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Google launches ‘DigiKavach’ to take on financial fraud


Google on Thursday announced the launch of ‘DigiKavach’, an early threat detection and warning system aimed at identifying financial fraud patterns and blocking them before they can cause widespread harm.

At its ‘Google for India’ event, the internet firm stated that the new system will leverage “a collective, proactive, responsible approach to quickly and effectively share learnings and insights with committed partners across the ecosystem.”

The system will also involve studying the methods and modus operandi of scammers and collaborating with experts in the ecosystem.

Google has partnered with the industry body Fintech Association for Consumer Empowerment (FACE) as a priority flagger for the DigiKavach system. FACE will also work with Google to flag and remove predatory digital lending applications on the Play Store in India.

Google’s initiative comes at a time when cybercrime targeting mobile internet users is on the rise in the country. It’s worth noting that India has more than 750 million internet users. The wide availability of the internet has delivered numerous benefits, including improved governance, access to information, and digital payments.

The challenge of cybercrime, however, has continued to hurt people. Over the years, scamsters and fraudsters too have evolved into conducting more sophisticated attacks. Researchers at AI-based cybersecurity firm CloudSEK, have noted that cybercriminals are increasingly combining vishing (voice phishing) techniques with OTP grabber services to amplify their malicious activities.

Preventing such scamsters and attacks also serves Google, which operates UPI-based payment platform Google Pay. As of August 2023, Google Pay was among the top five UPI platforms in India along with PhonePe and Paytm. 

Google Pay gets a boost

Google said it is now enabling a credit line for merchants in partnership with ePayLater. It has launched sachet loans in collaboration with DMI Finance. Sachet loans will be available for as low as Rs 15,000, while easy repayment options start at Rs 111. 

For consumers, Google has added Axis Bank for personal loans through its payments application. DMI Finance has already been providing the service on the platform for a while. Google said it will add more partners for personal loans on the platform in the future.

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