MD, Interswitch, Mr. Mitchell Elegbe
By Emma Okonji and Amaka Eze
Interswitch, a switching infrastructure company with a robust platform for financial transactions, has assured Nigerians of safety in all their financial transactions.
Managing Director of Interswitch, Mr. Mitchell Elegbe gave the assurance when he led his management team on a courtesy visit to the Lagos corporate office of THISDAY Newspapers recently.
The visit is part of activities marking the 10th anniversary of Interswitch as a shared infrastructure company, providing services for seamless financial transactions in the country.
According to “Elegbe, Interswitch has made significant efforts aimed at reducing risk in all financial transactions on its shared infrastructure platform, through the introduction of various payment cards like the Verve card, the Quick Teller, among others .”
He said the shift from Magnetic Strip cards to Chip and Pin had greatly minimised cases of financial fraud in the banking system.
He explained that efforts had been made to raise the confidence of Nigerians in financial transactions, using the Interswitch shared infrastructure platform.
“We have built some forms of confidence around our web financial transactions and more people are beginning to play in that direction with so much confidence because of the security measures we have built around web transactions.”
Addressing the initial fears that led to the slow adoption of the cashless initiative of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Elegbe blamed the situation on merchants and the behaviour of Nigerians to adapt to change.
According to him, the merchants who were supposed to be using Point of Sales (PoS) machines for retail transactions, refused to do so, for fear of not making extra income that they would have made if financial transactions were done manually.
He revealed that most PoS deployed across the country were not put into proper use as majority of them were locked up in drawers by sales representatives of merchants.
According to him, sales representatives of merchants prefer receiving physical cash for goods and services, instead of receiving cash electronically through a PoS terminal equipment, to enable them corner some money to themselves in the process of remitting cash to merchants at the end of the day.
Chief Client Engagement Officer for Interswitch, Mrs. Tito Aderoju, who was part of the visiting team, spoke on the vision of the company, and its intention to handle risk management effectively, in order to give customers the peace of mind that they deserve, during and after any financial transactions.
According to her, “Interswitch is a Nigerian heritage with a world-class outlook, which has succeeded over the years, in aggregating different payment channels into a single platform with high security network.”
“Part of the things we are doing is the implementation of state code identity and we have done that with Cross River State and we are also involved in using our solution in addressing health issue”, she said.
Addressing the issue of responsibility and payment of liabilities in the event of fraud, Elegbe said apportioning responsibilities after any detected fraud, depended on the liability shift in cash value chain between the bank, the merchant, the customer, and the provider of the payment platform.
According to him, in the case of fraud, the nature of the fraud and the outcome of the investigation, would determine who bears the liability.
“Any of the party found guilty after any fraud investigation, bears the responsibility and it could be the customer, the merchant, the bank, or even the payment platform provider,” Elegbe said.
He however warned customers not to trust anyone to the extent of compromising their Personal Identity Number (PIN) of their electronic cards.