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Banks at Crossroads over CBN Deadline on Data Centre

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Money deposit banks are at crossroads over whether to fully outsource their data centre operations or get theirs certified to the required standard in view of security and control concerns as they race to meet with Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) directive to adopt tier 111 data centre standard this year.

Data centre is an information technology infrastructure that houses servers and other storage facilities which are used by banks, among others for their core business processes.

Tier 3 standard according to Uptime Institute Tier Standard is a global standard based on availability specifications for data centres. TIA 942 Standard for Data Centres is a telecommunications standard that specifies requirements for telecommunications infrastructure and facilities of data centres.

James Agada, managing director, Computer Warehouse Group plc, told Nigeria CommunicationsWeek that banks are faced with many considerations in management of their data centres.

“From technical and economic considerations it is better for banks to outsource their data centres. But, then banks also consider security and control of their information warehoused in the data centre,” he said.

It was gathered that investing and managing of tier 111 data centre is a huge investment for banks to undertake going by the present economic situation in the country as well as high technical expertise it requires which is the reason they have opt for outsourcing.

Agada added that the specifications of tier 111 data centre is too big and not realistic for banks to adopt, he however, advocated outsourcing which he said some banks have already adopted. This allows banks to host their servers and other storage facilities at data centre of third party operator mostly telecommunications operators that have what it takes to run a data centre effectively.

He cautioned that such outsourcing model for data centres should not be driven by regulatory fiat but economic value for it not to go the way of Independent ATM Deployers (IAD), which did not bring any economic value that led to the collapse of their business model.

“In order not to have the same experience, outsourcing business model for data centre should be driven by economic value of the model to banks for it to succeed,” he stated

On availability of Tier 111 in the market, Ayotunde Coker, managing director, Rack Centre, Tier 111 data centre operator, said that there are 2.2 percent of available Tier 111 space in the market with a total colocation market of tier 111 design certified of 2,600 m2.

He added that the country has a total colocation market capacity of 5,825 m2 which suggest current outsourcing of 4.8%.

The adoption timeline is contained in a report conducted for CBN by accenture on IT standard for banks obtained exclusively by Nigeria CommunicationsWeek.

The report was based on respondent of 15 banks which include Access, Citibank, Diamond, FCMB, First Bank, GTB, Keystone, Skye Bank, Stanbic IBTC, Standard Chartered, Sterling, UBA, Union, MainStreet and Wema Bank.

On the scope of adoption, the report stated that ‘this standard shall be applicable to all banks and external (managed) service providers in the financial services industry.  All data centre infrastructure and facilities for the Nigerian FS industry shall satisfy the requirement for tier 111’.

Nigeria CommunicationsWeek believes that technology makes life more exciting and helps improve the lives of people around Nigeria and indeed the world. So since 2007, we have devoted our energy to independent reportage of technology and how they affect lives.

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E-Financial

UBA Introduces Video Live Chat with Co-Browsing Technology

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In recent times, customer behaviour and expectations are ever-evolving and with this challenge, comes the need to meet their needs as well as ensure, new offerings are at the forefront of technological evolution.

 

On the back of this development, UBA a leading innovative player in Financial Services is finding new ways to communicate and engage with their customers.

 

With the growing mobile consciousness, customer demand for online services is on the rise and it is imperative to meet this demand with digital self-service platforms.

 

However, to meet this demand, the role of human interaction in the process cannot be underestimated.

 

It fits into our creed to continue to foster our unlimited dedication and access to the customers.

 

In this regard, the United Bank of Africa, in its unrelenting effort to raise the bar, likewise the levels of ease and convenience in customer experience through innovation, has introduced Video live chat with Co-browsing technology.

 

Firstly it enables Customer Experience Experts to help customers in real-time, enabling a support experience centred on visual engagement.

 

Why is this important? 65% of the world are visual learners. Not only can enquiries and issues be resolved more efficiently and swiftly, but co-browsing can complement other channels, improving the overall customer experience

 

UBA is differentiating with Customer Experience and use of Video Live Chat and Co-browsing to improve customer acquisition, service and to improve x-sell & retention by enabling more meaningful contact with customers.

 

Video Co-browsing enables customers to virtually have a one-on-one interface with the bank through co-browsing application via video live chat, text chat, and through real time document exchange. This makes it easier for bank staff to assist customers through a number of difficulties; from filling intricate bank forms and even helping them resolve much more complex transactions. Sometimes, the platform simply facilitates directing the customers to the exact information they need.

 

It provides a secure file-sharing, compliant, real-time communication solutions that enables the bank hold co-browsing sessions to expedite troubleshooting as well as ordinary enquiries.

 

This without a doubt moves light years ahead of the old customer service where interaction is purely through phone calls; this method which has proven to be frustrating especially when it involves fixing a problem urgently.

 

It also comes resourcefully as a quick and easy fix for those who do not have enough time for a physical visit to the bank to take care of their transactions.

 

Other benefits include:

o       All session actions are accountable

o       Secure collaboration

o       Navigate the web together

o       Control access

o       Collaborate online, effectively

 

With this latest innovation, UBA can engage visually and digitally with customers while maintaining human interaction at any given time, in a bid to continue to virtualize customer experience.

 

It offers faster solutions in response to customer enquiries on a more personalised basis anywhere, anytime and from any device.

 

UBA as always, is committed to ensuring greater efficiency and better customer satisfaction. To experience the Video Love chat and Co-browsing technology, visit ubagroup.com .

 

 

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E-Financial

BVN: CBN Orders Banks to Keep Database of Fraudulent Customers

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Godwin Emefiele, Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) yesterday directed banks to establish a database of their customers identified through their Bank Verification Numbers (BVNs) to be involved in a confirmed fraudulent activity in the banking industry.

The directive was contained in the Regulatory Framework for Bank Verification Number (BVN) Operation and Watch-list for Nigerian Financial System released by the CBN. The implementation of the framework is with immediate effect.

’Dipo Fatokun, CBN Director, Banking & Payments System, who signed the framework, said bank customers are to by this framework, abide by  the regulatory framework for BVN operations and the watch-list for the Nigerian Banking Industry and also report all suspicious or unauthorized activities on their accounts.

Data from the CBN showed that Nigeria experienced a total of 3,500 cyber-attacks with 70 percent success rate and loss of $450 million within the last one year mainly through cross-channel fraud, data theft, email spooling, phishing, shoulder surfing and underground websites.

Although e-fraud rate in terms of value dropped by 63 percent, after the BVN introduction and improved collaboration among banks via the fraud desks, the total fraud volume rose significantly by 683 percent.

The new regulation is expected to assist the CBN to a great deal, in curbing the menace of fraudsters

According to Fatokun, the new framework is in the exercise of the powers conferred on the CBN, by Sections 2 (d) and 47 (2), of the CBN Act, 2007, to promote the development of efficient and effective payments systems for the settlement of transactions.

He said the framework provides standards for the BVN operations and watch-list for the Nigerian Banking Industry. The watch-list comprises a database of bank customers’ identified by their BVNs, who have been involved in a confirmed fraudulent activity in the banking industry in Nigeria.

Fatokun said the regulatory framework shall guide activities of the participants in the provision of the BVN operations in Nigeria and that the CBN, Nigeria Inter-Bank Settlement System (NIBSS), Deposit Money Banks (DMBs), Other Financial Institutions (OFIs) and Bank Customers are participants in its implementation.

He said the CBN, in collaboration with the Bankers Committee, proactively embarked upon the deployment of a centralized BVN System and launched the BVN in February 2014. This, he said, was part of the overall strategy of ensuring the effectiveness of the Know Your Customer (KYC) principles, and the promotion of a safe, reliable and efficient payments system.

The BVN gives a unique identity across the banking industry to each customer of Nigerian banks.

“This framework also defines the establishment and operations of a Watch-list for the Nigerian Banking Industry, to address the increasing incidences, of frauds, with a view to engendering public confidence in the banking industry.

“This framework, without prejudice to existing laws, is a guide for the operations of the watch-List in the Financial System.”

The Watch-list is a database of bank customers identified by their BVNs, who have been involved in confirmed fraudulent activities.

The framework is expected to clearly define the roles and responsibilities of stakeholders; clearly, define the operations of the BVN in Nigeria; define access, usage and management of the BVN information, requirements and conditions and provide a database of watch-listed individuals.

It is also expected to outline the process and operations of the watch-List and deter fraud incidences in the Nigerian Banking Industry.

In implementing this framework, the CBN is expected to approve the Regulatory Framework and Standard Operating Guidelines as well as approve eligible users for access to the BVN information.

The Nigeria Interbank-Settlement System (NIBSS) is to collaborate with other stakeholders to develop and review the Standard Operating Guidelines of the BVN while the banks are to ensure proper capturing of the BVN data and validate same before the linkage with customers’ accounts.

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E-Financial

NDIC wins Excellence Award

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The Nigeria Deposit Insurance Corporation (NDIC) has been conferred with the “Special Recognition and Commendation Award for Excellence in Banking (Public Service)” at the Business Day Banking Awards 2017 which was held over the weekend.

In a letter of commendation to the Corporation, the awards committee anchored stated that the NDIC was adjudged as: “an outstanding public service provider” with sterling performance which stood high above its peers in effective leadership and accomplishments.”

According to the organisers, the award committee reviewed the pragmatic and tangible transformations which the Corporation brought into management and execution of its core mandate including mitigation of corruption, insider abuse as well as containing non-performing loans in the nation’s financial system.

The Committee stated that the NDIC: “has also pursued the observance of corporate governance principles in the Nigeria’s financial system”, with declaration that this contribution and other milestone achievements earned the Corporation the public recognition.

Receiving the award on behalf of the Corporation, Alhaji Umaru Ibrahim, NDIC Managing Director, said the corporation welcomed the award as a challenge to further raise the bar of excellent performance on the discharge of its mandate.

He recalled the rebranding of the Corporation in 2013 which gave rise to the overhaul of the its processes, procedures, systems and methods of operation in line with global best practices in deposit insurance.

He expressed delight that Management’s initiatives were paying off with recognitions coming from home and abroad.

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