Paytm clarifies viral video of child stealing money by scanning FASTag is fake

Transactions cannot be executed over open internet connectivity, NPCI explains.

Paytm and NPCI (National Payments Corporation of India) released a clarification regarding the security of its FASTag after a video claiming a scam went viral on the internet.

The clip in question showed a child scanning the FASTag with his smartwatch after he finished wiping the windshield of a car. Asked by the driver about the watch, the kid quickly fled.

The video then showed the driver claiming the child was part of a larger scam in which fraudsters gave smartwatches with scanners to children begging at traffic lights. The man alleged that when children hold their watch near the FASTag, money is debited from the driver’s account.

However, the video has now been debunked.

Taking to Twitter, Paytm called the clip “fake”. In the caption, he said: “A video spreads incorrect information about Paytm FASTag which incorrectly shows a smartwatch scanning FASTag. Per NETC guidelines, FASTag payments can only be initiated by authorized merchants, onboarded after several rounds of testing. Paytm FASTag is completely safe and secure.

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Separately, the NPCI, the umbrella organization for all retail payment systems in India, also issued a statement, calling the allegations “baseless”. He stated that no transactions can be executed through open internet connectivity. He also stated that no financial transaction can be initiated without all the prerequisites mentioned in the image.

Additionally, the organization clarified that the National Electronic Toll Collection (NETC) FASTag ecosystem is built on a four-party model comprising NPCI, Acquirer Bank, Issuer Bank, and Toll Plazas. Multiple layers of security protocols are placed to ensure secure end-to-end processing of transactions, he added.

FASTags have become common to facilitate electronic toll collection in India. It is a tag installed on vehicles and operated by 23 banks regulated by the NPCI and the National Highway Authority of India (NHAI). FASTag was introduced to eliminate human intervention in the toll collection system using radio frequency identification (RFID) technology.

FASTags are mandatory for all commercial and personal four-wheeled vehicles for payments at toll booths. The rule came into effect last year in February.

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