India – Between 48k-68k fraud Wallet and PPI card transactions between March and May 2017

By | July 25, 2017


The Reserve Bank of India has started maintaining provisional data of fraudulent transactions using Mobile Wallets and PPI Cards (together called PPI’s), and last week, Ravi Shankar Prasad, the Minister for IT, disclosed in Parliament that the fraud rate for Mobile Wallets and PPI Cards ranged between 0.005% to 0.007% for the months of March, April and May 2017. According to MediaNama’s calculations, that means that between 48,620 and 68,068 fraudulent transactions were reported for that three month period. Our calculations:

Keep in mind two things: Firstly, PPI Cards are largely used offline transactions and most are not available for online transactions. Secondly, Mobile wallets account for a significantly high proportion of PPI transactions: from 87%-91%. Thus we wouldn’t be surprised if all these issues have arisen in case of Mobile Wallets, even though we have no data available. Prasad could, and should, have shared more granular data with Parliament. He was responding to a question from MP Naresh Agrawal from the Samajwadi Party in the Rajya Sabha.

How does this compare with other modes of payments?

Prasad also disclosed that the total number of cases of fraud involving credit cards, ATM/Debit cards and Internet banking during the years 2015-16 (16,468) and 2016- 17 (13653). What is not clear from this is whether these numbers include ATM fraud or not. Again, Prasad could have shared more granular data with Parliament.

Still, based on available RBI data, we’ve calculated possible percentage fraud, which should help with comparison with Wallets:

Thus, if we compare with Debit Card and Credit Card transactions (including at ATMs) number of frauds using PPIs (Wallets + PPI Cards) is substantially higher. If we only take into account point of sales transactions, then fraud transactions using wallets are lower. Note that the above figures are only indicative, since we don’t have data in Internet Banking in India.

What the data also tells you is that Wallets appear to be outpacing Debit and Credit card usage at point of sales terminals.

Other interesting information from the disclosure

Between November 2016 and June 2017:

  • 40 phishing incidents affecting 19 financial organisations
  • 10 incidents affecting ATMs, Point of Sales (POS) systems and Unified Payment Interface (UPI)

Source: Medianama

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