Does Security Hack take us to Cardless World

Last week, the security breach at few of the top public and private sector banks brought to light the perils of technology in Banking. What started as a series of denials by concerned Banks, ATM management services company and payment service providers turn out to be the nightmare for Indian Banking system.

Being a customer to some of these esteemed banks, I was left wondering when frequent messages for changing the password were forwarded by my banks on daily basis. A call to customer care did not leave my suspicions douse. It was only after all the hacking news came in media the real impact became visible.

Impact on Digital India Push

What started as a nimble step towards digitization in banking sector 15 years back turned a full circle to haunt stakeholders like regulators, customers, and government agencies. This is a big setback to central government’s digital India push and also brings to the forefront the misuse of technology at wrong hands. Just like the way digital India push is being advertised in  media so should be the perils of ignorance and wrong use of technology. 

People use all kinds of mobile apps and websites which track sensitive information like precise location, gender, preferences etc. We had seen many instances where ignorant net users were being duped to share their personal and financial information. Only social awareness and better security controls keep the hackers away.

Biometric authentication and its integration to payment systems

Aadhar card system effectively used biometrics for registration, authentication, and other purposes. A lot of investment had gone to put biometric systems in place. Similar investments in banking and payment systems may bring in a new level of security. Biometric usage may not be 100% perfect but reduces the risk to a major extent.

Tips and Conclusion

Use of common sense goes a long way in safeguarding the financial interests of customers. Never ever share the sensitive information like PIN or Date of Birth or card number to any outside personnel. Try to change the PIN on a frequent basis if you are a regular online buyer. Always use cards which have two layer authentication like One Time Password or grid matrix. Even though the impact of security hack seems to be minimal in terms of monetary loss, the system is already facing the reputation risk. Can we trust the banking transactions to be completely foolproof ? Are we going back to the cardless world of the 1990s ? Only time will tell.

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