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Demonetisation: Are mobile wallets safe enough?

business Updated: Nov 25, 2016 14:55 IST
Rozelle Laha
demonetisation news

Street vendors are turning to payments via mobile wallets. (Mohd Zakir/ht)

In these times of demonetisation, mobile wallets are where the action has shifted to. But, are they safe enough?

It can be risky to use mobile wallets, say experts

Transactions using mobile wallets, if not done cautiously, might expose you to cyber fraud, say cyber security experts. “All net banking and card transactions use risk-based step-up authentication, unlike most mobile wallets,” said Kartik Shahani, managing director, India and SAARC, RSA. Though the RBI has issued guidelines to ensure safety, it is up to the mobile wallet providers to keep their platforms secure times, says Akhilesh Tuteja, partner and global head of cyber security services with KPMG.

We are safer than cards, say mobile wallet firms

“Our monitoring is powered by machine-learning and defined business rules that stop only the transactions that are found suspect,” said Nitin Misra, senior vice-president at Paytm. “The exposure in a wallet is limited to the balance, as opposed to the entire bank balance or the card limit.” Rohan Khara, director-products at MobiKwik, said the company is up-to-date with the latest checks and balances.

What you should do

1. Use strong password: Use a mix of numbers, characters, capital letter alphabet, and alphanumeric

2. Download apps from authentic sources: Preferably from the company site, not third party sources

3. Check your mobile wallet statement carefully: Hackers don’t siphon off all your money in one go, they take small amounts

Read more: Now buy paan or chaat through the m-wallet

What you should not

1. Don’t use public Wi-Fi: Hackers can snoop into the connection to steal login credentials

2. Don’t fall for cash-back offers: Don’t merely go for the wallet that offers cash-back. Check the RBI website to find out if the mobile wallet company has a licence

3. Don’t add too much money: Even in the case of a hack, the amount you lose will be less

4. Don’t save card details on mobile wallets: Every time you transact, make sure you uncheck the box that says, “save your card for future use”

How is it done elsewhere in the world

It is a new technology worldwide. It is more popular in Africa and the Nordic countries. India is on a par with global standards on payment security. Companies should focus on a programme of continuous security testing, said KPMG’s Tuteja