Stoic silence on security aspects of e-wallet services

Written by Meghalaya Times. Posted in Front Page

Staff Reporter
SHILLONG, Dec 17: At a time when the union government is pushing for cashless transactions in the form of digital payments following the scrapping of large currency notes, there is mysterious silence prevailing in the country’s central bank, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI), regarding security of such online methods even as a leading chipset maker has expressed concern on the same. There has been a spurt in the use of e-wallets, mobile banking applications and online transactions over personal computers in the aftermath of the demonetization drive but RBI and other nationalized banks have no information when Meghalaya Times sought to know the security aspect of these electronic methods.

Navin Khatri, an officer with the RBI branch here in the city, informed that they don’t have any information regarding the safety and security of mobile banking, e-wallets and other similar online transactions. The officer further pursued the personal call by this correspondent with its headquarters in Mumbai and provided an email address of the concerned official at RBI Headquarters in Mumbai from whom the said information can be sourced. However, there is mysterious silence on the part of the Chief General Manager (CGM), Department of Payment and Settlement System, RBI, Central Office, Mumbai on the email enquiry regarding online wallets dated November 30.
These enquiries, as generated from the responses received from customers, sought to know about the concerns raised by the people – who are made to use such electronic methods more following the demonetization move – about the safety of using online wallets. They are eager to know certain “fear factors” that are arising in their minds, such as, if the e-wallet company closes down then where they should go to claim their money.
In case of banks, at least there are branches but many online wallets have no physical (branch type) infrastructure. So how customers are going to get back their money if such a situation arises is the genuine query of many here.
Similarly, if a person who has opened an online wallet, dies, then in such a case, how are the family members of the deceased going to claim the money? But the CGM is mysteriously silent on these queries even as Khatri has ensured that this is the official who is positioned to disseminate such information.
Meanwhile, leading chipset maker Qualcomm has addressed this issue in a statement recently. According to a top official of the company, none of the e-wallets, mobile banking applications and online banking is secured with any kind of hardware level security which are designed to make online transactions more secure.
“You will be surprised because most of the banking or wallet apps around the world don’t use hardware security. They actually run completely in Android mode and users’ password can be stolen. Users use fingerprint which might be captured … in India that is the case for most of the digital wallets and mobile banking apps,” the Qualcomm Senior Director SY Choudhury said.
Chowdhury also informed that even the most reputed digital payments applications aren’t using hardware level security.


FaceBook  Twitter