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Safaricom Chief Financial Services Officer Sitoyo Lopokoiyit addressing guests during the launch of Anti-fraud solution for the financial sector/Courtesy

Kenya

Financial firms to benefit from Safaricom’s anti-fraud system

Safaricom Chief Financial Services Officer Sitoyo Lopokoiyit addressing guests during the launch of Anti-fraud solution for the financial sector/Courtesy

NAIROBI, Kenya, Jun 25 – Financial institutions can now monitor and confirm customer’s information before lump-sum transactions are permitted in the wake of increased fraud cases.

Telecommunications service provide Safaricom has introduced an anti-fraud system dubbed International Mobile Subscriber Identity aimed to support financial institutions curb fraud incidents targeting customers.

Last year the company lost up to Sh1 million in a month through its customers who were fraud victims but the losses have declined by 75 percent.

Safaricom Chief Corporate Security Officer, Nicholas Mulila, says this will help access to more information to their super agents before any transactions are conducted especially when a sim swap raises suspicions.

“We are now able to provide more information to our super agents, where they need to determine how much a customer can withdraw, and if they think it is a suspicious transaction, then they can actually stop it,” said Mulila, during the launch of International Mobile Subscriber Identity.

Chief Financial Services Officer,  Sitoyo Lopokoiyit said that the Application Programming Interface (API) is available to all financial institutions including mobile banking and internet banking services.

“We actually aim to have all financial institutions using the service since it provides security to the customers in banks, SACCOS, and digital lenders,” he said.

The new security system also provides financial firms with the ability to re-design their lending plans and enhance the registration processes in which they can manage phone numbers linked to customer’s accounts that may later be discovered not to be in use.

It also cuts across three channels including – USSD, internet banking, and smartphone apps.

Banks, SACCOs and insurance firms will b able to access the subscriber identity service through an API provided as part of the Daraja M-PESA APIs.

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When a customer logs in through any of the reported channels, the financial institution then confirms the authenticity of the number by running the phone number through the service.

This will help verify whether the customer’s number has been recently swapped in oeder to make a decision on whether the transaction can proceed or be halted.

“Should the financial institutions adopt the new mechanism, then the country will experience a surge in the use of mobile and internet banking,” said Mulila

He has however recommended organizations to install strong security measures since some of the fraud cases are due to internal leaks by their employees.

“The biggest leakage we have is internal and that is why organizations are continuously dealing with fraud cases. “Put in place some very strong technical controls where you can monitor what people are doing in the systems to ensure your employees only get access to what is related to their work,” said Safaricom’s Chief Corporate Security Officer Mulila.

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