Rising digital payments: Prasad appeals Google to ensure digital security, tailor products to Indian needs

Last month chipset maker Qualcomm had said that wallets and mobile banking applications used in India do not use hardware level security which can make online transactions more secure.

By: ENS Economic Bureau | New Delhi | Published: January 5, 2017 1:20 am
digital payments, Ravi Shankar Prasad, Google, google digital security, indian express news, india news, economy Union Minister for Electronics & IT, Ravi Shankar Prasad with Google CEO Sundar Pichai during an event to announce
‘Digital Unlocked’ skill programme, in New Delhi on Wednesday. Source: Praveen Khanna

In the light of the fast growing digital ecosystem in which a number of security vulnerabilities have come to the front, Minister of Electronics and Information Technology Ravi Shankar Prasad on Wednesday appealed to US-based technology company Google to work on strengthening cyber security systems.

“More the digital payments will grow; more the challenges will be to cyber-security. I will appeal to Google to work more to ensure digital security,” Prasad said. “Google is as much Indian as much it is American. It has a similar obligation towards India, as much as it has towards the US and the world,” he added. “Google India needs to tailor its operation more to India’s psyche, local languages, local aspirations, local products..,” Prasad said.

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Experts have suggested that in the backdrop of rising electronic payments in the country; wherein a number of new apps and digital services have been developed post the Centre’s November 8 announcement of withdrawing high denomination currency notes from circulation, cyber-security could have been put on the backburner leaving loopholes in several systems.

Last month chipset maker Qualcomm had said that wallets and mobile banking applications used in India do not use hardware level security which can make online transactions more secure. “You will be surprised because most of the banking or wallet apps around the world don’t use hardware security. They actually run completely in Android mode and users’ password can be stolen. Users use fingerprint which might be captured … in India that is the case for most of all digital wallets and mobile banking apps,” Qualcomm Senior Director Product Management Sy Choudhury had said.

Prasad was speaking at a Google event in the capital in presence of the company’s global CEO Sundar Pichai, where it was launching a programme to help small and medium enterprises in India understand how online systems work to operate on digital platforms. The online training compromises 90 training videos as well as an eight-hour classroom training programme along with industry body Ficci.

Google has also planned 5,000 workshops in 40 cities across India. There will be an app called Primer, available on iOS and Android in Hindi and English, with other languages being developed. “Small businesses online have significantly larger market share outside their cities. SMBs (small and medium businesses) that go digital end up employing more people than those that ignore online,” said Rajan Anandan, VP and MD of Google South East Asia.

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