Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Internet Banking Laws In India

Internet banking is increasingly becoming popular in India. However, Internet banking is a risky venture and India must be prepared to deal with the risks associated with it. The increasing cases of ATM frauds, online banking frauds, credit cards frauds, etc have shaken the confidence of Indian consumers in Internet banking in India.

Similarly, mobile banking in India is also being explored. Some segments have suggested active use of mobile banking in India. While the idea is great yet India is still not ready for mobile banking. In fact, mobile banking in India is a risky business.

The problem of Internet banking frauds has become even more sever due to absence of legal framework in this regard. However, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has recently recommended use of “cyber due diligence” for banks in India. With the present guidelines, banks can no more ignore due diligence requirements that they have been ignoring for long.

Although the requirements of due diligence may arise out of many laws, but cyber due diligence is the most required one. Realising the seriousness of the situation, RBI has recently released a report of its working group on information security, electronic banking, technology risk management, and cyber frauds.

Previously, banks were required to manage due diligence arising out of laws alone but now the responsibility of banks have become very wide. The banks must now manage due diligence requirements of both technical and legal nature. In other words, the due diligence requirements of banks have now become techno legal in nature.

However, Internet banking in India cannot succeed till a strong legal framework in this is enacted. According to Praveen Dalal, leading techno legal expert of India and a Supreme Court lawyer, we have no dedicated Internet Banking Law in India. Although, RBI has issued many guidelines in this regard and even our Information Technology Act, 2000 contains some indirect and implied provisions for Internet Banking yet we need a separate and dedicated law in this regard, opines Praveen Dalal.

It would be a good idea if RBI starts working in the direction of enacting a suitable Internet banking law of India. The same may also incorporate cyber due diligence requirements and punishments for cyber crimes against banking institutions. The call is for the RBI to take and it would definitely take it.