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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

Bitcoin Smashes Through $8,000 for the First time

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Bitcoin hit a new record high on Monday after smashing through the $8,000 level for the first time over the weekend, marking an almost 50 percent climb in just eight days.

The new high came after leading U.S. payments company Square Inc said late last week that it had started allowing select customers to buy and sell bitcoins on its Cash app.

Bitcoin traded as high as $8,197.81 on the Luxembourg-based Bitstamp exchange, up over 2 percent on the day and around 48 percent up since dipping to $5,555 on Nov. 12.

An eye-watering eightfold increase in the value of the volatile cryptocurrency since the start of the year has led to muliple warnings that the market is in a bubble, and institutional investors are broadly staying away.

Retail investors, however, as well as some hedge funds and family offices, are piling into the market. The “market cap” of all cryptocurrencies hit an all-time high of over $242 billion on Monday, according to trade website Coinmarketcap.

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E-Financial

ePayment Stakeholders’ Seek Review of Policy on PoS to Boost Growth

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Worried by slow pace of growth in the use of Point of Sale terminal (PoS) as a means of payment in the country, stakeholders have called on Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN)to review its policy direction in that ecosystem.

 

This is coming as Nigeria CommunicationsWeek investigations revealed fluctuations in the figure of registered and deployed terminals between August and October this year.

 

According to a report released by NIBSS the industry Payments Terminal Service Aggregator (PTSA), the number of deployed  terminals increased in August to 141, 531 and dropped to 140, 448 in September and increased again in October to 145, 350.

 

Also, same was noticed on the number of registered terminal with August recording 173, 815 and came down to 169, 318 in September while October witnessed increase to 176, 185.

 

Sarafadeen Fasasi, president, Association of Mobile Money Agents in Nigeria, attributed this slow growth to a number of factors which includes lack of support to drive the business.

 

“Support I mean is providing financial backing for transactions on the PoS just the way ATMs are loaded with cash for withdrawals. Today, there are no facility for PoS agency business by the banks which is the major determinant of success or failure of PoS innovation,” he said.

 

He decried lack of structure on ground to resolve issues arising from PoS transactions.

 

“If customer’s account is debited without ATM paying, the individual will go to the bank and fill form for reversal, but in PoS transactions there is no such thing which has pushed customers to resolve to holding on to PoS attendant to ensure that the issue is sorted out. As at today, all issues arising from ATM, switching, PoS, online among others, are under NIBSS which does not have the capacity to coup with these issues,” he said.

 

He however, urged CBN to review her policy on PoS for it to witness the desired growth, such review he said could come in creating a unit to address issues arising from PoS transactions.

 

“If the policy is reviewed it will build trust and confidence in the use of the platform for payment. More so, PoS fixed charge is high at .075, this means that customer is charged N750 on N100,000 transaction compared to N65 charged on withdrawal outside of customer’s bank ATM,” he added.

 

Onajite Regha, executive secretary/CEO, E-Payment Providers Association of Nigeria (E-PPAN)said: “So far, E-PPAN in its advocacy nature has taken steps ahead to break the barrier of this poor adoption. We are looking into capturing the lower part of the pyramid with the mobile payments awareness which will see more people included financially and thereby increase the adoption of the Cashless policy.”

 

“We are also open to discussions on advocacy and sensitization from financial bodies who have products and services to render in the pursuit of the success of this policy. From time to time we carry out sensitization, financial literacy and education programme and we partner with stakeholders to expose the benefits of electronic payments to consumers across the strata”.

 

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E-Financial

Africa FinTech Foundary set to Disrupt FinTech Ecosystem

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L-R: Victor Etuokwu, Executive Director, Personal Banking, Access Bank Plc; Averi Thomas-Moore, Company Builder, Venture Lab, ACCION and Victor Okigbo, Head, Africa Fintech Foundry (AFF) at a press conference to announce the maiden edition of ‘AFF Disrupt’ Conference 2017 in Lagos.

Africa FinTech Foundary, an Access bank accelerator which seeks to create new opportunities in sub-saharan Africa by providing a platform designed to inspire and challenge African innovators and entrepreneurs is set to launch with a conference on FinTech ecosystem.

The conference dubbed ‘AFF Disrupt’ is scheduled to hold on December 14, 2017 in Lagos.

Victor Etuokwu, executive director, Access bank, said that AFF will provide African companies seeking to launch their products, with capacity building and training in business development, provide connectivity to global innovation grids, promote access to capital, create opportunities for partnership as well as showcase best practices and successes in African-led innovation solution.

“Every FinTech seeks to disrupt the world through product or solution and AFF is here to disrupt. We want to do things that will drive the economy through innovative products and solutions. We are going to gather a team of investors that will help fund innovators that graduates from the accelerator programme of AFF,” he said.

Victor Okigbo, head, Africa FinTech Foundary (AFF), said that the Foundary has lined up activities preceding the main launch event which include master classes on entrepreneurship technology, enterprise design, collectively referred to as the AFF Innovation Tour, holding in four African cities this November.

He said AFF is in partnership with global technology giants such as IBM, Microsoft, Systemic Logic, Kantar TNS, SAS and Access bank as part of the AFF Disrupt programmes.

Adekele Adekoya, Event Coordinator for the AFF Disrupt conference, said that AFF seeks to create new opportunities in sub-Saharan Africa by providing a platform designed to inspire and challenge African Innovators and entrepreneurs.

“We want to engage with startups in all the locations we visit. This is a very good opportunity for startups to take advantage of the partner network created by AFF DISTRUPT and its partners to create linkages and networks that can help grow their businesses,” he said.

The vetting process is currently going on, and a total number of 12 starts-ups would be selected from a pool of about 400 start-ups, to demo at the AFF Disrupt 2017 conference holding in Lagos and also get to be part of the Africa FinTech Foundary’s 3-month accelerator programme.

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