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<FONT COLOR="#FF0033"><B>IAMAI Online Travel: How safe is it to fly?</B></FONT>

Online fraud continues to threaten the march of online travel and the session on the subject tried to look for answers

Online travel is flying high, but is it safe?

‘Fraud’ can be an ugly word for the e-commerce industry, more so for online travel where high-value transactions are involved. Fraud can erode revenue opportunities, break customer’s trust in a company and impact its reputation. The third panel discussion, called ‘Payments and Security – Exploring New Opportunities and Preventing Fraud’, tried to confront the phenomenon at the IAMAI ‘Online Travel: Are You Hooked’ seminar organised on Friday by IAMAI and agencyfaqs!

Credit card duplication and practices like phishing are moving people away from concepts like e-ticketing. The panel, moderated by Vivek Nayak, COO, Avenues India, suggested various technologies and methods that can provide a foolproof solution to these problems.

IRCTC, with a million transactions a month, is definitely concerned about online security. Sanjay Aggarwal, general manager, operations, IRCTC, said that the portal had put 3D security in place since its launch in September 2005. This refers to secure online payment gateways such as Verified by Visa (VbV) and Master Card Secure (MCS). He chose, instead, to pull up banks, saying, “They are reluctant to invest in technology.”

Belson Coutinho, head of e-commerce and distribution, Jet Airways, also held banks responsible for the lack of a robust fraud reporting process. “Merchants are fighting the fraud fight alone,” he complained.

<FONT COLOR="#FF0033"><B>IAMAI Online Travel: How safe is it to fly?</B></FONT>
Harish Natarajan
Harish Natarajan, country risk manager, South Asia, Visa International, said that the global fraud-to-sales ratio (FSV) among airlines and air carriers was 0.65 per cent, but in India, it is as high as 3 per cent. He highlighted various solutions such as Payment Card Industry Data Security Standards (PCI DSS), which is verified by a Mastercard and Visa secure code. But, he added, only 40 per cent of travel sites in India have a proper customer registration and activation process.

“Alternate payment models such as cash cards can be another way out,” suggested Aggarwal of IRCTC. He said cash cards like the ITZ cash cards are for those who don’t have credit card or Internet banking or who don’t want to expose their credit cards on the web. Shekhar Srivastava, vice-president, marketing, ITZ Cash, added, “Cash cards are pre-paid and, therefore, lead to zero security issues.”

<FONT COLOR="#FF0033"><B>IAMAI Online Travel: How safe is it to fly?</B></FONT>
Anupama Salvi
Giving an interesting turn to the discussion, Anupama Salvi, director, new business development, Avenues India, said, “Travel portals and airlines are the poster boys of e-commerce and the travel sector is the biggest victim.” At the same time, she held that the travel sector “is the worst culprit with no adequate risk management team or process in place which sidelines the customer’s verification”. She pointed out that there is no adherence to credit card data security standards; the Indian government doesn’t have any action plan for prosecution of fraudsters either.

At the end of the session, the audience was none the wiser, as the experts continued to pass on the buck of inaction.

© 2007 agencyfaqs!

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