Smartwatches can’t scan FASTag and siphon money, claim Paytm, NPCI

There is no way a smartwatch could be used to scan a FASTag and siphon money from it, the National Payments Corporation of India and Paytm said in response to a widely circulated video on social media that went viral. alarmed in many circles. .

The claims in the video, which show a child cleaning a windshield, scanning the FASTag using a smartwatch and then running away when questioned, are baseless and false, NPCI said. organization enabling digital payments and settlement systems in India. This is misinformation, Paytm added.

The music video, widely shared on different social media platforms, has amassed thousands of views, shares and comments on multiple YouTube, Facebook and Twitter channels.

A Hindi voice-over drives home the point: “This is the new scam that has started now. Kids begging at traffic lights are given smart watches with built-in scanners. While cleaning the car, they point their smartwatch to the FASTag, and it e-scans your FASTag. Thereafter, the money is deducted from your Paytm account. Same thing happened to me before.”

The 3.42 minute clip has no attribution.

A similar claim about a “FASTag scam” was also made by magician and illusionist Karan Singh in an interview with content creator Vinamre Kasanaa on his YouTube channel Dostcast. It garnered nearly 1.5 lakh views and 11,000 shares.

FASTag, based on radio frequency identification (RFID) technology, is an electronic toll system made mandatory for all commercial and personal four-wheeled vehicles for payments at toll plazas since February last year.

While Paytm only discussed the child’s video in its rebuttal, NPCI discussed the larger issue of videos making false claims.

“A video disseminates incorrect information about Paytm FASTag which incorrectly shows a smartwatch scanning FASTag. In accordance with NETC guidelines, FASTag payments can only be initiated by authorized merchants, onboarded after several rounds of testing. Paytm FASTag is completely safe and secure,” Paytm said. in a Twitter post.

Describing the “FASTag Scam” videos doing the rounds as “baseless” and “false”, the NPCI also posted a lengthy message on Twitter explaining its views.

He said the National Electronic Toll Collection (NETC) FASTag ecosystem is built on a four-party model – NPCI, Acquirer Bank, Issuer Bank and Toll Plazas. “Multiple layers of security protocols are placed to ensure secure end-to-end transaction processing,” he said.

“NETC FASTag only works for person-to-merchant (P2M) transactions. No person-to-person (P2P) transactions are facilitated by the NETC FASTag network. This means that an individual cannot receive money in the NETC FASTag ecosystem from fraudulent transactions,” he added.

The claim in a video that smartwatches with built-in scanners siphon money from FASTags is “false”.