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How Fintech firms will be impacted by the GDPR hailstorm

By SiliconIndia   |   Monday, June 11, 2018
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GDPRGDPR, (General Data Protection Regulation) the four letter word that has invited a hailstorm all across businesses, society, judiciary and in the consumer’s mind, assumes a level of fervor for the world of finance like it does for no other business.

While financial institutions have always been at the forefront of protecting data and ensuring security for the trillions of private data points floating over the internet highway, the current debate takes scrutiny of several security issues at a level of microscopy like never before.

GDPR: The Clear and Ever-present Impact

For long, the end-consumer has been at the receiving end of any security breach or malfeasance. The new measure is intended to strengthen and unify data protection, thus allowing consumers to pressurize financial institutions to provide for better safeguards, hold businesses accountable for security breaches and facilitate financial redressal mechanism.

According to the gdpr report, “If businesses fall victim to a cybersecurity attack, and a data breach occurs, they may face a heavy fine of up to 4% of their total global annual revenue or €20 million (whichever is greater)”.

While the GDPR is specific to the European Union, in a smart, inter-connected and globalized world, the implications of this landmark pronouncement impact more or less everyone on the value chain of consumer requirement to delivery. Consumers could be remitting huge amounts of money to their relatives or merchants over mobile via an African telecom operator with a banking license. Is the telecom operator by virtue of not being in the EU free from the implications of the GDPR?

It is not far that similar regulations are adopted across globally, because banking standards, like telecom and airlines, are clearly global.

Irrespective of the newly adopted GDPR regulations, protecting consumer data simply is good business.

Multifaceted: Consumer servicing, Internal or External

Financial institutions have multiple loopholes and vulnerability zones, right from collection of data for marketing to data for processing banking and financial services and finally repeating the process for re/cross-selling.

Security breaches can happen from external sources through cyber-criminals with tools of DDoS attacks, malware, phishing, to get what they want, leaving companies exposed and damaged.

Low-tech breaches and malfeasance can also happen with paper and pen processes or internal policy and compliances compromise or from a simple access to the network or a physical banking end-point device.

At OBOPAY, powering 11% of the global mobile money transactions comes with looking at security from a very rigorous point of staying one step ahead of the bad guys, transaction over transaction over a transaction.

Critical to this confidence is deploying not just the industry best practices in Information Security but also innovating in systems, processes, and technology. So, at the base and foundation are:

OBOPAY platform performs services such as Know Your Customer(KYC), Fee Engine, Velocity Limits, Reporting and various adapters to financial institutions and payment networks. The open APIs with high-security promise secured encryption to prevent fraud (through hardware security modules), multi-factor authentication and a variety of processes to deliver a PCI/SAS compliant technology platform that meets the highest standards and best practices of the payments industry

At the innovation front, we deploy Evolys which has real-time event monitoring (REM) capacity where the administrator can define thresholds and monitor the same.

In case of a discrepancy (say the administrator has defined 5 transactions in a month for the particular user and the user crosses the limit), an alert is be sent via email to the concerned authority.

Information Security and consumer protection with or without the GDPR guidance are critical to all financial relationships between consumers (individual, retail, institutional) and providers of products, instruments and services.

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