Combating e-payment fraud requires collaboration, consumer education, capacity devt – Stakeholders

By Elizabeth Adegbesan
Stakeholders in the electronic payment service sector have advocated for increased collaboration between operators and regulators, consumer education and improved capacity development in order to curb incidences electronic payment fraud.

They made this call in Lagos at the 9th annual Payment Systems and Fraud conference organized by E-Payment Providers Association of Nigeria (EPPAN).

Musa Jimoh, Head, PSPOD, CBN, Adedodun Suleiman, Chairman, EPPAN, Agada Apochi, MD/CEO, Unified Payment Services Ltd. and Ikechukwu Nnamani, CEO, Medallion Communications Ltd.

Speaking at the conference, the Governor, Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Mr. Godwin Emefiele, said that the fraudsters have employed the use of social engineering and other new methods to extort  bank account details  from victims and that continuous collaboration  among stakeholders would help curtail such tactics. He was represented by Head, Payment System Policy and Oversight Division, CBN, Mr. Jimoh Musa.

He said: “You find a situation where there are people at ATM location right now that are there to commit fraud. They present themselves as ATM professionals. It happens everywhere. There are so many different kinds of report about how people walk up to people (social engineering) at the ATM stands to defraud them.

“That is why we come up with a lot of policies and guidelines. We also formed a forum where all institutions, all banks come together to share some of the incidents of these frauds in other to enable everyone have an idea of what the cybercriminals are trying to do. CBN will always provide the backing for the industry to push together as one entity right in this. We are also doing inter agency collaboration with Nigeria Financial Intelligence Unit (NFIU), the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), the Judges, Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC),   Nigeria Deposit Insurance Corporation (NDIC), all of us coming together to see how we can deal with this issue of fraud.

“It is actually going to be a collaborative effort because these guys are fast developing. As we are here today, some of them are here listening to some of the techniques we are discussing.   So, as they listen to these techniques they try to up their antics in order to surpass whatever techniques they think we have here to diffuse all the strategies that we put together. It needs all of us to work together to be able to fight this menace.”

Emefiele further urged banks to be on alert and to be close to customers in order to sustain and secure their confidence.

“The banks have to be very ready. They have to be close to their customers. They need to put that confidence in their customers because if they don’t put confidence in their customers, the confidence in money when we are talking of payments, will be lost. The confidence in banking, we are looking at when you are keeping your valued assets, will be lost.

“So what CBN is doing is trying to sensitize banks and to engage their customers by sensitizing them and let them know their rights and what the banks may now expect from them, be on their guards all the time. This sensitization on consumer education is very paramount. Like I said social engineering is now the key ways in which the fraudsters are gaining account details of customers.   If you are aware that no bank will ever ask you on phone to provide your account number, Personal Identification Number (PIN), your card details and Bank Verification Number (BVN), then the incidences of ATM fraud, e-payment fraud will be eradicated.”

According to Chairman EPPAN,   Adedotun Sulaimon, “Consumers have loved the speed and convenience that epayment services provide but the criminals also like it or they may even like it better.

According to Nigeria Interbank Settlement System (NIBSS) second quarter report for this year, the payment system lost about N119 million to fraud out of the attempted value of N2.3 billion. This shows that 21 percent of attempted fraud was successful. This fact reveals that we need to do more about the insecurity around our national e-payment system.”

E – Payment to be extended to financially excluded rural dwellers


Meanwhile, Managing Director, Unified Payment Services Limited, Agada Apochi, said that efforts are been made to extend e-payment to rural dwellers excluded from financial services.

He said: “We must begin to pay attention to new ways that we do the things that we do,  just the things we do are changing. Unless we change our habits we will not be able to maximize our opportunities and values in the real world. In this respect, it is important that banks, being the  dominant stakeholders, work with you to acquire processes and behaviours within their institutions.

“The best way to minimize fraud, minimize risk is what we do ourselves as operators. My recommendation, therefore, is that we should be cautious in celebrating the challenges of an institution. You should encourage the sharing of ideas and knowledge. Sharing such ideas and knowledge does not mean you will not have opportunities in competition.

“The adoption rate of e-payment has been good so far but there is a lot more to do because throughout adoption of e-payment we will be able to get value for businesses, business will grow and more opportunities will likely be profitable for people to participate and I will encourage everyone to take advantage of those opportunities.

“In terms of ratio growth or decline in e-payment fraud, there is no increase of e-payment fraud in Nigeria. Nigeria is one of the safest places when it comes to e-payment and the reason is simple. The worlds had allergic anxieties about Nigeria and because of that, we took it upon ourselves to turn it into a good opportunity by adopting standards that will see an interest in the world and even improved substandard. For example, Nigeria was the first country where the use of the Magnetic scratch card was banned and full adoption of chips and PIN.”

He further said: “The people in the rural area what I will say to them is that the industry is coming to them. They have been excluded in the past but attention is been given to them now. They will not only be included but they would be understood. We will move from them been excluded to been understood and been included. And through such an inclusive approach we hope to move them up from wherever they are in this to a higher standard of living.”

Presenting a 2017 Cyber Security Reports, Chief Executive Officer, Medallion Communications Limited, Ikechukwu Nnamani stated: “In Nigeria today, we have a population of 195 million. The estimated cost of cybercrime in the year 2017 was N649 million and the estimated number of certified professionals was 2,800.   If you look at the population against that number of certified professionals, there is a huge skill gap.

“Ninety percent of Nigerian organizations fall below cybersecurity poverty line. According to this report, we should understand that in Nigeria we still do not have the habit of reporting crime. When you are doing your report you really do not need to hide crime because if you do that it is going to have a really big effect on the economy.

“In 2017, we saw a rise by 4 percent of victims of cybercrime in the last five years in the banking and finance industry. In government, we have a four percent increase. Then in the telecommunications industry, it dropped by two percent. So what are they doing right and what are we doing wrong in the financial industry? We know too much, we talk too much in the financial industry but really we are not protecting ourselves the way we are supposed to.”


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