Online Banking

Pakistan is undoubtedly moving into a digital world and the advent of 3G and 4G technologies have further made it easy to stay connected on the go. Online banking, thanks to the ease of access is gaining popularity among people but at the same time, Pakistanis are at risk of losing their money and data.

Recently, Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) Cyber Crime Cell, Lahore has recommended certain amendments to the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) for better online banking policy in order to save the people from getting duped online by fraudsters.

Dr. Usman Anwar, Director FIA Lahore in his letter to the Director Banking Policy and Regulations State Bank of Pakistan tried to draw the attention towards different loopholes in online banking that hurt people as they lose large amounts of money by becoming a victim of hoaxers impersonating themselves as army officers, customer service helplines etc.

FIA has lately received many complaints from the clients of certain banks which don’t have an exemplary security mechanism for online banking. The impersonators on the pretext of data verification seek the personal details of citizens including their CNIC and bank account numbers.

Recommendations by FIA

The security agency has suggested the following security measures to be taken by banks in Pakistan to avoid such frauds:

  • The data required for online banking including email ID and mobile number should be added to the system via branch after customer verification
  • Dual verification of codes and pins registered for online banking
  • OTP (one time PIN code) should be introduced for each transaction including IBFT and Bill payments
  • All beneficiaries should be added before transaction by a user through dual verification
  • Banks should provide SMS alerts and OTP on foreign numbers if the user opts to enable it, to keep them updated

This year we have seen many scams coming to the surface, targeting the data of Pakistanis. Earlier, the cybercrime unit of FIA, Lahore issues a warning to be careful of sharing personal information over the phone.

Last week, FIA issued a letter revealing that some impersonators are calling people by presenting themselves as Pakistan armed officials and banking helpline officers. These people then ask for the user’s data on the pretext of data verification and lottery schemes.

In January this year, DG ISPR also issued a statement that people should not share personal and banking information with anyone who claims to be an army officer over the phone.

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