Mumbai, October 20, 2016: In a pre-Diwali panic among customers, over three million debit cards of various banks are believed to be ‘tainted’ following a suspected security breach, and investigations have begun into the causes behind the security risks.
Several banks, including the State Bank Of India (SBI), have already started blocking their customers’ debit cards and re-issuing fresh ones to them free of cost.
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An estimated 30 lakh debit cards issued by various public or private banks are said to be affected by a potential risk of data breach.
Debit or credit cards are prone to security issues when unauthorised parties gain access to the confidential data embedded on them, even as they are being swiped in an automatic teller machine (ATM).
In the current scenario, the SBI alone has blocked more than 600,000 debit cards while assuring that the malware-related security breach was reportedly detected in the non-SBI ATM network.
The move has been undertaken to ensure that customers’ confidential personal data is not compromised while debit or credit cards are swiped for various transactions.
One of the card network companies, MasterCard said on Thursday that its “own systems have not been breached”.
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“We are working on the investigations with the regulators, issuers, acquirers, global and local law enforcement agencies and third party payment networks to assess the current situation,” a MasterCard spokesperson said.
It has advised the consumers to review their account statements and activity, and if any unusual or fraudulent transactions are suspected, they should contact the concerned bank for more assistance.
Anxious customers have started enquiring with their banks over the seriousness of the problem, whether their personal data has leaked out and if that could lead to financial implications, especially with Diwali round the corner.
On Wednesday evening, the SBI said it has blocked cards of certain customers identified by the networks as a precautionary measure, though it did not reveal the exact number of cardholders who would be hit.
The SBI emphasised that its own systems have absolutely not been compromised and existing cardholders are not at any risk and can continue to use their cards as usual.
According to banking circles, several other banks have also experienced similar problems as a few ATMs have been hit by a malware which has a high potential to compromise customers data.
Official figures indicate that the SBI has over 20 crore active debit cards, besides 4.75 crore others of its associate banks.
In early September, the National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI), Mumbai, which controls all the retail payments systems in the country, had made it clear that there “is no compromise at NPCI and our systems are fully safe and secure.”
NPCI handles over 25 million transactions daily, including RuPay cards, of which more than 290 million are currently in circulation.(IANS)
New Delhi, Sep 20, 2017: A day after Google launched its new digital payment app “Tez” in India, the company’s Indian-born CEO Sundar Pichai on Tuesday tweeted it will help India move closer to digital transformation.
“We hope that the launch of @TezByGoogle will help take India one step closer to your vision of @_DigitalIndia,” Pichai tweeted.
Finance Minister Arun Jaitley who launched the app here had said the idea of “Tez” was discussed by Pichai in January, just after demonetisation.
“Google saw a great potential in Indian economy and businesses,” Jaitley said, adding that Google’s new digital payments app over the next few months was likely to make major advances in digital transaction volumes.
Built on the Indian government-supported Unified Payments Interface (UPI), Tez allows users, free of charge, to make small or big payments straight from their bank accounts.
The app was built for India, working on the vast majority of the country’s smartphones and available in English and seven Indian languages (Hindi, Bengali, Gujarati, Kannada, Marathi, Tamil and Telugu).
The app works in partnership with four Banks — Axis Bank, HDFC Bank, ICICI Bank and State Bank of India — to facilitate the processing of payments across over 50 UPI-enabled banks.
According to D D Mishra, Research Director, Gartner, Tez provides promising features which are in-line with the requirements.
“It is too early to say whether it can be a game changer as evolution in this business is going to continue, but yes it has the capabilities to bring some disruption as of now,” Mishra said in a statement.
Moreover, Google’s information about an individual’s preferences can play a good role in enabling the business to know their preferences and provide offers with interesting options.
“The mobile wallet industry too is evolving and we are at an interesting stage in this competition. Eventually, UPI payments will have an upper hand if it continues to remain free and provide better security, convenience and add more Value Added Services,” Mishra informed. (IANS)
Reserve Bank of India (RBI) did issue a statement saying that the supply of the new Rs 200 notes would soon be ramped up
The entire process of recalibration can be completed within 90 days without affecting the regular functionality of ATMs to a large extent
The ATM companies said that they were expecting to receive official communication on recalibration of ATMs soon
New Delhi, September 4, 2017: While the RBI launched the new Rs 200 notes a week ago, it may take up to three months for ATMs to start dispensing the new denomination currency “new Rs 200 note” as it will involve a huge exercise of recalibration.
What are ATM companies saying about when will the new Rs 200 notes come into the market?
Some banks have even asked the ATM companies to begin testing the new Rs 200 notes for recalibration of the machines, though they have not got supplies of the new Rs 200 notes/ currency. Only last year, the banks were involved in the recalibration of ATM machines after the demonetization of high-value currency notes in November.
ATM manufacturing companies said that they have not received any directive from the RBI regarding the recalibration of ATMs for the new Rs 200 note. They disclosed that some banks have at an informal level have asked them to start testing of the new note since it is of a different size.
When will the supply of the new Rs 200 notes see an increase?
Reserve Bank of India (RBI) did issue a statement saying that the supply of the new Rs 200 notes would soon be ramped up but has not given any time-frame by which it will be available in adequate numbers.
It is yet to be seen whether all the 2.25 lakh ATM machines across India would be recalibrated for dispensing the new Rs 200 notes.
avi B Goyal, Chairman, and Managing Director, AGS Transact Technologies Limited, which claims to have an installed base of 60,000 ATMs, told IANS, “The process of recalibration will begin once we receive the directive from the RBI. The size of the new Rs 200 notes are different from the existing ones and so, once we receive the new Rs 200 notes, we will have to understand its dimensions and accordingly reconfigure the ATM cassettes. Next, we will have to check if the supply of new Rs 200 notes is good enough to run the cassettes at full capacity.”
“The entire process of recalibration can be completed within 90 days without affecting the regular functionality of ATMs to a large extent. In fact, the ATMs will continue to be fully operational during recalibration and will continue to supply Rs 100, Rs 500 and Rs 2,000 denominations,” he said.
Among the other companies operating in the sector are NCR Corporation, which has over 1,08,000 machines, and BTI Payments, which has 4,500 cash dispensers. NCR Corporation said that while some banks have reached out to them to start testing of the new Rs 200 notes, they were yet to receive the supply to begin the process.
“Banks have started getting in touch with us for testing the same “new Rs 200 notes”. They will let us know which machines they wish to configure for new rs 200 notes, which will require physical visits to ATMs. However, the new Rs 200 notes are still to be provided to us by the respective banks so that the testing can begin,” Anand Garollu, General Manager (Services), NCR Corporation said.
K. Srinivas, Managing Director, and CEO of BTI Payments, a RBI-licensed firm that operates cash dispensers not owned and managed by banks, said, “Recalibration will begin as and when we receive adequate quantity of new Rs 200 notes. We are looking to roll this out as quickly as possible.”
He said that the industry was expecting new Rs 200 notes to be available over a period of time across various geographies.
“The recalibration can be done progressively as and when the new denomination note starts to become available. Unlike the last time around (during demonetization), when we had to recalibrate all machines in one go,” Srinivas added.
The ATM companies said that they were expecting to receive official communication on recalibration of ATMs soon. However, emails to RBI in this regard did not elicit any reply, they said.
“The production of these “new Rs 200 notes” is being ramped up by the currency printing presses and over time, as more notes are printed, it will be distributed across the country through the banking channels and will be available for the public in adequate quantity,” the RBI had said in a statement.
Currently, new Rs 200 notes are available only through select RBI offices and some banks.
While State Bank of India and Punjab National Bank are reported to have received the new Rs 200 notes, Eknath Baliga, Manager, KYC-Antimoney Laundering Cell, Corporation Bank, Mangalore, told IANS that none of its branches across the country had received the new Rs 200 notes so far.
The new Rs 200 notes are currently being printed only by RBI presses. Security Printing and Minting Corporation of India (SPMCIL) sources told IANS that the company has not received any indent so far for the printing of new Rs 200 notes. India’s two currency presses are owned by RBI and two by SPMCIL, which is a government-owned company.
How ATM recalibration happens:
Usually, an ATM holds four cassettes — three of which can continue to be used for Rs 100, Rs 500, Rs 2,000, and the fourth cassette can be used for the new Rs 200 notes. On an average, each cassette has a capacity to hold 2,000-2,500 notes depending upon the quality of cash issued by banks. However, there are many ATMs that only have either two or three cassettes.
The number of slots in the ATM can be configured as per the bank’s preference. The banks decide which denomination needs to be configured in a machine on the basis of the customer profile in the area where the ATM is located and the number of transactions on that machine.
The banks need to make requisite changes at their ATM switch before the rollout of the physical recalibration at the ATMs in the field.
The recalibration of a new denomination takes 30-45 minutes per ATM. The process of recalibration is not very difficult but is time-consuming given an engineer has to visit every ATM and configure it to dispense the requisite denomination.
The introduction of the Rs 200 note has been welcomed as it would ease the currency circulation in the market as people prefer lower denomination cash withdrawals from ATMs. Rs 200 would also be more convenient for rural consumers. (IANS)
This will be the first time the country sees the Rs. 200 denomination. This decision of the RBI comes as a solution to reduce the burden on Rs 100 notes and to face liquidity issues.
The note will come with a picture of the Father of the Nation, Mahatma Gandhi, and will bear the signature of RBI Governor, Dr. Urjit R. Patel.
Additionally, the Sanchi Stupa Motif is at the back side of the note. The color of the note is bright yellow. The new notes will measure 66 mm x 146 mm.
Initially, the new notes will not be available at the ATM Kiosks but can only be found at some banks and RBI offices.
When India demonetized in 2016, the response was the issue of new Rs 500 and Rs 2000 notes. Rs 100 note then follows.
People faced trouble when the Rs 2000 note had to be broken down. The issue of new Rs 200 notes seeks to solve this problem. It will also help the currency system become drastically more efficient. Smoother exchange of transactions will also be facilitated through this step.
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