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Banks act smarter than fraudsters

To check online frauds, banks issue temporary cards as per customers' needs, reports Lalatendu Mishra.

india Updated: Jan 28, 2007 20:22 IST

With online transaction frauds on the rise, Indian banks are making an extra effort to safeguard customers’ interests. Almost all banks which engage in online transactions are working towards countering the menace. But awareness by customers is the key to success. Many, who would otherwise shop via the Net, still do not do so, for fear of their credit card numbers being misused by fraudsters.

HDFC Bank, for instance, has introduced a virtual card called ‘Netsafe'. “This temporary card can be created online, and for any value, depending upon the credit limit of the customer. It offers the user absolutely safe shopping on the Net where one doesn’t have to disclose card details. The card has a life of only 24 hours with any unspent balance being automatically credited back to your account. This is a unique offer in the Indian banking industry,” said Parag Rao, head of Marketing, Credit Cards, HDFC Bank.

Similarly, ICICI Bank has launched a product called 'Internet Only Card' which can be exclusively used for online ticketing or shopping. It has a credit limit of Rs 10,000 for the user. In case of fraud, the amount is fully insured. “We do not issue any separate card for this. This is an add on card and users need to remember the 16 digit number to transact business. The user is fully protected for any kind of fraud,” said a senior ICICI Bank official.

Some banks have already complied with Verification By Visa (VBV) and Secure Code security features from Visa and MasterCard respectively and others are in the process of implementing them. In these security systems, the user is asked one particular question, the answer to which he has earlier fed in during registration, before entering into any online transaction.

But ultimately shoppers can rest content in the knowledge that the amount involved in fraudulent online transactions is negligible as compared to monthly e-transaction volume of Rs 350 crore by the banking industry here, said e-banking sources.

“The fraud amount is not even one per cent of the entire volume. Many merchant establishments including airlines are insured for such losses. E-ticketing helps airlines to save upto 6 per cent of their cost, even if one per cent of this goes towards fraudulent transactions, it still makes business sense to promote the practice,” said an expert.

Meanwhile, following the e-tiketing fraud that came to light after Kingfisher Airlines lodged a complaint with the Mumbai Police, almost all airlines have enhanced their passenger verification procedures to deal with the situation.

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First Published: Jan 28, 2007 20:22 IST