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Experts Seek Improved e-Channels Security, Banks Lose N237bn In 10 Years

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By peter oluka

Fraudsters, especially through the electronic payment channels have stolen about N237 billion since 2007 from Nigerian banks.

This was made known on Monday by the Niyi Yusuf, country manager, Accenture, who declared that the e-payment sector was at the risk of huge losses.

Yusuf spoke as one of the lead presenters at this year’s edition of annual payment systems and fraud conference organised by the E-Payment providers Association of Nigeria (E-PPAN) in collaboration with the CBN and other major stakeholders in the e-payment industry.

Discussions at the forum were woven around the theme: ‘Leveraging Big Data Analytics in Combating Payment Fraud.’

According to him, as technology grows, the fraudsters also become sophisticated leveraging the pervasive Internet access, stating that since 2007, about N237 billion has been at the risk of fraud.

“As the adoption of e-payment rose in Nigeria, so also the amount lost to fraud. Only 12 per cent of fraud happens across the counters while the remaining 88 per cent is online,” he said.

According to Yusuf, the emerging trends in the financial industry will make combating fraud tougher and more essential in the next five to 10 years.

Speaking at the forum, Mr. Tunde Lemo, chairman, Lambeth Trust Limited and member, board of trustees, E-PPAN, said with increasing transactions, stakeholders have to come together to face tougher challenges in combating electronic fraud (e-fraud).

Also speaking, Mr. Adebayo Adelabu, deputy governor, Operations, CBN, challenged the players in the e-payment sector to take security measures very seriously, saying the apex bank would continue to implement policy framework that will continue to engender secure cashless transactions in the country.

In his submission, Mr. Dele Adeyinka, chairman, Committee of E-Banking Industry Heads (CeBIH), noted that the rising volume of transactions across different payment channels meant that “we need to constantly look for ways to ensure the e-channels are much more secure for people to transact without fear of losing their money.”

Meanwhile, of all the e-payment channels available in the country, ATM, web and mobile account for 77 per cent of fraud incidences, according to According to Head, Industry Security Services, NIBSS, Mr. Olufemi Fadairo.

Fadairo tasked stakeholders on the need to consolidate data in the industry towards mitigating fraud incidences.

Also, Kemi Okusanya, country director, Visa, emphasised the need to strengthen security of digital platforms, saying the proliferation of devices that now use Internet to access e-payment transactions is an indication that the future will continue to be mobile and “we all have a duty to collaborate to ensure we secure those platforms.”

She noted that 1.9 million records are stolen everyday with 53 per cent this linked to actual identities of people. “To secure our future, we must perfect our data, devalue it when necessary and harness it to prevent fraud,” she said.

Mrs. Regha Onajite, chief executive officer of E-PPAN, called on all stakeholders to leverage big data analytics to prevent fraud while also collaborating with each others in the area of sharing experiences on fraud incidences so as to prevent fraud in the system.

Meanwhile, over N57 trillion transactions are said to have been carried out across different e-payment platforms this year alone.

The platforms, according to experts who spoke at the event, cover cheque truncations system, National Instant Payment (NIP), NIBSS Electronic Funds Transfers (NEFT), Point of Sales (PoS) terminals, Automated Teller Machines (ATMs) and web-based transactions.

According to them “over N4 trillion cheque transaction has been done, NIP has done N40 trillion, NEFT has recorded N9 trillion, PoS has seen N975 billion, ATM transactions have reached N4.2  trillion while web-based transactions stand at N129 billion this year alone.”

They experts further hinted that the country is facing a tougher time in combating electronic fraud owing to the growth in emerging trends and technologies that make e-payment possible for bank customers.

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E-Financial

AfDB Expects Nigeria’s Economy to Grow at 2.1% in 2018

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The African Development Bank (AfDB) has predicted a positive outlook for Nigeria’s economic in 2018.

The bank in its 2018 African Economic Outlook projected that Nigeria’s economy would grow at 2.1 per cent in 2018 and 2.5 per cent in 2019.

According to AfDB, this outlook is anchored on higher oil prices and production, as well as stronger agricultural performance.

Notwithstanding this positive outlook for the country, the AfDB said Nigeria still faces significant challenges, including foreign exchange shortages, disruptions in fuel supply, power shortages, and insecurity in some parts of the country.

“In addition, revenue mobilization efforts are insufficient; at 5 per cent, value added tax rates are among the lowest in the world, and revenue administration is inefficient. Poverty is unacceptably high; nearly 80 per cent of Nigeria’s 190 million people live on less than $2 a day,” the bank said in its report.

Looking into the future, the AfDB economic prediction on Nigeria noted that “oil prices rebounded to an average of $52 per barrel (Brent crude) in 2017 and are projected to reach $54 in 2018, up from $43 per barrel in 2016.”

“Oil production also increased from 1.45 million barrels per day in the first quarter of 2017 to 2.03 million in the third quarter of 2017 following de-escalation of hostilities in the Niger Delta region and is expected to remain at the same level in 2018 and 2019, in tandem with the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) production restrictions,” AfDB added.

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Bitcoin Deeps Less Than $10,000 For The First Time Since December

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Bitcoin, the dominant digital currency, witnessed a slump on Wednesday following a recent surge to trade below $10,000 for the first time since the start of December.

 

Market analysis suggests that the price could shift in either direction and recent regulatory developments – out of South Korea and China in particular – could roil markets further, according to some observers.

 

Craig Erlam, senior market analyst Oanda trading group, said of bitcoin’s drop below $10,000 “There was clearly a significant speculative component to the rally late last year and the drop will be very discouraging to those that previously thought there was easy money to be made”.

 

Bitcoin is down from record highs approaching $20,000 in the week before Christmas, having rocketed 25-fold last year, before being hit by concerns about a bubble and worries about crackdowns on trading it.

 

David Cheetham, chief market analyst XTB noted that, “The panic-selling seen across all the major cryptocurrencies could be attributed to a possible regulatory clampdown in South Korea with authorities threatening to place an outright ban on cryptocurrency trading,”

 

“Having said that, this narrative has been around for many weeks now and isn’t really new but it has once more raised the spectre of tighter regulation on this market.”

 

 

 

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E-Financial

NSE Awaits Signing of Bill to be Publicly Listed

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Oscar Onyema, chief executive officer, the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) expects a bill that will allow the exchange to be publicly listed signed into law this year.

The second-biggest exchange in sub-Saharan Africa after Johannesburg and a main entry point for investors in Africa, the Nigerian bourse last year got a green light from its members, mostly stockbrokers and some institutional investors, to become a publicly listed company.

Oscar Onyema, NSE, CEO, said yesterday, he expects the public listing, a process known as demutualisation, to generate profits that will boost its business and product development capacity.

The Johannesburg Stock Exchange, the continent’s most developed stock market, has been a listed company since 2006.

“In 2017, we amplified our efforts to establish West Africa’s first derivatives market,” Onyema told analysts discussing the outlook for 2018.

“We also worked to create and enhance legal and regulatory frameworks which support derivative instruments, and have made significant progress towards securing approvals to operationalize these frameworks.”

The equities market in Nigeria was the third best-performing market in the world in 2017 after the central bank liberalised the naira for foreign investors, a move which lured back funds that been pulled out at the peak of a currency crisis.

Onyema attributed last year’s performance partly to central bank policies that helped increased currency market liquidity.

He added that he expected corporate earnings to lift equities this year, despite currency and political risks, after stocks crossed 44,000 points to hit a nine-year high on Tuesday.

Stocks gained 42 percent last year and have continued to rally this year, rising 13 percent in the first 11 days of trading.

Onyema said the market for initial public offerings remained inactive, noting that there are plans to revive new issues.

Nigeria’s bourse has around 200 listed companies and plans to launch exchange-traded derivatives securities this year.

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