NAIROBI, Kenya, Apr 29 – Stakeholders in the financial, payments and online services sector have launched a public awareness campaign designed to educate consumers on measures of preventing fraud across channels as the country makes efforts to contain the Coronavirus disease.
Through the campaign dubbed ‘Kaa Chonjo!’, partners aim to promote safety messages that focus on emerging security risks, particularly those that have arisen from the increased use of card, mobile and online banking channels in this period. It will also seek to sensitize the public on secure use of ATM machines.
Themed ‘Securing Financial Inclusion’, the initiative is being coordinated by the Kenya Bankers Association in collaboration with card service provider Mastercard, PesaLink, Jamii Telecommunications Limited, Retail Trade Association of Kenya, and Consumer Grassroots Association.
Speaking during a conference call held to unveil the campaign, KBA Chief Executive Officer Habil Olaka noted that the banking industry is committed to continue working with stakeholders from both the public and private sector in order to safeguard the progress that has been made in financial inclusion amid emerging security issues and challenges occasioned by the Coronavirus pandemic.
‘’These collaborations are particularly important at this time, when all of us are being called upon to utilise payment cards, mobile and online banking platforms to reduce the spread of disease through physical currency exchange,’’ Olaka said, adding that some of the new threats the campaign seeks to address include social engineering, phishing email links, identity theft, and data breaches.
Mastercard East Africa Country Manager Adam Jones said the firm has over the years continued to work closely with merchants, issuers, digital players and other stakeholders in the payment’s ecosystem, delivering consistent service that is also compliant with standards.
“As people practice social distancing and follow the advice of health authorities to stay home and stay safe, we are seeing an increased uptake of online shopping. This campaign not only seeks to educate card users on the very important role that they play in ensuring their own safety during online and physical payments but also equips them with the information and tools need to stay safe. This campaign could not have come at a better time and we are pleased to once again be partnering with the KBA, aalongside other key industry players, on this initiative.”
Jamii Telecommunications Limited General Manager John Kamau said the company has invested heavily in necessary security features and protocols to protect its network. He further added that the firm has a secondary cable running on all its routes for protection.
“Jamii Telecommunications also runs digital campaigns to sensitise its customers on basic netiquette especially when performing certain transactions online, such as not using free public Wi-Fi for financial or sensitive transactions,’’ he said.
Consumer Grassroots Association Executive Director Alice Kemunto said the campaign would go a long way in supporting consumers to navigate security risks and ensure that their money is secure.
The observation was echoed by Retail Trade Association CEO Wambui Mbarire who emphasised the importance of creating awareness on transactions safety as more people are now making payments through cards, mobile phones, and online banking channels.
“In this era of Covid-19, as our Government encourages the citizenry to use cashless payment options, let us put more emphasis on sensitizing Consumers of the safety features around card usage to ensure our customers hard-earned monies are secured,’ she said.