Mobile banking transactions up and so are frauds: Here's how to transact safely
More people are using their mobiles to transact financially and it is a convenient channel, however, there are a few precautionary measures one should take while using these apps
According to the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) data, during November 2015, Rs 33,400 crore worth transactions were done through mobile banking, which has jumped to Rs 2.06 lakh crore in August 2018. This is an increase of nearly 95 percent on a compounded annual growth rate (CAGR) basis. Further, the number of mobile banking transactions rose 120 percent during this time. Compared to this, cash withdrawn at ATMs using debit cards has risen a little more than 9 percent during this period (from Rs 2.15 lakh crore in November 2015 to Rs 2.75 lakh crore in August 2018).
A report by the Boston Consultancy Group along with FICCI and the Indian Banks' Association stated that mobile banking is emerging as the preferred digital channel among digitally active customers. And that "Southern states outshining the rest of India in mobile banking adoption in savings accounts."
Here is a look at what you can do on mobile banking apps and what you should do to keep your financial life safe while using this route for transactions.
What is on offer
Mobile banking basically is a mirror of Internet banking. So, most of the transactions you can do through Net banking, you can now do through an app. At present, almost all banks have their own mobile banking app.
"Specific to banking, the mobile route is used for small ticket transactions like bill payments, small fund transfers, investments, or purchases. Those who have were on-boarded, 4-5 years ago, are now moving to bigger amounts. Whereas, those who started using it in the last year so start with smaller transactions. The shift to big-ticket transactions will be gradual" said HDFC Bank's Country Head - Digital Banking, Nitin Chugh.
You can do basic transactions like checking your account balance, view summaries of your investments in fixed deposits and recurring deposits, change your debit and credit card PINs, manage your alerts and so on. You can also transfer funds, pay your card bills, pay your utility bills and so on. Further, if you are planning on travelling abroad, you can order foreign currency and travel cards using the mobile banking app.
Deepak Sharma, Chief Digital Officer, Kotak Mahindra Bank said that more consumers are using the mobile to apply for financial products as well. "In the last financial year, about 57 percent of those applying for financial products used the mobile, while 43 percent used the Internet. This is about a 7 percent increase y-o-y."
The likes of ICICI Bank's iMobile app will let you buy insurance products and start investments in Public Provident Fund. "The bank has introduced services such as online PPF, instant credit card and personal loan as well as payment of advance tax on iMobile among others, which have also contributed to the rise in adoption of mobile banking. Moreover, we are also witnessing customers opting for payment options like IMPS, UPI, QR based payments for micro transaction as well," elaborated B. Madhivanan, Group Executive and Chief Technology & Digital Officer, ICICI Bank.
Yes, more people are using their mobiles to transact financially and it is a convenient channel, however, there are a few precautionary measures one should take while using these apps.
Safe mobile banking
One of the main things that you should do to keep yourself safe is to make sure that you download the right app. Recently, global information technology security company, Sophos Labs, said that the data of about 160, 000 people were compromised due to fake banking apps on Google Play Store. These fraudulent apps have been primarily targeting the users of seven banks-State Bank of India, ICICI Bank, Indian Overseas Bank, Axis Bank, Bank of Baroda, Yes Bank, and Citibank.
"Customers should download only official apps from Google Playstore and not from any third party website and share confidential details on those websites/apps," said Madhivanan. One of the ways you can download the right app is to go to the app store through the bank's website on your mobile browser.
Other than this, there are certain things you should do to make sure you are not a victim of fraud. "Not sharing any sensitive information like MPIN, OTP, securing the phone with a password, and when changing handsets do scrub out all the information on the old phone" said Praveen Bhatt, Head - Digital Banking & Consumer Experience, Axis Bank.
It is not just mobile banking apps that are seeing an uptick in usage, even e-wallets are seeing more people using them. Some examples on mobile wallets include Paytm, MobiKwik, Freecharge and so on. You need to as vigilant while using these apps as well. Added to the above mentioned security measures, Bipin Preet Singh, Founder and CEO, MobiKwik, says that you should never share your OTP (One-time Password), not over a phone call, SMS, Whatsapp, email or by any other platform.