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Finance Ministry meets with banks, payments companies to discuss online fraud

The meeting between the DFS and banks, payment companies and others saw discussions on coordination between police and financial entities, improving response time for handling fraud alerts, appointment of regional nodal officers and more.

The Department of Financial Services (DFS) on November 28 held a meeting with banks, payment companies, and other entities to discuss issues related to online fraud in the financial services sector, the Finance Ministry said in a press release.

Who attended the meeting: Officials from State Bank of India (SBI), Bank of Baroda, Canara Bank, Punjab National Bank, HDFC Bank, ICICI Bank, IDFC First Bank, Airtel Payment Bank, Equitas Small Finance Bank, Google Pay, Paytm, Razorpay, the Department of Financial Services (DFS), Department of Economic Affairs (DEA), Department of Revenue (DoR), Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY), Department of Telecom (DoT), Reserve Bank of India (RBI), Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI), Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI), Indian Cyber Crime Co-ordination Center (I4C), and National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI).

What was discussed in the meeting:

  • Facilitating coordination between police and financial entities for real-time tracking and blocking of defrauded money.
  • Bringing all financial institutions including NBFCs and major cooperative banks to the Citizen Financial Cyber Fraud Reporting and Management System (CFCFRMS).
  • Developing a strategy to tackle the menace of mule accounts.
  • Banks to improve the response time in handling fraud alerts received from different agencies.
  • Appointment of regional nodal officers by financial institutions to work with law enforcement agencies.
  • Maintaining a central registry of onboarding of merchants and standardisation of KYC.
  • Whitelisting of digital lending apps after consultation with relevant stakeholders.
  • Status of implementation of recommendations made by the Digital Lending Working Group including setting up of Digital India Trust Agency (DIGITA) and bringing in the Banning of Unregulated Lending Activities (BULA) Act.
  • Financial institutions to undertake more customer awareness and sensitisation programmes on digital payment security.
  • I4C shared the latest statistics on digital payment fraud as reported in the National Cyber Crime Reporting Portal (NCRP), sources of these financial frauds, and modus operandi.
  • SBI presented its Proactive Risk Monitoring (PRM) strategy.
  • Paytm and Razorpay shared best practices adopted by them to mitigate such frauds.

No updates on proposals by the Parliamentary Standing Committee: The Parliamentary Standing Committee on Finance in July outlined five recommendations to tackle cybersecurity concerns in the financial sector: Establish a new Cyber Protection Authority, introduce more dynamic and proactive regulations, formulate a more responsive consumer grievance redressal mechanism, strengthen cybersecurity law enforcement capabilities, and improve global coordination and collaboration. The Finance Ministry did not provide any updates on whether or not these recommendations are being considered.

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