Indian Government is presently engaged in making Digital India a success. Many good initiatives have already been taken under Digital India and its predecessor National E-Governance Plan (NeGP). After the Demonetisation process, Indian Government is also stressing upon grand usage of digital payments in India.
Perry4Law Organisation (P4LO) has published the Digital Payments and Cashless Economy Trends of India 2017 that has covered many crucial issues regarding use, adoption and safeguards for using digital payments in India. The year 2017 may see some significant steps in the direction of encouraging more and more use of digital payments. However, there would be many techno legal challenges that have to be tackled by Indian Government before this goal is achieved.
For instance, cyber security, data security, data protection, privacy safeguards, etc are some of the issues that are still vexing Indian Government. Digital payments that are insecure would be more trouble than relief. It would only increase cyber crimes and customers’ disputes in the long run.
As on date, the mobile cyber security is a big challenge for Indian Government and various stakeholders. If mobile security is missing, there is little hope for secure mobile banking as well. Similarly, cyber security of banks in India is also not in a good shape. This is so even when the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has prescribed a cyber security framework for banks of India.
Digital payments in these circumstances would be really challenging for the Indian Government. The most troublematic part would be use of Aadhaar Enabled Payment System (AEPS) that is not only highly insecure but would also amount to use of an “Unconstitutional Technology”. Cyber security, data security and privacy aspects of Aadhaar have not yet been resolved. It is not a good idea to use AEPS for any purpose, including digital payments purposes.
As we move towards a digital economy, we would face sophisticated and global cyber attacks and cyber crimes. Whether we like it or not, we are not prepared to deal with cyber attacks and cyber crimes. Cyber crimes investigation capabilities of Indian law enforcement agencies must be enhanced through techno legal trainings and skills development. As cyber attacks and cyber crimes are international in nature. It requires good techno legal training to trace, investigate and punish the cyber criminal.
Digital payments infrastructure of India needs to be robust and resilient from cyber security and cyber crimes perspective. Similarly, liability of banks and customers for cyber frauds and cyber thefts must be clearly specified by Indian Government. An effective dispute resolution procedure must also be established by Indian Government to resolve disputes arising out of digital payments.
A test platform named Online Dispute Resolution and Cyber Arbitration has been launched by Techno Legal Centre of Excellence for Online Dispute Resolution (ODR) in India (TLCEODRI) of Perry4Law Organisation (P4LO). The platform is resolving disputes pertaining to digital payments, cyber frauds, ATM frauds, credit card frauds, debit card frauds, online banking frauds, mobile banking frauds, etc. The entire process of dispute resolution is using ODR mechanism and parties can resolve their disputes without even leaving their homes.
Perry4Law Organisation (P4LO) hopes that digital payments would be safe, secure and civil liberties compliant in the year 2017. However, Indian Government must take pro active steps in this regard if it wishes digital payments to be successful in India.