MUMBAI: About 32 lakh debit cards are suspected of being exposed to malicious software following which several banks have decided to either replace or ask customers to change their security codes. The National Payment Corporation of India (NPCI), an umbrella organisation for all retail payment system in India said that the complaints of fraudulent withdrawals are limited to cards of 19 banks and 641 customers.
The total amount involved is Rs 1.3 crore as reported by various affected banks to NPCI. While the number of debit cards that are suspected of being compromised is just less than half the per cent of the total 60 crore debit cards in the country, banks have reassured customers that they are taking all precautionary and pro-active measures to protect the interest of account holders.
A.P. Hota, MD & CEO, NPCI, said that necessary corrective actions have already been taken and there is no reason for bank customers to panic as the advisory issued by NPCI to banks for ‘re-cardification’ is part of a preventive exercise. According to him, the matter came to light following receipt of complaints from customers about their cards being fraudulently used mainly in China and US while they were in India.
“It was established through the analysis that there was a possible compromise at one of the payment switch provider’s system. Based on the analysis, NPCI and other schemes identified the period of compromise and the possible card numbers, which could have been compromised during that period. All affected banks have been alerted by all card networks that a total card base of about 3.2 million could possibly have been compromised,” said Mr Hota adding that banks have advised their customers to change their debit card PIN.
“In situations where customers could not be contacted, the cards have been blocked and fresh cards are being issued by member banks,” he said. While India’s largest lender — SBI has decided to issue new debit cards to over 6 lakh account holders, private sector lender HDFC Bank has reportedly told their customers to change their PIN and has further advised them to stay away from using any other banks ATM as a precautionary measure. “We would like to inform that the possible breach of information of debit cards has taken place in the ATM network of another bank. As a precautionary measure, the PINs of debit cards used at the ATMs of that bank have been changed. It has been done in order to protect our customers from any potential fraudulent transaction,” said ICICI Bank....