May 31, 2017

RBI to limit customer liability in wake of increased digital frauds

BYPankaj Mishra

In view of rising complaints of fraudulent transactions in digital banking, the RBI on Tuesday said it would soon issue guidelines to limit the customer liability in unauthorised digital transactions and asked banks to tighten their IT security systems.
“The RBI had come out with a draft circular on Customer Protection — Limiting Liability of Customers in Unauthorised Electronic Banking Transactions earlier, and based on feedback received from the concerned stakeholders, final guidelines are expected to be issued shortly,” RBI deputy governor S S Mundra said.
“In view of the impending guidelines, it would be prudent on part of banks to internally tighten their IT security systems and operating procedures so that grievances are minimised,” he said at the annual conference of Principal Code Compliance Officers organised by the Banking Codes and Standards Board of India.
“Technology is being increasingly used in delivery of banking services in recent years. However, it has also brought in associated risks of security as is evident in a few high profile cyber incidents in the recent past. There have been several incidents of theft of personal information, fraudulent use of ATMs, net banking frauds, ATM/debit card incidents or cases of unauthorised access to bank servers,” he said.
Hence, there is an immediate need to plugging all the gaps and vulnerabilities in tech-enabled service delivery, he added.
Mundra observed that despite outlining of minimum standards for customer service through codification of banks’ commitments to customers, they observed that the number of complaints received by the offices of Banking Ombudsmen continues to rise.
For the first time since its inception in 1995, the number of complaints exceeded one lakh last year. The one lakh mark has already been crossed in the current year — July 2016 to May 2017.
Mundra also called for adopting to the idea of account number portability with the adoption of technological advancements.
With technological advancements in the field of payment systems such as UPI etc coupled with massive enrolments under Aadhaar and their linkage to individual bank accounts, account number portability has come within the realms of possibility, he said.
“The prospect of an aggrieved customer silently moving her account to another bank in the near future has become very real,” he added.

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Pankaj Mishra is a writer of FactorDaily.