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Anti-fraud group unveils initiatives with CBN, NCC

By Chijioke Nelson
04 July 2016   |   1:30 am
The combination of efforts by government agencies and banking industry anti-fraud initiative may have led to the tightening of assessed leakages in the payments system, a step further in locking out fraudsters...


Tightens payments system leakages

The combination of efforts by government agencies and banking industry anti-fraud initiative may have led to the tightening of assessed leakages in the payments system, a step further in locking out fraudsters that have become a menace to the country’s financial institutions.

Specifically, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Nigeria Electronic Fraud Forum (NeFF) and Nigerian Communications are now well advanced in their collective strategy to ensure safe payment system operations and restore confidence.

The disclosures were made at the unveiling of NeFF’s third yearly report titled “NeFF: Improving and Securing the Cyber-Environment”, which also coincided with the group’s second quarterly meeting.

The Director of Consumer and Financial Protection at CBN, Hajiya Umma Dutse, said the entire payments industry is worthy of commendations for the show and act of collaboration, that has been expressed through the support that NeFF has received in the fight against fraudsters in Nigeria.

“We all understand the effects of fraud. The reality of fraud is more real than imagined. Daily we are inundated with several claims and counter-claims that show how exposed and unprotected we can be when we fail to observe the etiquettes that govern the use of e-payment products.

“Today, it has become imperative that consumers are sensitized consistently in order to ensure that they stay not only ahead, but also above old, new and emerging threats in our payments system. That makes today’s occasion all too important,” she said.

The Chairman of NeFF and Director of Banking and Payments System at CBN, ‘Dipo Fatokun, said that the last three months have been such a busy period for NeFF, as strategies mapped out are being fine-tuned for take-off.

“My pride stems from the fact that we are here to unveil another literary contribution to the annals of e-fraud fighting in Nigeria…We thank all our stakeholders who found time to contribute to the scholarly papers that make up the report being unveiled today.

“The draft policy framework for the proposed Dedicated e-Payment and Card Crime Unit framework has now been completed and approval from the Committee of Governors received for the unit,” he said.

According to him, framework would be presented to the Bankers’ Committee to facilitate the recruitment of Industry Secondees, work study of similar units and take-off funding.

Already, the forum has received the support of the Executive Vice-Chairman of NCC on areas of collaboration in reducing vulnerabilities in the mobile space and increased participation at NeFF.

“A guideline on SIM Swap has been drafted by the NCC and is currently being jointly reviewed by the CBN and the commission. The NCC has also increased its participation at the NeFF with its New Media, Legal and Technical Standard Departments,” Fatokun said.

Presently, CBN, according to the recommendations, is expected to work with the National Information Technology Agency (NITDA) in pursuing the enactment of a Data Protection Law for Nigeria.

It will continue to encourage banks to utilize the services of local service providers, where those services exist in Nigeria and enforce the necessary security standards and protocols for the protection of systems as contained in existing guidelines.

“The threats faced today in our payments system require all stakeholders to constantly and consistently stay on the cutting edge of reality,” he added.
The Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of Fidelity Bank Plc, Nnamdi Okonkwo, whose bank co-hosted the meeting with Heritage Bank, in his presentation, noted that the web where payments are transacted is like a deep sea with known and unknown habitat.

According to him, the “deep web” are made up of desirable and undesirable elements, which calls for care and concern too with regards to the impacts of our electronic payment transactions and the global financial industry.

He called for reiterated the need for customers to protect their transactions and the web sites they log into, warning that some advertisements and invitations are some of the dark side of the deep web that must be scrutinized before making any transaction.