29 Jul 2016

Quest For Secured Banking System

“Am not here to entertain your malarkey, if you can’t lodge my FIR, then why the hell you have made this police station”, sounding rude to you? it was me, 4 months ago, losing my patience horribly on police guys. Lemme give you a brief of what all happened and why? Let’s take a quick recap in my memory’s time machine. I love my work a little too much, as a result, I always ignored the incoming messages and notifications from anyone during my working hours, and the entire assorted bunch of messages and notifications either was entertained at the late night or usually went unnoticed.

But something unfateful occurred on one of the usual afternoon of March 2016, I stepped into the Apple service center for my lappy’s technical overhauling and my phone started it’s usual beeping practice. I ignored, it beeped again, again in the short span of 2 min, this alerted my sixth sense, and I dug into my jeans’ pocket to unleash the mystery of continuous messages. Amongst the hundreds of unread messages, the latest three caught my attention, since it was from my bank, the first message read, OTP (one time password) for transferring the amount. Second read transaction with so & so bank of Rs 2500, third read the same transaction amount but at different time. Hey, Hey!! What’s happening, I almost jumped out of chair and people standing around me stared as if I have asked for their kidney donation.

I couldn’t believe my eyes, because I had not touched my Credit Card for past 3 months and I have received a transaction of 5000, in two installments of 2500 each, I went crazy and dialed the customer care number, but I was welcomed by IVR to provide my card details then my pin, and then their personal confirmation IVR message, till the time I was routed to customer care executive, I received two more messages of successful transactions, total of 5K in figure again, and by the time I reached to the customer care I had borne the loss of 10 thousand in total. The only response I received from the customer care executive, Sir, you should have called a little early, so I could have blocked your card.

I wanted to shout and lose my patience over the customer care executive, but it wasn’t his fault even, since IVR was built to guarantee the authenticity of the card holder, but I was a victim not just of card misuse but also of the creepy IVR system. I blocked my card and decided to turn ANTI-CREDIT CARD usage fully. Although I lodged the complaint with police, with hazardous result of no result till date, but my faith from the credit card banking system was completely shook away till I read “Your voice to become the new password for phone banking” yesterday in TOI. I started reading further, the news said, “A quicker method of authentication, especially in emergencies, such as when a panicky customer is trying to report the loss or theft of the card. Enter voice recognition — it promises instant authentication, and is already being rolled out by ICICI Bank, Kotak Mahindra Bank and a few others.”

When I searched further about the Voice Recognition system, I was impressed to know the intricacies involved within the system. It is safer than a fingerprint, since every person’s voice is even more unique than a fingerprint with own speech pattern. This technology captures the different seven metrics of voice like inflection, speed, tone and modulation to create customer’s voice recognition database. Apart from safety measure, it’s beneficial for ruralites to overcome the challenges of financial literacy and language. Collectively the information, sounded too good, but since I am already a victim of an IVR system, my lovely brain forced me to think more deeply and I realized banks need to have systems that are smart enough to challenge the user, and must not stop at voice recognition.

As per the article even, if a hacker gets his hands on the voice sample, it will be very easy for him to fool the bank’s system. Although, Voice Recognition is taken as a strong security reason by Indian private banks, but I think the iris recognition or biometrics that require a special device, just like the banks have adapted in the USA and other foreign lands, are the way much secured and authentic. On the other hand, reports suggest Axis Bank and Kotak Mahindra are considering using iris-recognition technology for biometric authentication of transactions.

I would wrap-up with a gentle alert and a reminder that never share your card details with any one and I hope for the best, a more grounded, practical and logical secured banking system rolling in our country very soon.

 

Purushottam

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