key in the serial number found at the back of your new security device and key in the security code generated to complete the activation process.

For more information, please visit hsbc.com.sg to view the online demo guide.

Can I continue to use my existing security device?

Yes, you can continue using your existing security device until you receive and activate your new security device.

Upon activation of your new device, your existing security device will no longer be valid for use and should be discarded.

Functionality

What is a security device?

HSBC is committed to a high level of online banking security. In our continual efforts to advance with technology and provide greater peace of mind for HSBC online banking customers, we are delighted to introduce a new security device.

Your security device will provide you with an additional level of protection from a large variety of online threats, including:

  • Identity theft - Where a fraudster obtains personal details of a victim, and uses these details to complete fraudulent activities such as applying for loans, credit cards, ordering cheque books, etc.
  • Trojans (keylogging / screen capturing) - Where a victim discloses their confidential credentials to a fraudster by a Trojan unknowingly downloaded on their PC.
  • Phishing - Where a fraudster "phishes" for confidential information from a customer by pretending to be from a legitimate source such as a bank or a financial institution. These details are later re-used to carry out fraudulent transactions.
  • Man in the middle - Where a fraudster intrudes into an existing connection to intercept the exchanged data and injects false information.
  • Shoulder surfing - Where a fraudster observes a victim entering their confidential details, and then re-uses these details to carry out fraudulent transactions.

How do I use my Security Device to log on and when do I need to use the numeric keys?

instructions on how to use the security device to log on and when to use the numeric keys

What is the difference in functionality between the new and existing security device?

The new security device gives HSBC online banking an additional level of security and provides better    protection for key transactions by requiring customers to input beneficiary-specific information (e.g.    account number, bill payee reference number etc) to generate a security code.

These transactions include:

  • Transfers to third party beneficiaries1
  • Bill payments1
  • Application of cashier's orders or demand drafts
  • GIRO payments (for Business Internet Banking customers only)
  • Update of address and contact details (for Personal Internet Banking customers only)

1You do not need to input such information if you are using "saved transfers" or "payee".

How long will the battery of the security device last?

The security device is battery-powered with a lifespan between three to five years, depending on the frequency of the usage. You will be prompted with a "BATT#" message when the battery of your security  device is running low.

The possible security device warning messages are as follows:

Indicator warnings
Indicator
What It Means
BATT5
5 months estimated battery life remaining
BATT4
4 months estimated battery life remaining
BATT3
3 months estimated battery life remaining
BATT2
2 months estimated battery life remaining
BATT1
1 months estimated battery life remaining
BATT0
Battery life is exhausted
Indicator warnings
Indicator
BATT5
What It Means
5 months estimated battery life remaining
Indicator
BATT4
What It Means
4 months estimated battery life remaining
Indicator
BATT3
What It Means
3 months estimated battery life remaining
Indicator
BATT2
What It Means
2 months estimated battery life remaining
Indicator
BATT1
What It Means
1 months estimated battery life remaining
Indicator
BATT0
What It Means
Battery life is exhausted

Do I have to provide replacement battery for my security device?

No, the battery in the security device cannot be replaced. Your security device will provide warning that the battery is running low on power. You will then need to contact us to get a replacement device.

How do I replace my Security Device in the event that the battery is low?

You should print, complete and send us the replacement request form available here, or request for the form by contacting us. The replacement Security Device will be sent to your mailing address as per the Bank's records. 

Meanwhile, you can continue to use your existing Security Device until you have received and activate your replacement.

Why is there a square border surround the numeric keys '1' and '3' on the new Security Device? Do they indicate any special meaning or function?

For HSBC Singapore, there is no particular meaning or function associated with this design.

Setting your PIN

Why do I need to set up a PIN for the new security device?

The HSBC security device is unique as it is PIN-protected. For added security, you will have to set a PIN during activation and this PIN will be required to unlock your device before use.

How many digits can I choose for the PIN?

You can only choose a 6-digit PIN for the new device.

How do I set up a new PIN?

Please follow the steps below:

instructions on how to set up a new PIN with the security device

What happens if my PIN setup is unsuccessful?

A message 'FAIL PIN' will be shown on the device, reflecting that your confirmation PIN did not match the first PIN entered. You will need to restart the PIN setup process by pressing the green button.

picture of security device with fail PIN message

Why do I see a message 'NEW PIN NOT SAFE' on the device?

This means that the new PIN that you have entered is not safe and could be guessed, ie repeating or sequential numbers (eg 111111, 123456, 543210). Please restart the PIN setup process and choose another 6-digit PIN.

picture of security device with weak PIN message

How do I change my PIN for the device?

Please follow the steps below:

instructions on how to change your PIN for the security device

What should I do if I forget my PIN for the device?

Please follow the steps below:

  1. Go to the HSBC online banking logon page, enter your username and click "continue".
  2. Click "Forgotten your security device PIN" link.
  3. Answer the two security questions that you have set up during your HSBC online banking registration and follow the on-screen instructions.

What should I do if I cannot remember the answers to my two security questions?

Please follow the steps below:

  1. Click "Continue" to proceed with the offline PIN reset.
  2. Enter your existing password and the 7-digit "Lock PIN code", and reset your two security questions and answers.
  3. Print out the on-screen form and mail it to us for processing.

Turning on your security device

How do I turn on my new security device?

Please follow the steps below:

instructions on how to turn on your new security device

Why do I see a 'FAIL 1', 'FAIL 2' or 'FAIL 3' message on the device?

This is because the PIN entered is incorrect. Press the green button to re-enter your PIN. You will have a total of 3 attempts to enter a correct PIN before the device is locked.

Replacing your security device

What should I do if my security device is lost or stolen?

You should inform us to de-activate your lost or stolen security device immediately.

For Personal Internet Banking Users, please call our 24-hour customer service hotline on 1800-HSBC NOW (4722 669) in Singapore or (65) 6-HSBC NOW (4722 669) from overseas.

For Business Internet Banking users, please call our customer service centre on 1800 216 9008 (Singapore) or 65 6216 9008 (overseas). Secondary users should ask their primary user to request for a new security device on their behalf.

What should I do if my security device is broken?

You should print, complete and send us the replacement request form available on hsbc.com.sg, or request for the form by contacting us. The replacement security device will be sent to your mailing address as per the Bank's records.

Transaction authorisation

How does inputting beneficiary-specific information into my security device increase the security level in online banking?

The new security device requires you to input beneficiary-specific information (e.g account number, bill payee reference number etc) into your security device to generate a security code to authorise your transaction. With this additional transaction verification function, it further prevents fraudulent attacks as the transaction will only be made to the account specified by you. This layer of protection provides an increased level of security for your banking transactions.

When do I need to input beneficiary-specific information into my security device?

You need to input such information into your security device when you are making the following transactions:

  • Transfers to third party beneficiaries2
  • Bill payments2
  • Application of cashier's orders or demand drafts
  • GIRO payments (for Business Internet Banking customers only)
  • Update of address and contact details (for Personal Internet Banking customers)

2You do not need to input such information if you are using "saved transfers" or "payee".

How do I know what beneficiary-specific information I need to input into my security device?

Please follow the on-screen instructions on the security code input page on HSBC online banking to input the correct information into your security device and generate the required security code.

More examples of such instructions are available below.

Input instructions
Scenario
How to input your instructions
Example
Input
Beneficiary account number/bill reference number with 8 or more digits Use the last 8 digits of your beneficiary account number/bill reference number.

123-456-789 

55500066777

23456789
00066777
Beneficiary account number/bill reference number with 4-7 digits
Use all available digits of your beneficiary account number/bill reference number.

123456

0708

123456

0708

Beneficiary account number/bill reference number with 0-3 digits
Add zeros in front of your beneficiary account number/bill reference number to form a total of 6 digits.

123

04

000123

000004

Beneficiary account number/bill reference number comprising letters and 8 or more digits
Omitting non-numeric characters and spaces, enter the last 8 digits of your beneficiary account number/bill reference number into your security device.

123A4567BC89D

AB11-200CD777

333Y 44W 5555

23456789

11200777

33445555

Beneficiary account number/bill reference number comprising letters and 4-7 digits
Omitting non-numeric characters and spaces, enter all digits of your beneficiary account number/bill reference number into your security device.

123A4567BC

AB11-200C

33Y 44W

1234567

11200

3344

Beneficiary account number/bill reference number comprising letters and 0-3 digits
Omitting non-numeric characters and spaces, add zeros to your beneficiary account number/bill reference number to form 6 digits and enter that into your security device.

123A

AB11-2

3Y 4W

000123

000112

000034

Beneficiary account number/bill reference number comprising letters (4 or more) only
Omitting special characters, for each letter of the beneficiary account number, enter a corresponding number assigned to that letter into your security device, limiting to the last 8.

APPLE

Josephine Tan

Julie Tan-Ho

27753

74463826

54382646

Beneficiary account number/bill reference number comprising 1-3 letters only
Omitting special characters, add zeros to the beneficiary's name to form a 6-digit number. For each letter of the beneficiary's name, enter a corresponding number assigned to that letter into your security device.

JOE

R&R

000563

000077

To multiple beneficiary accounts (only available for Business Internet Banking)
Enter the total amount of your transaction (including the decimal numbers, if any), followed by the total number of payees into your security device, limiting to the last 8 digits.

A total amount of $105800.00 to 100 payees

A total amount of $98500.30 to 3 payees

A total amount of $72910.00 to 6 payees

05800100

98500303

729106

Update email address (only available for Personal Internet Banking)
Omitting special characters, enter the corresponding number assigned for each alphabet of the email address into your security device.

johntan15@hsbc.com .sg

- the 1st 2 characters in the email = Jo

- the 2 characters before '@'= 15

- the 2 characters after '@' = hs

- the last 2 characters = sg

Signing Input = Jo15hssg

J_Tan@hsbc.com.sg

- the 1st 2 characters in the email = JT

- the 2 characters before '@'= an

- the 2 characters after '@' = hs

- the last 2 characters = sg

Signing Input = JTanhssg

J_Ng@hsbc.com.sg

- the 1st 2 characters in the email = JN

- the 2 characters before '@'= g0 (add '0' if there is less than 2 characters)

- the 2 characters after '@' = hs

- the last 2 characters = sg

Signing Input = JNg0hssg

J_Ng@A.Ru

- the 1st 2 characters in the email = JN

- the 2 characters before '@'= g0 (add '0' if there is less than 2 characters)

- the 2 characters after '@' = AR

- the last 2 characters = u0 (add '0' if there is less than 2 characters)

Signing Input = JNg0ARu0

123@A.Ru

- the 1st 2 characters in the email = 12

- the 2 characters before '@'= 30 (add '0' if there is less than 2 characters)

- the 2 characters after '@' = AR

- the last 2 characters = u0 (add '0' if there is less than 2 characters)

Signing Input = JNg0ARu0

56154774

58264774

56404774

56402780

12302780

Update contact numbers (only available for Personal Internet Banking)
Use the last 8 digits of the contact number.

+85291234567890

81234567

34567890

81234567

Update local address (only available for Personal Internet Banking)
Use the postal code + first 2 digits of the address.

(Add zero if the start of your address is a single digit)

(Add zeros if the start of your address does not have any digit)

201 Pasir Panjang Road, Singapore 123456

4 Pasir Ris Drive 12, Singapore 123456

Pasir Ris Drive 12, Singapore 123456

12345620

12345640

12345600

Update overseas address only available for Personal Internet Banking)
Use the first 8 alphanumeric characters of the address, without space and special characters.

For each alphabet of the address, enter the corresponding number assigned to that alphabet into your security device.
1 Queen's Road Central, Hong Kong SAR China

1783367

 

Input instructions
Scenario
Beneficiary account number/bill reference number with 8 or more digits
How to input your instructions
Use the last 8 digits of your beneficiary account number/bill reference number.
Example

123-456-789 

55500066777

Input
23456789
00066777
Scenario
Beneficiary account number/bill reference number with 4-7 digits
How to input your instructions
Use all available digits of your beneficiary account number/bill reference number.
Example

123456

0708

Input

123456

0708

Scenario
Beneficiary account number/bill reference number with 0-3 digits
How to input your instructions
Add zeros in front of your beneficiary account number/bill reference number to form a total of 6 digits.
Example

123

04

Input

000123

000004

Scenario
Beneficiary account number/bill reference number comprising letters and 8 or more digits
How to input your instructions
Omitting non-numeric characters and spaces, enter the last 8 digits of your beneficiary account number/bill reference number into your security device.
Example

123A4567BC89D

AB11-200CD777

333Y 44W 5555

Input

23456789

11200777

33445555

Scenario
Beneficiary account number/bill reference number comprising letters and 4-7 digits
How to input your instructions
Omitting non-numeric characters and spaces, enter all digits of your beneficiary account number/bill reference number into your security device.
Example

123A4567BC

AB11-200C

33Y 44W

Input

1234567

11200

3344

Scenario
Beneficiary account number/bill reference number comprising letters and 0-3 digits
How to input your instructions
Omitting non-numeric characters and spaces, add zeros to your beneficiary account number/bill reference number to form 6 digits and enter that into your security device.
Example

123A

AB11-2

3Y 4W

Input

000123

000112

000034

Scenario
Beneficiary account number/bill reference number comprising letters (4 or more) only
How to input your instructions
Omitting special characters, for each letter of the beneficiary account number, enter a corresponding number assigned to that letter into your security device, limiting to the last 8.
Example

APPLE

Josephine Tan

Julie Tan-Ho

Input

27753

74463826

54382646

Scenario
Beneficiary account number/bill reference number comprising 1-3 letters only
How to input your instructions
Omitting special characters, add zeros to the beneficiary's name to form a 6-digit number. For each letter of the beneficiary's name, enter a corresponding number assigned to that letter into your security device.
Example

JOE

R&R

Input

000563

000077

Scenario
To multiple beneficiary accounts (only available for Business Internet Banking)
How to input your instructions
Enter the total amount of your transaction (including the decimal numbers, if any), followed by the total number of payees into your security device, limiting to the last 8 digits.
Example

A total amount of $105800.00 to 100 payees

A total amount of $98500.30 to 3 payees

A total amount of $72910.00 to 6 payees

Input

05800100

98500303

729106

Scenario
Update email address (only available for Personal Internet Banking)
How to input your instructions
Omitting special characters, enter the corresponding number assigned for each alphabet of the email address into your security device.
Example

johntan15@hsbc.com .sg

- the 1st 2 characters in the email = Jo

- the 2 characters before '@'= 15

- the 2 characters after '@' = hs

- the last 2 characters = sg

Signing Input = Jo15hssg

J_Tan@hsbc.com.sg

- the 1st 2 characters in the email = JT

- the 2 characters before '@'= an

- the 2 characters after '@' = hs

- the last 2 characters = sg

Signing Input = JTanhssg

J_Ng@hsbc.com.sg

- the 1st 2 characters in the email = JN

- the 2 characters before '@'= g0 (add '0' if there is less than 2 characters)

- the 2 characters after '@' = hs

- the last 2 characters = sg

Signing Input = JNg0hssg

J_Ng@A.Ru

- the 1st 2 characters in the email = JN

- the 2 characters before '@'= g0 (add '0' if there is less than 2 characters)

- the 2 characters after '@' = AR

- the last 2 characters = u0 (add '0' if there is less than 2 characters)

Signing Input = JNg0ARu0

123@A.Ru

- the 1st 2 characters in the email = 12

- the 2 characters before '@'= 30 (add '0' if there is less than 2 characters)

- the 2 characters after '@' = AR

- the last 2 characters = u0 (add '0' if there is less than 2 characters)

Signing Input = JNg0ARu0

Input

56154774

58264774

56404774

56402780

12302780

Scenario
Update contact numbers (only available for Personal Internet Banking)
How to input your instructions
Use the last 8 digits of the contact number.
Example

+85291234567890

81234567

Input

34567890

81234567

Scenario
Update local address (only available for Personal Internet Banking)
How to input your instructions
Use the postal code + first 2 digits of the address.

(Add zero if the start of your address is a single digit)

(Add zeros if the start of your address does not have any digit)
Example

201 Pasir Panjang Road, Singapore 123456

4 Pasir Ris Drive 12, Singapore 123456

Pasir Ris Drive 12, Singapore 123456

Input

12345620

12345640

12345600

Scenario
Update overseas address only available for Personal Internet Banking)
How to input your instructions
Use the first 8 alphanumeric characters of the address, without space and special characters.

For each alphabet of the address, enter the corresponding number assigned to that alphabet into your security device.
Example
1 Queen's Road Central, Hong Kong SAR China
Input

1783367

 

What should I do if I have entered a wrong number into my security device during the authorisation process?

If you have entered a wrong number into your security device, press the green button to backspace and delete your last entry. To clear your entire entry, press and hold the same green button.

What should I do if the security code I have input on HSBC online banking is not accepted?

  • Please ensure the security code you have input matches the security code displayed on your security device.
  • If the security code matches the security code on your device, the beneficiary-specific informtaion entered previously may be incorrect.
  • Please follow the on-screen instructions and repeat the process to generate a security code.

If the security code is still not accepted:

For Personal Internet Banking Users, please call our 24-hour customer service hotline on 1800-HSBC NOW (4722 669) in Singapore or (65) 6-HSBC NOW (4722 669) from overseas.

For Business Internet Banking users, please call our customer service centre on 1800 216 9008 (Singapore) or 65 6216 9008 (overseas) for assistance.