Money & Banking

Online banking here to stay

Anjana Chandramouly Naga Sridhar | Updated on March 12, 2018 Published on July 28, 2011

Mr.Bobby Mukherjee, a Kolkata-based businessman, checks his bank account standing outside the Victoria Memorial Hall while on a outing with his family. Photo: Parth Sanyal   -  Business Line

The moment you try to login to your online bank account, you get an SMS to your mobile phone registered with the bank informing your one-time password within seconds.

You can only login if you enter the one-time password. This kind of advanced security feature, introduced by ICICI Bank, among others for customers, typifies the importance being given to provide a secure, online (Internet) banking platform by the banking industry.

With the increasing use of Internet banking as a form of alternative channels for banking, the threats to security of transactions have also been on the rise.

According to Ms Shubhalakshmi Panse, Executive Director, Vijaya Bank, one of the biggest challenges faced by banks that offer online banking facilities is the ‘phishing' threat, where customers compromise on their ID and password.

The moment the password is known, the phisher could add a beneficiary to the account and transfer money.

To check this, banks are adopting a multifarious approach which includes customer education and layered security systems.

“Fraudsters send out e-mails asking for your confidential banking information like user ID, password, PIN, CVV, debit card grid-values etc. The e-mails appear to look like they have been sent from public authorities like the Reserve Bank of India,'' says ICICI Bank in an advisory sent to customers.

“As banks would never ask for one's confidential banking details, they should never be shared with unknown people as fraudster can take money out of account or shop online,'' it cautions.

On its part, the RBI too has been issuing clarification from time to time that it has never sent any e-mails and also appeals to the members of the public.


Adoption of multi-layered security systems is also being done by banks. “At Vijaya Bank, the moment a beneficiary has been added, an SMS alert is sent to the customer,'' says Ms Panse.

And it takes 24 hours for the beneficiary addition to become operative, by which time the customer can report to the bank if he/she has not added the beneficiary.

And for online transactions, Vijaya Bank has also introduced a two-factor authentication, which includes the customer password and a one-time password sent to the customer by SMS at the time of effecting the transaction. “This is done on a real-time basis, and without this, the transaction cannot be completed,” explained Ms Panse.

The bank introduced online features only during the last fiscal. It takes time for customers of public sector banks to move online, she said, pointing out that average age of a public sector bank customer was 50 years.

“The younger generation customers are demanding more and more services through online channels such as Internet banking and mobile banking,'' Mr C.V.G. Prasad, Chief Information Officer, ING Vysya Bank, said.

While these channels give a lot of convenience to customers who are on the move, they also introduce new challenges in ensuring that transactions are genuine and are originating from an authentic source, he added.

“So, banks such as ours constantly look at investments in securing online transactions,” explained Mr Prasad.

According to him, ING Vysya Bank has also taken a layered and risk-based approach to mitigate known and unknown threats in the cyber world.

The bank has invested in technology that offers multi-factor authentication and online fraud detection systems.

Published on July 28, 2011
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