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Bank fraudsters focus on customer identity theft – KBA

Kenya Bankers Association (KBA) Chief Executive Habil Olaka says these include fraudsters using customers personal information to access funds in financial institutions especially banks/FILE

NAIROBI, Kenya, May 3 – Identity theft is one of the leading scheme bank fraudsters are using to steal money from banks or customers after the adoption of EMV enabled ATMs in 2013.

Kenya Bankers Association (KBA) Chief Executive Habil Olaka says these include fraudsters using customers personal information to access funds in financial institutions especially banks.

“Card related fraud has significantly reduced after the adoption of EMV as the industry standard for payment cards in Kenya. However the fraudsters have evolved other means to steal money like getting customers key information and walking into a bank and access funds,” Olaka said.

Apart from getting customers’ information, the biggest challenge also remains compromised bank staff who collude with fraudsters by accessing key systems.

“Even as we educate customers to be careful with their bank details like PIN and passwords we are also urging banks to ensure they properly vet the staff that deal with specific sensitive systems. If you have to be thorough with customers where you get all their details, why not get thorough within employees too?” he added.

Fraud data in the banking sector he said, has remained challenge as banks shy away from reporting the amounts they lose making it difficult to tackle the challenge possible.

Olaka noted that most banks would rather report the case for investigation and avoid making public amounts lost which he says could be efforts to protect their image.

He was speaking on Thursday during the launch the Card and Online Safety Awareness Campaign dubbed ‘Kaa Chonjo’ in partnership with Interswitch.

During the month-long campaign, service providers will be engaging the public to sensitise them on the importance of safeguarding their bank account details, including their PINs and Passwords, while transacting at ATMs and via mobile banking, online platforms and other channels.

Interswitch CEO Paul Ndichu noted that consumer confidence is an imperative in the payment card business.

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He said protecting cardholder data and maintaining the integrity of the card payment system are not only the right things to do for consumers, but they also serve the business interests of card issuers, networks, merchants, and acquirers.

“Fraud in the payment industry is a serious threat, however, we are continuously monitoring transactions as well as card fraud trends to ensure we close any emerging loophole. As stakeholders we are always innovating to provide a safe and secure online payment experience,” Ndichu said.

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