Netbanking is safe and easy for everyone, especially women and senior citizens, explained Abhay Datar at a Moneylife Foundation event
With technological advances in financial transactions, like using Internet banking facility or electronic clearing system (ECS), life has become much easier, provided you follow some basic rules and take precautions, said Abhay Datar, a retired banker and consumer activist. He was speaking at Moneylife Foundation workshop on “Understanding ECS, Direct Debits, Online Banking and ATMs”. He explained what consumers should do if they have been defrauded.
Mr Datar, who retired from Bank of Baroda as its IT manager, explained the process for obtaining login ID, password and transaction password by filling the appropriate forms from the bank branch, where the customer has her account. “After receiving the login credentials, at the first login, the system would prompt you to change the password. Since it is for your own safety, do change the password at first login, and then, after regular intervals,” Mr Datar advised.
According to Mr Datar, using the virtual keyboard for login into netbanking is a better way to keep your credentials secure. He then informed the audience about various safety features like one-time password (OTP), transaction limits and timeout for completing transactions.
Mr Datar, who is also a managing committee member of Mumbai Grahak Panchayat (MGP), then spoke about using the ECS facility of banks. He said, “The ECS credit is for receiving various credits to our account, such as dividend and interest; whereas ECS debit is used for paying telephone, mobile, electricity bills, insurance premium, and SIP of mutual funds. In both the cases, we have to fill up a form and register these with our bank, which may charge Rs100 as one-time fee,” he said. Mr Datar explained the logic behind the MICR code, allotted by the Reserve Bank of India and bank account numbers.
Explaining the benefits of using ECS facility, Mr Datar said, “In ECS debit form, we can define maximum debit limit thereby restricting funds outflow. As far as SIP and insurance premium are concerned, the amount is fixed and does not change every time. For utility payments, we can define the maximum debit limit. The best way to define this limit while availing ECS is to check our previous bills, find out the bill with the maximum amount, keep some buffer and set the limit.”