Can FASTag be used to steal money? Here’s all you need to know | #socialmedia

FASTag viral video: Can FASTag be used to steal money? Here’s all you need to know

New Delhi: A video claiming that FASTag can be used to steal money has gone massively viral on social media. The clip in question showed a child scanning the FASTag with his smartwatch after he is done wiping the windshield of a car. When quizzed by the driver about the watch, the kid runs away quickly.

The video then showed the driver alleging that the kid is part of a larger scam in which fraudsters have given smartwatches with scanners to children who beg at traffic signals. As per his claim, when the children hold their watches near the FASTag, money is debited from the driver’s account.

For the uninitiated, FASTag is a device that employs Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) technology for making toll payments directly while the vehicle is in motion.

After the video went viral on social media, several agencies stepped in to clarify that such a scam is impossible and dismissed the claims made in the video. The government agency behind the FASTag toll collection programme has also rejected the claims.

Digital payments company Paytm also busted the claim made in the video saying, “A video is spreading misinformation about Paytm FASTag that incorrectly shows a smartwatch scanning FASTag. As per NETC guidelines, FASTag payments can be initiated only by authorised merchants, onboarded after multiple rounds of testing. Paytm FASTag is completely safe & secure.”

So, is this possible?

The National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI), umbrella organisation for all retail payments system in India, also took to Twitter on Saturday explaining that the alleged scam is not possible.

It said, “Please note that there are baseless and false videos circulating on Social media. Do understand the below points:

– No transactions can be executed through open internet connectivity.

– No financial transactions can be initiated without all the pre-requisites mentioned in the image.

NPCI has taken action to respond to these videos and delist them from the Social media platforms.”

The organisation further clarified that the NETC FASTag Ecosystem is built on a 4-party model including NPCI, Acquirer Bank, Issuer Bank, and Toll Plazas. Several layers of security protocols are placed to ensure the end-to-end safe processing of transactions, it added.

Here’s all you need to know:

1. NETC FASTag operates only for Person to Merchant transactions and no Person to Person (P2P) transactions are facilitated. This means an individual cannot receive the money in NETC FASTag ecosystem from fraudulent transactions.

2. The infrastructure deployed between SI system/Concessionaire and Banks are secured by whitelisting only permitted IP Addresses and URLs. The hardware installed at the Toll Plaza data centre/server room is cryptographically secured through Hardware Security Module.

3. Further, acquiring banks are connected to NPCI for interoperable NETC FASTag linked payments for which NPCI switch is connected with Acquirer and Issuer Banks through secure NPCI-NET connectivity. The IPs of Banks are whitelisted at NPCI end and similarly, NPCI IPs are whitelisted at the Banks end.

4. Every API call needs to pass through a secure Firewall. Every time the Bank connects with NPCI through API connectivity, the data is encrypted with a secure 256 SHA ECC algorithm and locked with a Hexadecimal Private Key.

5. Every Merchant (Toll & Parking Plazas) on-boarded by NPCI are allotted a unique Plaza code. Every acquirer Bank is provided a unique Acquire ID and the combination of the Plaza code and Bank Acquirer ID is mapped at NPCI end.

6. Geo-location of every Merchant (Plaza) has been stored at respective Acquirer Banks and NPCI.

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