Firms, Banks Intensify Efforts to Reduce Financial System Fraud

By Goddy Egene

Global data security firm, OneSpan, in partnership with MAXUT Consulting have intensified their collaboration with banks in the country to safeguard customers and reduce fraud in the Nigerian financial system.

This is coming against the background of the disclosure by the Managing Director of Mr. Adebisi Shonubi that the banking industry lost N12.30 billion to various frauds in the banking system between 2014 and 2017.

Shonubi made this disclosure through the  Head, Industry Security Services at NIBSS, Mr. Olufemi Fadairo,  at the thirdannual Banking Security Summit in Lagos last Thursday.

However, the Chief Executive Officer of MAXUT Consulting, Mr. Mike Odusami said

his company and the banks were working hard to ensure they plug holes that fraudsters could use to defraud customers, saying  the company had been working in the background to prevent frauds.

 “Our solution as a technology company is really about fraud prevention; safeguarding the customers, identifying and authenticating the person and making sure that this is the person the bank authorises because most of the transactions are not physical, they are done through electronic channels.

“And also in the background, we are monitoring everything that is go on in the system that is fraud monitoring and we have helped a lot of banks and financial institutions to do that,” he said.

 According to him,  the Nigerian banking system was advanced and not lagging  in terms of digital banking, noting that  a lot of transactions are still being done through the   Unstructured Supplementary Service Data(USSD) channel hence the high level of frauds.

 “We are very advanced, we are not lagging  behind, but because a lot of transactions are still done through USSD channel, this is the normal feature channel and anybody can use it.

“A lot fraud are done in that channel either through SIM swap, stolen phones and kidnapping. So, we are working with the banks to develop a solution to curb that,” Odusami said.

He stressed that the company was committed to make the banking system safer for people to have confidence  in the system by ensuring fraud prevention in the country, saying the annual banking  security  summit is one of the ways  of  making the financial system safer for people.

Experts who spoke at the summit proffered various ways to  prevent frauds in the system. For instance, Shonubi said mobile fraud would overtake ATM fraud by 2020, just as he called on Nigerians to protect themselves by ensuring phone lock, sim lock, swap/recycle checks.

They also called for strong authentication regulation, saying it helps   financial services reduce fraud, strengthen consumer trust, and stimulates innovation.

Ecobank Takes Financial Inclusion Drive to Universities

Nume Ekeghe

Thousands of students across various tertiary institutions in the country have been on-boarded on the Ecobank Mobile App following the ‘Ecobank Xpress Campus Storm’ campaign that is currently visiting universities and polytechnic campuses across the country.

 The ‘Ecobank Xpress Campus Storm’ which commenced in May, has since visited the University of Lagos, Akoka, the Yaba College of Technology, University of Benin, and is currently in Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, a statement from the bank revealed.

Speaking on successes recorded so far, Head, Consumer Marketing, Mr. Ikechukwu Kalu, said the concept of the campus storm is part of a holistic youth engagement campaign across Nigeria.

He explained that the initiative, a youth engagement program in tertiary institutions across Nigeria, was part of efforts to deepen financial inclusion by banking the youths.

This, he said also aligns with the bank’s strategy to make banking available to the hitherto unbanked and underbanked in support of the Central Bank of Nigeria’s financial inclusion drive.

“The Campus Storm avails students of tertiary institutions the opportunity to open the Ecobank Xpress account, a digital account that requires no documentation, minimum balance or paperwork, simply by downloading the Ecobank Mobile app.

“With the Ecobank Xpress account, students will be able to access financial services such as airtime top up, funds transfer and bill payment from their mobile devices.

“Parents and guardians will also be able to transfer money to their children or wards‘  Xpress accounts which they can withdraw without a card at any Ecobank ATM (using Xpress Cash) or Xpress Point”, he noted.

On the activities during the storms, he explained that at the various campuses the bank sets up free WiFi centres tagged the ‘Xpress Corner’, which gives students opportunity for free internet browsing and also affords the chance to win exciting prizes during the activation.

In addition, they hold concerts with major artistes as a means of infusing fun into the program.

According to Kalu, the campus storm has so far been a huge success and the bank is satisfied over the reception and acceptance of the Ecobank Xpress account by the students in the institutions so far visited.

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