As of May 2017, there are more than 56,286 registered websites in Nepal, including 40,000 commercial websites. Many businesses and organizations leverage digital marketing to enhance their online presence and promote their business globally. The growth of e-commerce in Nepal is inhibited due to the lack of a supporting ecosystem such as limited digital payment options. However, this is changing with the emergence of fintech start-ups such as eSewa and Khalti which are expected to disrupt the payments landscape.
However, when we were having a positive environment in the e-commerce industry due to the success of home-based fintech products like e-sewa we have a very bad example of tech companies hacking their own client’s data. F1soft International Pvt. Ltd. which operates a fintech product called e-sewa has been in controversy since April 2, 2020. Former, F1 soft International Pvt. Ltd.’s Past Vice- President and now Co-Founder/CEO of Fonepay and IT consultant of Prime Minister, “Mr. Asgar Ali '' has been in controversy with a corruption case in the purchase of medical supplies which aim to control the COVID-19 case in Nepal.
It has been reported in various media like Republica that Biswas Dhakal, president of F1Soft International Pvt. Ltd., and Asgar Ali, founder, and director of F1 Soft International, pressured Ujjwal Maharjan, CEO of Shiran Technologies Pvt. Ltd., to illegally remove the story from Kathmandupress.com’s website. Shiran has been working as the designer and developer of the news portal. F1 Soft International owns a number of companies, including eSewa and Shiran Technologies.
The case of an IT company hacking its customer data is a serious break of customer private data and according to the law..
Genuine Question that I have as a regular user:-
Asgar Ali company e-sewa holds 1 lakh merchant account (it takes approx Rs. 30000 to activate the merchant account) which is huge data in the server of the IT company. This makes me fear single data registers in e-sewa servers. Is my data safe? Is my data used for political purpose.
According to an e-Sewa blog, and a statement by Rosan Lamichine proudly claims, around 30 lakhs customers are using e-sewa apps and more than 20 lakhs actively make monetary transactions every day. The transaction amount is also huge which makes a payment gateway 20 crores per day in total for various purposes like paying for the electricity bills, drinking water bills, internet bills, etc. However, this amount doesn’t include bank to bank transaction which according to the company is more than 20 crore. Is money safe?
Almost 90% of banks' mobile banking software is designed by F1 soft International Pvt. Ltd. This means they have every control of bank Monterey data. Are banks safe under the partnership of an IT company which hacked customer data because it was not favouring the company?
When a country is going through a huge crisis, is it a good act of F1Soft leaders Asgar Ali and Biswas Dhakal leadership to pressurize someone’s team like Kosmos Biswokarma’s to delete the news from their own site? Isn’t it a threat to democracy?
With these insecure questions regarding democracy, the value of user data, I request e-sewa to put a delete option on their website so that all the users can delete their data as per user convenience. The controversial case where F1 Soft International Pvt. Ltd. leadership led by Biswas Dhakal and Asgar Ali, is evidence of hacking and users need to have an option to delete their data. So the petition urges e-sewa to put an account deletion option on their official website and request banks to stop coordinating with such companies who don’t value user data.
The issue has been covered by various news portals like Kathmandupress.com, Ratopati, Ekantipur, Republica etc.
https://kathmandupress.com/breaking/medical-equipment-buying-process https://ratopati.com/story/124451/2020/4/2/sewa https://ekantipur.com/news/2020/04/02/158581653276177120.html https://myrepublica.nagariknetwork.com/news/concerns-over-safety-of-public-money-data-after-f1soft-s-intrusion-in-news-website/