Monitor card usage with smart apps to stave off the cyber thief

(Photo: iSTOCK)
Online and banking frauds using debit and credit cards have been on the rise with the increase in digital transactions. According to data from the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) submitted to Parliament, over 25,800 frauds involving credit/debit cards and online banking, amounting to about Rs 1.79 billion, took place in India in 2017. 

Fintech players are coming up with counter measures to prevent such frauds. Atom Technologies, a payment solution provider, allows people to enable and disable their debit and credit card usage with its e-shield app. "Not only will this app be helpful to customers, it will also enable banks to reduce card and account-based frauds, thereby bringing down their cost of security," says Dewang Neralla, chief executive officer, Atom Technologies. The company is currently in the process of tying up with banks, and making the app available to their customers.

The e-shield app will enable users to micro-manage their card transactions and block specific e-commerce platforms to prevent purchases from those sites. They will also be able to block transactions of above a certain value. Users will even be able to restrict the channels where the card can be used - ecommerce websites, ATMs, POS terminal, or foreign transactions, among others. While smartphone users will be able to use this facility via the app, non-smart phone users will be able to do so via SMS. By allowing them in-depth control over their cards and online banking, this application will prevent even inattentive customers from falling prey to frauds.

Banks themselves are taking counter measures to prevent banking frauds by creating awareness. In case a card is stolen or misplaced, instead of calling the bank to block the card and stop transactions, you can do so through the bank's mobile banking app. Almost all banks have facilitated this. So during an emergency, instead of waiting in the customer care line, you can disable your card yourself by accessing it through the phone banking app. 

Many fraudulent transactions also take place in foreign countries and the card gets misused even though the owner may have never left the country. That is because two-factor authentication is not required abroad. Once a hacker has obtained your card details, such as the name, card number, expiry date and CVV, he can misuse it easily. As a precaution against this type of fraud, banks let you disable the international transaction option on your  card. Enable it only when you need it and then disable it immediately thereafter. Enabling and disabling of international transaction option can be done through the bank's net banking channel. This option is available for both credit and debit cards.  

In addition, card users themselves need to stay vigilant. Experts advise that when using the card in a shop or a restaurant, never let it out of sight. Have it swiped in your presence. If you let it out of sight, there is always the risk that data stored on the card could be stolen using a skimmer. Also, do not allow shopkeepers to write down your name, credit card number, or any other details under any pretext.
Fraud prevention tips
  • Atom Technologies’ e-shield app enables users to enable and disable their debit and credit card usage
  • Users can also block usage on specific e-commerce platforms
  • They can block transactions above a certain value and restrict the channels on which the card can be used
  • You can also block your card, if it gets stolen, through your bank's mobile app
  • Using internet banking, you can block international usage of your card


Outbrain