Money & Banking

Now, a location validation tool to check cyber frauds

NS Vageesh Mumbai | Updated on January 16, 2018

Chirag Bakshi, CEO, Zumigo

Offered by mobile security firm Zumigo, the service helps banks verify the distance between a customer and a point of transaction

The recent ATM fraud/ cyber attack/ data breach episode has given rise to a number of concerns about the purported safety of the systems and procedures followed in the country.

While investigations are still on and some forensic audit reports are due soon about the exact modus operandi, the National Payments Corporation of India has said that there were about 640 complaints from customers and the amount they lost was about ₹1.3 crore. This may have been one of the bigger breaches seen in recent times, but this is a trend that is on the increase globally.

According to Chirag Bakshi, CEO, Zumigo, a mobile security solutions company operating in Silicon Valley, US, incidence of fraud has risen almost four-fold — from about nine per 1,000 transactions to about 34 per 1,000 transactions during the past one year.

And the average value of such frauds due to location manipulation (as happened in the instant case) is now $311.

Indian banks have gradually started moving to a chip-based card system from the earlier magnetic stripe cards that were more prone to being skimmed and hacked. But while this may be effective, it is not the fool-proof solution that many people perceive it to be, says Chirag.

Besides, given the rising number of online transactions, chip-based cards do not offer any protection. Chirag’s company offers a service called Zumigo Assure to address this problem of location manipulation that is seen in cyber frauds.

With the help of this tool, banks can verify and validate the location of a customer and the distance between the customer and a point of transaction by looking at their mobile signals. Using this technology, banks can determine potentially risky transactions. Chirag says that in the current fraud episode, if banks had used their service, they would have been able to find out that while the customer whose card is being used is in India, the transaction was coming from China or other countries.

The overall impact could have been significantly reduced and a lot of fraudulent actions could have been easily deterred, he adds. He says that leading banks have been testing this solution and expects the current spate of incidents will accelerate its adoption.

Meanwhile, for customers, the caution is to keep their PIN numbers safe — not reveal it to anyone and to keep changing them regularly.

Published on October 26, 2016

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