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Mobile transactions to control corruption


04 November 2012

OneWorld South Asia

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SmartCards Expo 2012, held in Delhi, discussed the possibilities of mobile payments becoming viable assets in the fight against corruption.

S Swarn, Organizer of SmartCards Expo 2012, said “Mobile payments, while successful in countries such as Kenya are yet to take off in a big way in India. Mobile payments have the potential to control corruption in the country”.

“The Indian mobile phone industry, growing at the rate of 100 million per year and expected to reach the 1 billion target by end of 2012. Mandatory mobile payments will keep track of each and every payments made by individuals which will stop leakage of funds, usage of black money etc. The Government should consider these aspects of mobile payments and bring some law to make it mandatory,” Swarn added.

‘’Over 50 percent population of Kenya has access to mobile payments whereas it is yet to take off in India. The key reasons behind this are the lack of Unique ID implementation in India, absence of inter-bank settlement system and broad and dependable retail network for signup, cash in and cash out,’’ he said.

SmartCards Expo 2012 discussed issues regarding mobile payments and the security issues associated with them.
Some of the key spokespersons at the Conference during the Expo included Dr Ashok Jhunjhunwala, Chairman, MPFI, Shri Ravishankar, USO Administrator and MD, BBNL, Anil Prakash, Secretary General, ITU-APT Foundation of India and Dr. RN Bhardwaj, Executive Director, Telecom Users Group of India RN.

Dr Ashok Jhunjhunwala, Chairman, MPFI, talked about how Internet-based payments are not a success in India. “Mobile payments can achieve what Internet payment couldn’t achieve in the country. Mobile payments can be done through various channels such as SMS, Internet, USSD and voice, giving ample opportunities to build various payment applications,” he said.

Echoing this sentiment, Ravishankar, USO Administrator and MD, BBNL said, “The biggest challenge for the country today is to bridge the digital divide that exists between the urban and rural populations.” He said the biggest challenge in the adoption of mobile technologies such as mobile payments is to excite people at the gram panchayat level about the various use cases of the same.

Talking about the biggest challenges around mobile payments, B K Wadhawan, Sales Director, GEMALTO said, “SMS based payments are typically insecure and subject to misuse. The best way to secure such systems is by the use of PKI technology that encrypts the SMS based payments. This would not only make mobile payments secure but build trust around the system and increase the adoption in the country.”

Talking about the extent of the security challenges, Anil Prakash, Secretary General, ITU-APT Foundation of India, said, “Millions of handsets are lost every year that contain sensitive information about the user including their financial data. In order to protect against the misuse of this financial data, solution providers need to implement solutions that remotely wipe data in case of device loss and securely store the data on the handset, which cannot be accessed without a password.”

 
 
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» Online climate conference
Online,  November 5, 2012.
» Open Knowledge Festival 2012
Helsinki, Finland,  September 17,2012.
» ITU Green Standards Week
39, quai du Président Roosevelt 92130 Issy-les-Moulineaux, France,  September 17

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