Debit card scare: Indian government asks consumers not to panic

The NPCI received 641 customer complaints from 19 banks and the amount involved is Rupees 1.3 crore. Photograph:( AFP )

ANI New Delhi, Delhi, India Oct 21, 2016, 09.21 AM (IST)

Amid a sense of panic among Indian customers after 3.2 million debit cards were declared to be at risk from fraudsters who had stolen crucial data allowing them to siphon off funds, the Indian government today assured the nation that there is no need to panic as an enquiry is underway and the computer trail leading to the guilty will be discovered soon.


Speaking to the media here, Indian economic affairs secretary Shaktikanta Das stated that some elements outside India have carried out the hacking and have misused the debit cards.


"So in that regard, we have sought detailed reports from the banks and the RBI will also launch an investigation into the matter and so will the Finance ministry. From the government's stand I would like to say that Cyber Security is an issue of paramount importance as it is linked with financial security," he said.


Asserting that there is absolutely no cause for alarm among customers, Das added that firm action will be taken once they receive the report from the banks.


The finance ministry has asked for a detailed report from the Reserve Bank of India and National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI) about the debit card information breach.


Earlier, according to a statement issued by the NPCI, 641 customer complaints from 19 banks have been received and the amount involved is Rupees 1.3 crore.


"All affected banks have been alerted by all card networks that a total card base of about 3.2 million could have been possibly compromised. It was established through the analysis after such frauds were reported 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," the statement said.