News Flash – 14 January 2020

National News



More e-Tailers Doing Away with OTP’s for Faster Online Payments



Mumbai: Many e-commerce platforms and mobile apps are set to do away with the second-factor authentication of one-time passwords (OTPs) for regular customers on payments up to Rs 2,000, making online transactions quicker and smoother. Flipkart has already done so, and others like Swiggy and ride-sharing apps are about to follow. A key driver for this has been the phased relaxation of rules by RBI-—most recently last Friday-—on one-time passwords. The central bank had allowed banks to facilitate transactions without OTP for online transactions so long as the merchant can verify the customer. Puneet Jain, senior vice president in charge of Paytm’s payment gateway said his company is empowering merchants to accept credit card payments without OTP, subject to a one-time consent. “Another recent innovation is the enabling of recurring payments. We are now letting customers authorize such payments through the unified payment interface (UPI) in addition to cards and wallets,” he said. Paytm’s payment gateway, which is a part of One97, claims to have 40% market share in volume of transactions. It is the largest gateway on ecommerce platforms such as IRCTC and food delivery and lifestyle apps. Visa has facilitated checkout without OTP by developing ‘Visa Safe Click’ which uses other factors like device authentication to make the process more seamless, according to T R Ramachandran, India head of the payments company.



“While it may not require OTP it uses other forms of second-factor authentication and eliminates points of friction, such as cart abandonment, connectivity and incorrect passwords, and transforms the payment experience into a faster, secure and seamless one,” he said. According to Jain, recurring payments which were few in India are suddenly on the rise. One of the drivers has been streaming services like Netflix. “Another use case that is building up is for pre-authorised payments. This facility enables customers to book a service like a bike rental where the amount is debited after the usage,” said Jain. Earlier it was the startup which took the risks as there was little it could do if the card was declined after the service. With pre-authorisation, they do not face any such risk. Unlike in India, many overseas e-commerce platforms and apps do not require second-factor authentication. Uber started its ride-hailing business in India using its international payment gateway to facilitate transactions without OTP—only to be blocked by RBI, which said second-factor authentication was mandatory for payment for services and goods. This gave wallets like Paytm a boost. Now while requirement of OTP has been withdrawn, RBI has put the onus on banks and merchants to verify the user.



Hospital Security Guard Attacked, 2 held



Kolkata: Two persons were arrested on Sunday for attacking a CNMC Hospital security guard after the latter refused to let him enter without proper entry pass. The incident was reported around 4.40pm on Saturday. Raja Singh, 25, a security staffer, alleged Abdul Majid, 32, and Abdul Wahid, 28, assaulted him for not being allowed in to visit a patient. The victim had to be hospitalized.



19 Injured as 2 Groups Clash in Telangana Town

REMAINS OF THE RUINS: Police take stock of the situation following riots and arson at Bhainsa town in Telangana’s Nirmal district.



Hyderabad: Nineteen people, including eight police personnel, were injured after two groups clashed late on Sunday night in the communally sensitive town of Bhainsa in Telangana’s Nirmal district. The rioting was triggered after some residents clashed with youths making loud noises with their bikes in the middle of the night but soon led to widespread violence in which 13 houses and 26 vehicles were torched. The violence did not abate on Monday as the groups continued to attack each other, especially in Korbagalli and its surroundings, believed to be the epicenter on the violence. Police lathi-charged the rioters at least half-a-dozen times to stop the sporadic clashes on Monday afternoon. As many as 60 people had been taken into custody till late Monday evening. Officials added that internet services were suspended across Nirmal, Adilabad, Mancherial and Asifabad districts as rumours on social media kept the embers burning.



“Eleven civilians and eight policemen were injured in the clashes and stone-pelting. We have registered six FIRs for different offences. The situation is now under control and the vigil will continue,” IGP Nagi Reddy, who is in Nirmal, told TOI on Monday evening. It started around 9.45pm on Sunday when some residents objected to young men riding bikes without silencers in Korbagalli area. The argument led to a scuffle which resulted in two groups coming face to face. Police officers claim that the situation was about to deescalate and the groups had decided to stand down when an unknown person threw a stone at one of the groups, triggering heavy stone-pelting at around 10.30pm. Pitched battles continued for nearly three hours, according to the police. Senior officials said that by the time the police reached the spot, the situation was serious with both sides refusing to relent. SP C Shashidhar Raju also rushed to the spot to stop the stone-pelting. Police teams from districts adjoining Nirmal were rushed to the town with DGP M Mahendar Reddy monitoring the situation from Hyderabad. Section 144 of the CrPC was put in force from Monday till Wednesday.



Police Nab Gang of Mobile Snatchers



Chennai: A TikTok video made by a seven-member gang of mobile snatchers, including four juveniles, helped police nab them. Police found that the gang members carried out a series of mobile snatchings to buy drugs. As many as six mobiles, two bikes and 15g of jewellery were seized from them. Among the accused, N David, 18, C Akash, 21 and U Abhilash, 19, of Pulianthope were remanded in judicial custody on Sunday and the four juveniles were sent to an observation home. A police team was formed after two snatching incidents were reported in Pondy Bazaar and Choolaimedu. Police collected a CCTV camera footage from the scene of crime and launched a search for the snatchers. When one of the victims came across the video released by the accused he informed police. Since the appearance matched, the special team traced their whereabouts to Pulianthope. Police who were tracking the IMEI numbers of the snatched mobile phone found the device were in Yelagiri as the gang went on a trip with the money they got from selling other snatched phones. The team nabbed all the seven suspects when they returned to the city. Police said the gang targeted elderly people in night and used the money to buy ganja and other drugs. They travelled together between T Nagar and Red Hills when they carried out snatching. Police said the gang sold the mobile phones at Ritchie Street and Burma Bazaar for price between Rs.5,000 and Rs.8,000. Investigation revealed that the gang was very active and popular on TikTok and one of members, David, has over 74,000 followers as he regularly posted videos.

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