New Delhi: Taking in account the rising cases of credit and debit card fraud across the country, the Union government has called for a high-level meeting on Tuesday to discuss the issue. The controversy emerged on the surface after mobile recharge coupons in England were easily cloned as credit and debit cards issued by Indian banks and used in the local market.

The cloning being done in British market, exposes the loopholes in the process adopted by Indian banks for the manufacturing and issuing of the debit and credit cards. In the meeting scheduled for Tuesday, Finance Minister Pranab Mukhrejee will discuss the issue with the heads of several government banks in India.

According to Finance Ministry, the magnetic strips being used in cards are unsafe, making the cloning easy. This is the reason that a few fraudsters were able to prepare a clone of Indian debit and credit card on the recharge coupons of British telecom companies.

These fraudsters follow a modus operandi of feeding the stolen information from debit and credit card of Indian customers into the recharge coupons.

Sources reveal that in the upcoming meeting, the Centre may ask Reserve Bank of India (RBI) as well as the state banks to take up steps to make the magnetic strips more secured. Countries like Britain and France already follow a secured system.

On the basis of information gathered from RBI, Indian Banks Association and other investigative agencies, the banking department of Finance Ministry has prepared a detailed report on credit and debit card fraud. Till now all the steps undertaken by the RBI and state governments to ensure safe and secured credit card transaction has been termed as inadequate in this report.

To discourage the increasing cases of credit and debit card fraud in the country, RBI had proposed setting up of an ‘Internal Control Chamber’ long back. But most of the banks mainly including private banks did not adhere to this proposal.

It should be noted that maximum number of debit and credit cards are issued by private banks. In 2008-2009 credit and debit card cloning led to a loss of Rs 59.60 lakh to customers and banks. Whereas, in the first nine months of the current fiscal this fraud has touched the Rs 50 lakh mark.

JPN/Bureau