Demonetisation: Bhavin Turakhia's Zeta launches SuperCard for fraud-free online, offline transactions
'While demonetisation is a great push for the transformation into a cashless economy, the threat of digital transactions falling prey to frauds can prove to be an impediment in the process.
The biggest fear of most people doing transactions online is being cheated of the funds in their bank account by online thieves. To enable online transactions safe and secure, Zeta, a fintech company in the smart employee tax benefits space, has now launched, SuperCard, which it claims is the country's `most secure' payment system.
It claims that the SuperCard is the first-of-its-kind with anti-fraud security measures like geo tagging and dynamic PIN for authenticating payments. Incidentally, this is the first time that Zeta has come with a product in the B-2-C (business to consumer) space.
The SuperCard took around 3 months before it could be launched today. That it was launched when the country is in the throes of demonetisation is a 'sheer coincidence,' says Bhavin Turakhia, Co-Founder and CEO.
Turakhia and his brother Divyank were in the news in August when their ad tech firm, Media.Net, was acquired for a whopping $900 million, by a Chinese consortium in the biggest ever all-cash deal.
Regarding the SmartCard launch, Turakhia said that the plan was to 'marry the current fundamental approach with significantly increased security with the app.'
Zeta is part of the US $250 million Directi Group co-founded by Bhavin and Divyank. Started in April 2015, Zeta is present in 9 cities. It began operations by launching cloud-based solutions for employee tax benefits and rewards space called Optima. The Optima range includes smart benefits such as meal vouchers, fuel and travel card, communications card, medical reimbursements, gadget card and gift vouchers.
Though everyone has been gung-ho about demonetisation though the struggle to exchange annulled notes and deposit cash at banks have been herculean, Turakhia says the threat that looms large is safety and security with regard to online transactions. "While demonetisation is a great push for the transformation into a cashless economy, the threat of digital transactions falling prey to frauds can prove to be an impediment in the process. With India's digital payments industry expected to touch $500 billion by 2020 it is essential that card payment systems offer completely secure methods to safeguard users from all possible threats," says Turakhia.
He claims that Zeta has developed a more secure and convenient payments system that addresses the current loopholes in the digital payments space.
How does Zeta work
First things first. You will have to download the Zeta app on your mobile phone from PlayStore. Once you have done that, you will need to generate your own PIN to make it functional. You can request for a plastic card from inside the app and enter your address. The card will be delivered to you in four days time. You can add money into the app by entering details of your existing credit, debit and net banking cards which eliminates the need to carry other online cards.
SmartCard has three anti-fraud measures:
SuperPIN: The SuperPIN replaces the static 4-digit PIN and SMS-based OTP (one time password) with a 6-digit SuperPIN that is generated on the app for every transaction. You can time the password for 2 seconds after which, it expires. The fear of the password being copied is thus eliminated. This is applicable for both online and in-store transactions.
Location Shield: Through geo-tagging, Zeta tracks and matches the location of the transaction -- where the SuperCard has been used and where the SuperPIN has been generated. In case of a mismatch, the transaction is blocked there itself ensuring the card is never used without the knowledge of the user. So, if the card has been stolen or misplaced, the user needs to switch on the location shield which enables the card to be used only in a certain radius of the phone. For a fraud to take place, the card, the phone and the PIN number has to be stolen.
Swipe2Pay: Users can authorise payments using a swipe action on the app to make payments online. This feature does away with the need to punch in an SMS-dependent OTP and provides added security to the user who need not key in any sensitive information, thereby safeguarding the transaction in case the mobile phone is compromised. Once you shop online, there will be no sms giving the OTP but instead the details of the transactions will go to the bank and simultaneously a pop up will appear on the app. The user right swipes it for payment.
When a user uses SmartCard, Zeta will earn from every transaction done from the merchant.
The company plans to come out with reward points to its users for every transaction done which can be claimed for gift vouchers. Additionally, Zeta has introduced the self-serve KYC feature, which enables users to upload a copy of their Aadhaar card allowing them to store up to Rs 1 lakh in their Zeta SuperCard, up from the existing limit of Rs 10,000.
"In the last three years, top 50 banks in India lost almost Rs 485 crore through card frauds. This is the state of affairs when 90 percent of transactions in the country is non-digital until recently. When digital transactions rises exponentially, as it will with demonetisation underway and the thrust towards online transactions, the volume of transactions will increase and frauds could also increase in proportion," says Turakhia. Zeta, he hopes, will be able to assuage that fear in its users with its features.
Over 111 crore digital payment transactions were conducted in May this year as against more than 118 crore transactions in April 2017
A committee of chief ministers and experts have submitted an interim report on the steps the government can take to transform India into a less cash economy.
Until now, Zeta has been funded till date by $40 million by co-founders Bhavin Turakhia and Ramki Gaddipati