‘Lack of digital awareness causing security threat in BFSI sector’

cyber security
Deepak Chandnani
Deepak Chandnani, Managing Director, Worldline South Asia and the Middle East and Managing Director, MRL Posnet

Security has always been an issue as long as the BFSI sector has existed. At Worldline, we place a lot of emphasis on security as we deal with millions of transactions daily. When it comes to fraud, we have an offensive and defensive approach, said Deepak Chandnani, Managing Director, Worldline South Asia and the Middle East and Managing Director, MRL Posnet, in conversation with Rashi Aditi Ghosh of Elets News Network.

  1. How are digital payments transforming the BFSI sector?

If there is one sector that digital payments have fundamentally transformed, it is the BFSI sector. They are doing so by:

  • Bringing efficiencies – Digital payments have brought a lot of efficiencies into the system. Digital payments, when compared to cash or cheque payments are not only faster but are cleaner and safer.
  • Being institution agnostic – Loyalty to institutions is highly dependent on their ability to provide everything a customer wants. Customers have become more demanding of banks to have a digital payments strategy. Those that do not have or plan to have one are going to be left behind.
  • Providing a multi-platform approach – Customers are now demanding that BFSIs give them multiple platforms – mobile, web etc. – to be able to make a plethora of digital payments across the board, be it P2P or P2B.
  • Creating ubiquity – Hitherto unbanked citizens are being brought into the ecosystem because of the ubiquity of platforms to do digital payments.
  • Focus on risk – Digital payments bring about their own set of risks. Institutions that were previously not looking at this space are looking much more closely at this.
  • Everything should be Seamless – Given the choices that customers have, if the institution does not provide a seamless experience, they will move on to another.
  1. What all services do you offer in alignment with digital India campaign by Government?

We work closely with numerous banks, both private and public sector, to provide digital payment services across the spectrum and these are all closely aligned with the government’s digital campaign. Our services can be categorised into Merchant Acquiring, Card Issuance and Value-added services.

  • In the merchant acquiring space, we provide end-to-end point-of-sale (POS) services including deploying terminals at merchant locations and processing transactions that are done on them. In addition, we also have an ‘asset-lite’ strategy of deploying QR code decals at merchant locations. We currently manage over 33 percent of merchant acceptance points in the country.
  • In the card issuance space, we work with several banks to issue credit cards and prepaid cards for them. We procure the card, generate the PIN, process transactions and manage the whole end-to-end process.

Our value-added services include fraud and risk management, loyalty, EMI etc. Our fraud and risk management practice monitor transactions for around 20 banks in order to prevent and detect transaction fraud.

  1. Give us your views on changing the security landscape of BFSI sector?

In one way or another, security has always been an issue as long as the BFSI sector has existed. The security threat that one sees in the sector now has just been upgraded to the digital age. The fact remains that all banks, like it or not, are on platforms that are connected to the outside world. There are mal-intentioned people who are very technically competent and seek to steal information or money from institutions. This will only continue to increase as banks will have to be more connected in order to compete successfully. BFSIs should deploy software and people that protect their systems. Also, they should continually test and monitor their systems to see if their systems have been penetrated or attempts have been made to penetrate them. If they do this, they will be protected and can carry on doing business as usual.

4. What challenges do you face in terms of security as far as customer service is involved?

The primary challenge here is customer awareness and education on the payments front. There is a big group of people coming into the digital payments world for the very first time and for fraudsters, they are relatively easy pickings. There is a reason why frauds such as vishing, SMSishing and phishing exist. They prey on people’s innate trust as well as a lack of knowledge that they should not be giving out sensitive information such as card numbers, account numbers, PINs etc.

Some of these challenges can be mitigated by better education of the consumers but unfortunately, usually, that happens through negative experiences.

  1. Which technologies do you implement to streamline your services and measures you take to ensure security?

At Worldline we place a lot of emphasis on security as we deal with millions of transactions daily. When it comes to fraud, we have an offensive and defensive approach. On the offensive side, we have deployed sophisticated fraud detection risk engines and ensured that our systems adhere to the highest security standards. On the defensive side, we track, flag and react to frauds in real time and evolve techniques to deal with previously known frauds. We are fully compliant with all requirements laid down by the payment industry and the Reserve Bank of India and have ISO 9001:2008, ISO 27001 and PCI DSS 3.2 certifications.

  1. Tell us about your future innovation in terms of tec- driven offerings?

The payment space is evolving at a rapid pace in terms of form factors among others but they are all converging on making the digital payments space seamless. We are working a variety of projects that cover the entire payment space, be it Bharat QR, UPI 2.0, ETC, contactless etc. There will be developments in technologies like blockchain and artificial intelligence (AI) that focus on improving efficiency and providing better services. Worldline too is working on these technologies globally to bring better customer experience and enhance the service we give our bank customers.


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