Recommendations on banking services

I recently got spooked by reading Axis and Kotak banks privacy policy. Now that fastag is made mandatory (I’d love to discuss more on this too), everything is eventually getting linked back to bank account. Any recommendations on a decent bank with good track record of respecting privacy? Also what UPI apps are you folks using ? Any recommendation is welcome.

As someone who has been studying payment systems for few years now at CashlessConsumer , I can authoritatively say - Privacy in payments DOES NOT exist in India. The centralised data storage both in FASTag as well as UPI means - you are at mercy of what NPCI choses to do with the data collected through payments systems operated by them and their ability to protect that data. Remember you don’t even have a direct contract with them.

From a pure consumer protection standpoint - Never get a bank-linked FASTag and opt for a FASTag wallet which you can reload. This helps in securing your bank account.

Hey @srikanthlogic, I’ve been working on my research paper on UPI for a while and I Completely agree with you. NPCI as a central mapper is something unavoidable but I’m also concerned about TPAP’s like google pay, phonepe, etc. As they are also in possession of certain private data (maybe except for certain sensitive banking data) and so far I’ve decided to stick with BHIM app as to minimise the number of third parties involved.
The same goes with FASTag, I’d rather use my bank linked wallet vs other wallets to avoid having to submit KYC docs yet again, but again there’s not a lot of non bank linked wallet options.

Also, I find NPCI’s privacy policy very vague and I have no idea how or what Data is shared with parties involved outside a transaction. Lately NPCI has started pulling some documentations on UPI (like UPI specifications etc) off its website, which is really weird.

With the introduction of BharatQR, and merging UPI based QR and Bharat QR into a single QR eventually, which do you believe is a better option from a consumer protection standpoint (I’m assuming BharatQR involves a higher number of intermediary involved, correct me if I’m wrong).

My dad bought FastTag from HDFC bank because that is one bank that my dad trusts the most.

We have tried FastTag of Airtel Payments Bank and PayTm Payments Bank and they are all useless as they force you to connect FastTag with your main savings or current account, and every time you cross a toll booth they will be deducting the amount from your bank account, but in the case of HDFC FastTag this does not happen.

In the HDFC FastTag thing we have to deposit money into the HDFC FastTag website and every time the car crosses the toll booth it will deduct money from that HDFC FastTag account only.

I personally don’t know the privacy policies of banks and the FastTag as such but I believe HDFC is reliable.

I use GPay UPI app because even though Google might be sharing/selling my data I at least know that it would be very difficult for the hackers to gain access and I personally don’t mind Google seeing and analyzing how much I spend on zomato or swiggy :joy:

If you have multiple bank accounts, one strategy is to not link FastTag to your salary account. Even though it does not mean anything when it comes to privacy, you can sleep well at least.

I am not using any wallet or UPI apps, as I have been increasingly adopting a less and less apps policy and ‘slow’ transactions approach like the good old days.