Financial Losses to Online Fraud Declining, Say NIBSS, CBN

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By Emma Okonji

The Nigeria InterBank Settlement Scheme (NIBSS), and the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), have assured Nigerians of continuous reduction in the financial losses suffered by bank customers through online theft.

The two institutions however warned banks not to relax on the ongoing fight against financial theft and to come up with measures that would address the current trend where Fin-Tech vendors now roll out different applications with tempting incentives that will lure a whole lot of bank customers away from the banking sector. Such trend, if not checked, they warned, may give room to huge financial theft, since the operations of the Fin-Tech are not regulated.

Both the CBN and NIBSS gave the advice at a technology forum in Lagos recently, organised by technology experts on secured data.

Giving details of the decline in bank financial losses, the Managing Director, NIBSS, Mr. Ade Shonubi said in 2014, the total volume of fraudulent transactions across all banks was 1,461, resulting in N7.8 billion value of attempted fraud and N6.2 billion actual fraud loss. He however said that in 2015, the total volume of fraudulent transactions increased to 10, 743, resulting in N4.4 billion attempted fraud and N2.3 billion actual fraud loss.

Shonubi explained that the 2015 figures showed a decline in the actual fraud loss from N6.2 billion in 2014 to N2.3 billion in 2015, even when there was increase in the volume of fraudulent transactions from 1,461 in 2014 to 10, 743 in 2015.

According to him, the stringent measures put in place by the CBN, helped in no small measures in reducing the rate of successful online theft in the country in the past few years.

Assistant Director, Banking and Payment System at CBN, Mr. Sola Agbola, who represented the Director, Mr. Dipo Fatokun, said the CBN had in 2014 and 2015, introduced two factor authentication system for banks, to guide all financial transactions; the regulation of a non-EMV card; as well as the creation of fraud desk in all banks. He said such measures helped in reducing financial losses in banks.

Although he called on banks to continue strict enforcement on the CBN’s introduced measures, he however explained that the introduction of Chip and Pin cards as against the magnetic stripe cards that were initially used, also helped in reducing financial losses.

According to Shonubi, the use of Automated Teller Machine (ATM), recorded the highest number of fraudulent transactions in banks in 2015, followed by Point of Sakes (PoS) machines and web transactions through internet banking. He explained that the ATM recorded the highest number of fraud in 2015 because of the introduction of cash transfer with ATM cards last year. He said online thieves now prefer to use ATM machines and PoS machines to collect and spend stollen money because ATM machines do not deny cash withdrawal, especially when the card is duly registered with the banks, and that online thieves also prefer PoS because it is difficult to track ATM card holders to return stollen money, especially after they must have gone away with the items purchased with the stollen money from merchants.

They warned bank customers to be security conscious always and never disclose their ATM card information to anybody.