In a recent development, the news is out that the security of over 3.2 million debit cards have been breached by the hackers.Several victims have reported unauthorized usage from locations in China. Of these, nearly 2.6 million affected cards are said to be on the Visa and Master-Card platform and 600,000 on the RuPay platform. The worst-hit among these banks are the State Bank of India(SBI), HDFC Bank, ICICI Bank, YES Bank and Axis Bank among the other relatively low profile ones.
This is a development which seemingly places all the online banking users into deep trouble. Earning money is one hard aspect of life, but saving the hard earned money is more important, because ultimately the savings is what matters. This kind of a security breach on banking sector will definitely cause a huge negative impact on the fast-growing e-banking phenomenon. In reality, this could be a big blow to India’s quest to become a cashless economy.
Imagine a situation when on a fine morning you open your bank account to see that nearly 90% of your savings has been transferred to an account in China. The initial reaction would be dejection, followed by anger and finally fear. In the times of EMIs ruling our life, this kind of a washout of our savings could actually result in a few(actually more) suicides. This could also directly and indirectly impact the spending phenomenon within the country. In other words, when the Indians are avoiding the usage of Chinese products to protest against China’s advances against our country’s defense, this could be a step where our internal financial and commercial stability is being questioned.
The questions that peep into every Indian minds are of varying dynamics. They include:
1. In case of such a clean sweep of our account balance, will the Bank own the responsibility and return us our lost money?
2. What are the steps taken by the banks after this to prevent further damage?
3. How can we be assured of secure online banking? Where did it all go wrong?
In a country which is leading the world in terms of Information Technology, this is shocking and unacceptable. Are our banks prone to attacks easily? We, as common citizens of the country need assurance from the government in this moment to avoid any kind of panic. The ministry of Economy should come out in public providing hope and support to the millions on online bank customers.
These are the kind of situations which make us feel that though online banking provides us the luxury of ‘ANYTIME-ANYWHERE’, the (g)olden days of manual, paper-based banking was more secure. Atleast, we had the guarantee that the money deposited was safe in banks. But online banking has made us sitting ducks in front of these modern thieves. Lets hope that these will be sorted out soon in India’s growth towards excellence and supremacy.