Govt discusses measures for safer digital transactions

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To curb the rising cyber fraud in digital transactions, a high level meeting has proposed the imposition of a token security fee on digital payments in India.

The meeting, focused on measures to make digital transactions safer, was held on 13 September. Chaired by Home Minister Rajnath Singh, it was attended by officers from the MeITY, Home Ministry, Department of Financial Services, Department of Telecom, Reserve Bank of India and Intelligence Bureau. All major stakeholders were present to discuss and propose ways for the same.

Prasanto K. Roy, Nasscom Internet Council Head, expressed that every digital transaction could be aimed at starting a fund for creating better infrastructure to secure digital transactions.

A special fund could help develop security infrastructure, hire experts and secure online transactions, though a cess on digital transactions isn't the best way of doing it, he told The Print. He further said that there was a need for the Ministry of Finance and the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY) to make digital transactions cheaper and secure.

An official from the Ministry said on condition of anonymity, It was also discussed that an Act needs to be in place for regularizing digital payments, which will be looked after by the Finance Ministry, and to how fix the responsibilities of agencies.

The action came after the official figures were disclosed that indicate that cases related to e-wallets and e-payments (that were reported to banks) jumped from 13,083 cases in 2014-15 to 16, 468 cases in 2015-16.

Mostly, online frauds occur when people share their passwords, 3 D secure pins, ATM pins, etc. Hence there is a need to educate people about it. A standard procedure for all e-wallets needs to be in place as right now anyone can make a wallet just by downloading the app. The KYC norms need to be strengthened for safer transactions, the official from the Home Ministry said.

Further, the Ministry recommended undertaking a digital transaction education campaign and creation of dedicated cyber-forensics lab. Also, training for police personnel and forensic officers needs to be in place so that they can tackle cyber fraud cases.

As of now we do not have the manpower or expertise to deal with cyber fraud cases, which is going to be challenging, we need to be prepared, the Home Ministry official said.

The Intelligence Bureau proposed the Indian Government ensure the introduction of necessary software that is able to detect attempts at cyber fraud. Accordingly, the software would be incorporated by payment gateways so that customers can be alerted about suspicious activity.

There needs to be a machinery to detect out-of-bound transactions and the pattern of violations in cyber fraud cases. The machinery should be able to figure if the transaction is fraudulent by looking at its pattern and send alerts, Nasscom's Roy said to The Print.