Dec 28, 2016 03:02 PM IST | Source:

2FA Cancellation: How to continue safe debit card transactions

Though two factor authentication is cancelled for small transactions, debit card payments are as safe as they were. Here are some tips to ensure safety of your transactions.

Adhil Shetty    

Debit cards have become the easiest payment instruments which allow online and POS transactions in a breeze. While demonetization has not completely but almost put a stop to cash transactions, debit cards present the perfect solution for cashless ones. If you are concerned about the security of your debit cards, you have nothing to worry about. While POS transactions (where you use debit cards to pay at outlets) are guarded by your ATM PIN, online CNP (Card Not Present) transactions require an OTP (One Time Password) to complete payments. Thus, these measures ensure the safety of your debit card and consequently your money.

Recently, the RBI has announced relaxation of 2FA (Two Factor Authentication) measures on debit card transactions which are limited to Rs. 2000. This relaxation is optional (depending on the customer’s choice) and is aimed at making CNP transactions more convenient. But would it ensure safety of your money? We will discuss that later, first let us understand CNP transactions.  

Card Not Present (CNP) transactions are transactions where you use your debit card for making payments but the card is not physically swiped. You just enter the card details for making payments. Examples of such transactions include making online payments or adding money to your e-wallets, etc.

What is 2FA?

Two-factor Authentication, or 2FA as it is popularly called, is an additional security measure in case of online or CNP transactions. When you are asked for the OTP besides providing your card details is an example of 2FA security measure.

Would the 2FA cancellation ensure security of money?

Online payments, with or without 2FA norms are always secure. Though the relaxation of 2FA norms for small transactions (up to Rs.2000) does not endanger the security of your money, you can take certain steps to ensure enhanced safety of your money. Want to know which measures these are? Let’s take a look.

Keep your Debit card PIN and CVV number confidential

Now this is something even a kid would know now. Your debit card PIN and CVV let you make online payments, even in the absence of 2FA measures. Any potential fraudster needs these details for using your money. Keep them confidential; ideally memorise the PIN instead of writing it down. Don’t entertain calls which ask you for these details. Don’t hand over your debit card to others for making any transactions on your behalf. It is your money and only you should be making transactions using it.

Change your PIN periodically

We have a habit of continuing with a fixed PIN over the course of our lives or until we fall prey to any fraud. Why? Your PIN number should not only be kept confidential, but also be changed regularly. Do not stick to the same PIN. Keep changing it and reduce the potential threat of frauds.
Assign a unique PIN to your debit card

What is the most obvious choice of PIN numbers for most individuals? Date of birth, last four digits of your mobile phones, simple numerical combinations like 1234 or 9999, etc., isn’t it? Yes? Well, it should not be. Your PIN should be unique and not a simple number which is very likely to be guessed.

Use your card at secured websites

Online payment websites must be supported by ‘https’ prefixes before the web address of the website. These websites are secured websites which never cause any debit card frauds or share your information with others.

Don’t use your debit card in public browsing centres

Public computers at libraries or cyber cafes are used by many people and you do not know who might turn out to be a thief. Avoid indulging in online payment transactions at cyber cafes or on any other shared computer networks.

Always use anti-virus software on your computer

To safeguard your own computer from cyber-attacks you should always use anti-virus software on your device. It keeps away threats of any cyber-crimes and protects your information when online payments are done using your device.

Digital payments made using your debit cards are safe even if 2FA norms are not available for small value transactions. However if you still feel threatened and want to safeguard your money you can follow the above-mentioned steps for a secured debit card experience. The world is moving towards digitized payments and India is also in the race. What about you?
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