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SBI blocks wallets from using net banking to load money due to online fraud

sbiheadquartersState Bank of India (SBI), the country’s largest lender, has removed the option of loading money on all major wallets through net banking due to rising online frauds. Sunita Handa, general manager for net banking at SBI, told medianama that increased instances of vishing led SBI to take this step.

Vishing is a type of online fraud where a scammer pretends to be a legitimate business and fools victims into divulging their net banking credentials. Handa said that many scammers would load Rs 10,000 (the limit for non-KYC wallets) into wallets and then immediately transfer the amount into another bank account. Handa, however, declined to give the number of complaints that SBI got of such vishing attacks.

She added that the bank was in conversation with many of the wallet players who need to meet a few conditions for the bank to open net banking as mode of loading money. One of the conditions was that there needs to be a buffer when a wallet transfers money to a bank account.

Also read: SBI to charge fees on wallet-to-account transfers for its Buddy Wallet

MediaNama checked wallets in Paytm, FreeCharge, MobiKwik and JioMoney where net banking from SBI wasn’t listed as an option. Supporting screen shots:

wallet SBI supporting screenshots

It is unclear when exactly SBI stopped net banking for wallets, but a Reddit thread points out that this was around October 2015. A Mint report in November 2015 pointed out that SBI stopped its customers from transferring money into the Paytm wallet; Oxigen wallet users aren’t allowed to load money via payment gateways owned by State Bank of India.

Ecommerce sites also blocked

Handa also said that payment via SBI’s net banking is also blocked on some ecommerce sites without naming them. Some of the categories include online jewelry stores and some online travel agents. “There are many fly-by-night online players who offer hotel rooms which cost Rs 5,000 for Rs 2,000. We have disabled net banking for these people as we do not want customers to lose faith in ecommerce and digital channels,” Handa explained.

She added that SBI will be updating a list of websites it considers a security threat.

Other developments from SBI

– Last month, we reported that SBI became the top merchant acquiring bank for POS terminals in the country with more than three lakh machines, as per Reserve Bank of India’s (RBI) latest data.

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– In the same month, State-run telecom operator BSNL said it would partner with the State Bank of India (SBI) to launch an online wallet within a month. More on that here.

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