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Expert Calls on FG to Tackle Fraud in ePayment Sector

Expert Calls on FG to Tackle Fraud in ePayment Sector

Emma Okonji

The Head of Engineering, OnePipe, Victor Irechukwu, has called on the federal government to tackle cases of online fraud in order to make epayments more acceptable to all.

Irechukwu, in a statement, said the commonly reported theme has been a situation where people’s debit cards are used to make deposits on a gambling website without their knowledge.

According to him, “At other times, you are shown a debit alert by someone who wants to purchase goods or services from you, but only later realise they showed you what has now been termed ‘fake alerts’. By this time, your goods, for instance, would have been long gone.

“In recent months, social media has been awash with reports of money literally growing wings and leaving some people’s accounts to those of other people without authorisation. Many of these cases have gone viral on social media, causing embarrassment for the banks involved – The issues are either quietly – or corrected with public acknowledgement. But not all are resolved.

“As much as the country and even individuals would like to go cashless, these bad experiences leave a sour taste in the mouth, and they have continued to rain on the parade as Nigeria marches towards a cashless economy. It must be stressed that a cashless economy does not mean theft of money will stop, what it does is to change how thieves go about it. But more importantly, it also doesn’t mean thefts must occur.”

He said in the electronic world, an article on The Balance Money, had described hackers as the bank robbers and muggers.

He quoted the Nigeria Inter-Bank Settlement System Plc (NIBSS), as saying that growth in the use of electronic channels, specifically mobile devices has also enticed fraudsters into focusing their efforts on these electronic channels.

“NIBSS also showed that fraud attempts via mobile channel saw a 330 per cent increase year-on-year (YoY) between 2019 and 2020, while attempts via web and POS channels saw a 173 per cent and 215 per cent increase YoY. In those nine months, 96 per cent of the attacks were successful and there were 46,126 of such attacks.

“This trend is expected to continue as Nigeria further grows financial inclusion and customers become increasingly dependent on electronic channels for their day-to-day transactions,” NIBSS said. 

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