Going Cashless, With Caution!

CashlessTransactions | Insights Success | Best business magazine

The date 8th of November, 2016 will be forever etched in the minds of Indians who were witness to it. The Government’s move to ‘Demonetize’ the higher valued currency notes in circulation was immediately ‘Demonized’ as anti-people. In a snap people who were heavily relying on cash transactions were asked to move to cashless transactions. The next few days, weeks and months were chaos to call the least. But two years down the line, things seem much more streamlined and surprisingly people have moved on to cashless transactions were ever possible.
CashlessTransactions, as the term suggests, are transactions involving no physical money and are carried out using cards (credit/debit) or electronic/digital methods. On 4 November 2016, the currency in circulation was at ₹17.98 trillion. This fell to a low of ₹8.98 trillion as on 6 January 2017. While the amount has risen again, due to various other reasons, the sharp fall in circulation saw a simultaneous rise in digital payment methods. People from all walks of life started exploring the alternate methods of payment. Digital wallets such as PayTm, PhonePe etc noticed a sharp increase in their usage, even though the companies were in the market for quite some time. Even the Government launched its own Unified Payments Interface called BHIM to facilitate the switch.
The Glitch
Cashless Transaction has certainly become more popular than ever before in India. But the security concerns remain. Digital payments run the risque of exposing customer’s personal and confidential data for illegal activities. Data, however secure, is still prone to cyberattacks, as the world has seen in many cases. The threat is real and needs to be tackled upfront. Industry Security standards such as Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS) 2.0 certification and using encryption to crypt the information should be made compulsory for international transaction providers to ensure the safety of the customers.
Other issues include the loss of cards, digital impersonation, digital frauds and charge-backs, ATM and POS hacking, password hacking and more.
Precaution – The Best Remedy
The security challenges that cashless transactions pose need a three-pronged approach with the companies, government, and the customers collectively playing their respective role.
Companies that provide the services, it is crucial to stay updated and at par with the industry standards wherever security is concerned. They also need to educate their customers and instil in their minds the risks that come with the ease of transactions and how to tackle them. They must stay proactive and look out for fake and insecure applications and websites that promise the same services as them. Being updated, connected to the world and utilizing the latest information, they can stay a step ahead of the fraudulent elements.
The Government is expected in its authority to devise and deliver policies that regulate such platforms and secure the customer’s interests. These policies and regulatory guidelines should be updated in concurrence with the latest in technology. It should also take efforts to educate the people about the threats and the precautions that they need to exercise to stay safe. It should restrain from over-looking security precautions just for profits and make sure that it promotes secure cashless transactions with full intent.
As for the Customer or the general public, staying alert while utilizing these platforms can go a long way. They must follow the security guidelines, use only authentic websites and applications and keep themselves updated about breaches and how one can avoid them. Multiple authentications, using secure links, not sharing passwords and PIN, changing passwords frequently are small measures that help in big ways.
With technology growing without boundary and entering every possible aspect of human life, it is wise to accept it with a pinch of salt. Harnessing technology is good but exercising precaution while doing so is even better!

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