VoguePay Seeks Industry Collaboration to Address Cybercrime


Emma Okonji

VoguePay, Nigeria’s payment platform, is seeking industry collaboration to curb the activities of cybercriminals in Nigeria. VoguePay, at a conference in Lagos recently, explained the need for industry collaboration towards protecting e-payment transactions in the country.

The company, which identified lack of cohesive coordination between the payment industry and security agencies, as major reason for the high rate of cyber attacks on the Nigerian superhighway, said there was need for industry collaboration to control the menace.

According to the company, which started operations in 2012 with less than $100 and now processes an average of $10 million transactions on a monthly basis, it had to develop one of the best robust security networks to provide safe and secure transactions for its businesses using its platform for financial transfers.

VoguePay gives a unique insight into the security challenges faced by international businesses, both large and small. It is of the view that organisations are reluctant to tackle the problem at its roots, with some security agencies having the attitude that businesses can mitigate the risk via insurance pay-outs. It said the best way is for industry players in the e-payment space to collectively tackle the challenge.

The Chief Executive Officer of VoguePay, Mr. Michael Simeon, said the VoguePay’s review of fraudulent transactions, revealed that the pattern detected by its security parameters points to an increase in deliberate collaboration between crime syndicates, using geo-location to avoid detection. He stressed that even when caught, the cyber criminals use geo-location patterns to avoid prosecution.

Simeon said a criminal could be using a card issued in the USA to perform transactions in the United Kingdom, via a merchant in China, saying this way, the criminals are taking full advantage of the lack of cross-country coordination when it comes to fighting cyber-crime.

Simeon believes that cyber criminals are well aware of the constraints affecting cyber-security authorities, which include coordination, cooperation, culture and budget.
He, however, noted that VoguePay plays a crucial role to protect its users, helping both merchants and customers to prevent and deter transactions that could prove to be fraudulent or result to potential charge-back transactions.

While there is no single security tool to eliminate cyber security threats, Simeon said businesses must apply series of security measures including Know Your Customer (KYC), in the fight against cyber-attacks.

He explained that the data collected through KYC is an important tool in the fight against cybercrime as it helps to reduce potential threats.

In providing security for Small and Medium Enterprises (SME) audience, he said VoguePay has enjoyed a market growth of 22 per cent month on month from SMEs for the last 10 months, which is making the firm to lend its voice to the need for collaboration between payment processors, card issuers and security agencies in terms of reporting and investigating incidents and apprehending perpetrators.

The Chief Operating Officer, VoguePay, Mr. Leke Ojikutu, highlighted that the company understood the market and the Nigerian e-payment train.

“We engage in proactive anti-fraud approach, engages industry partnership and collaboration, real-time monitoring of our system by a dedicated unit in-house, merchant monitoring system, among others,” he said.

Speaking in the same vein, the Chief Operations Officer of the company, Mr. Kwan Ojikutu, said as part of efforts to strengthen the e-payment platform, VoguePay in the process of concluding its Payment Card Identity (PCI-DSS) certification, recommended by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) for players in the payment industry.

In his comments, Head, Digital Media Strategy, Mr Wole Ogunlade, said VoguePay 2.0 has been developed to integrate the local people and people in the diaspora, claiming that the company has the largest merchant base of online platforms in Nigeria.