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Carousell, Facebook Marketplace must verify identity to all sellers


Carousell and Facebook Marketplace will now be allowed to apply user verification requirements on "risky sellers" for a start, says the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA). MHA will require Carousell and Facebook to verify the identity of all their sellers if the number of scams reported on the respective platforms "does not drop significantly".


If the scam situation fails to improve, MHA will then require them to apply user verification requirements on all resellers.


E-Commerce code applies to online services that facilitate e-commerce activities and "pose the highest risks of e-commerce scams among other services in Singapore". The code shares the same requirements as the online communication code, with two additional stipulations.


  1. Users must be verified against government-issued records if they advertise or post about the sale of goods and services, or if they intend to do so.

  2. Services must provide payment protection mechanisms that verify the delivery of goods or services before releasing payment to sellers.


USER VERIFICATION REQUIREMENT


Under the e-commerce code, MHA will prioritize the implementation of user verification requirements, which it accessed to be the "most critical to curb scams". "Risky Sellers" are users identified by these platforms as potential sources of scams.


In a statement to the media on Friday, Carousell said that its users will be required to verify their identities using Singpass if its system "detects behaviour similiar to known scam patterns or policy violations". Singpass verifications is currently required only for two categories which are property and tickets and vouchers.


PAYMENT PROTECTION MECHANISMS


MHA said it would waive the requirement on payment protection mechanisms for now to allow services to prioritize implementing user verification, adding that it would be released in 2025. The need for this requirement will be assessed based on the effectiveness of the user verification measures in reducing e-commerce scams.



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