The volume of electronic payments have gone up sharply in the last few years. The gamut of electronic payment systems include National Electronic Funds Transfer (NEFT), Real Time Gross Settlement (RTGS), Immediate Payment Service (IMPS), and Unified Payment Interface (UPI) etc. Even as these digital models have grown, there are questions raised about the efficacy and the security of the system. Are digital payments secured and are they really safe? How can users ensure how to secure electronic transactions to the maximum extent?
That is the billion dollar question as India increasingly moves towards cashless economy.
How secure are digital electronic payment systems in India?
The debate over digital security came to the fore after American chipset maker, Qualcomm, said that no digital payment app used in India is completely secure. According to Qualcomm, electronic wallets and mobile banking applications in India are not using hardware level security that is mandatory for secure online transactions. This is a big revelation at a time when people are increasingly relying on digital payments. People would want to know if digital payments are secure enough before going cashless. Here is a rundown!
Digital payments are secure if you go by the rule book of guidelines
To gauge if your digital payments are secure, here is what you need to know..
There are a set of rules to be followed to keep your digital banking secure and free of phishing. If we take care of these points, it is not very difficult to stay secure with the digital payment system. People usually miss on the small but essential guidelines that maintain secure payment system.
Mobile banking apps, wallets, payment banks are working overtime to improve the security level from time to time. Hence if you have downloaded a UPI app or an online banking app on your smart phone, it is essential to upgrade applications from time to time when a new update is available. Normally, your application prompts when there is an update and you must make it a point to install it immediately.
Most of the phishing problems arise when you execute these transactions from your PC but don’t bother about updating your hard ware with requisite anti-virus, anti-malware etc. This can go a long way in improving your secure experience. Soon Qualcomm will be coming up with its new features in mobile chipset that will verify user with payment gateway using unique features that will be hard to hack.
Lastly, take care of your connectivity. All digital payment transactions should only be done from your own PC or laptop or using apps from your mobile. Avoid executing these transactions at a cyber café or using unsecured wi-fi in malls, airports and public places. That is asking for trouble.
How can you go wrong on digital payments security?
Most banking applications in Indiax 'don’t run on hardware security. They run on Android mode and hence the passwords can be stolen quite easily. Fingerprints that some users use can also be captured and used to sneak into your account. Security is one of the biggest challenges with digital payments and wallets.
In the past, ATM frauds led to people losing money and they had to wait for a long time to get the money refunded by banks. The biggest issue in US at the moment is also on Russian hackers accessing the system. These are major risks.
According to Norton Cyber Security Insights, Indians are fairly prone to traps of phishing and hacking. Most Indian users are not selective about what links to click and when to simply avoid. Most ads you see are not always secure and we are not supposed to clicking randomly.
In India, the idea of sharing phones, tablets and PCs is still quite common. Digital banking and e-wallets are actually things that should be personal to someone. You don’t let anyone else peek into your stuff on money matters. That needs to change.
RBI is yet to prescribe security standards for e-wallets in India. Regulators only require e-wallets to have “adequate” data security infrastructure. Ideally minimum standards for security for the e-wallet providing firms has to be prescribed and documented.
In India, the acceptance of digital has been quite rapid. But security still remains a substantially unaddressed issue. That needs to change.