The Nigerian Electronic Fraud Forum has put the value of reported electronic banking fraud cases over the last three years at N5.571 billion.
Director of Banking and Payment System, Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), ‘Dipo Fatokun also said more efforts are being put in place to ensure security of customers’ funds.
Fatokun, who is also the chairman of the forum, at the unveiling of the 2017 NeFF Annual Report in Lagos yesterday, said as part of efforts to ensure safety of funds in the banking industry, the steering committee of the forum would be instituting an industry customer protection plan that is targeted at reducing the volume of fraud in the system.
He noted that there has been an increase in electronic fraud despite the various efforts put in place to check it. He said “it has become necessary to review and strengthen the existing rules and enact new regulations” to combat electronic fraud in the country.
Data released by NeFF showed that while the value of fraud perpetrated across counter has been on the decline over the last three years, the ones done via Automated Teller Machines and mobile devises has been on the increase. From N732.85 million in 2015, the value of fraud committed across the counter dropped to N511.0u3 million and N259.022 million in 2016 and 2017.
However, fraud via ATM channels has been on the rise from N355.89 million in 2015, it rose to N464.514 million in 2016 and increase further to N497.643 million in 2017. Likewise mobile payment fraud rose to N347.645 million in 2017 having dropped slightly from N248.144 million in 2015 to N235.17 million in 2016.
Fatokun noted that the increasing level of fraud on mobile had been mainly from USSD transactions. Banks in recent time had embraced USSD banking as part of efforts to deepen financial inclusion, promote cash less policy whilst making banking continent for customers.
There has however not been enough security measures put in place as customers complaint of fraud through the channel increased. Fatokun, attributing the rise in electronic fraud to increasing fraud on the USSD channel said “this was why the CBN issued a framework on USSD as a channel for e-payment transactions. “We noticed that the channel was purely responsible for the increase in e-payment fraud. That framework meant to become effective in June has been shifted to October 1, 2018 because certain requirement for the framework has not been put in place and we want to ensure that there are no loopholes.’’
Also speaking at the forum, executive director, Operations of the Nigeria Inter Bank Settlement System (NIBSS), Mrs Crystabel Onyejekwe noted that the increasing level of fraud is not peculiar to the country. According to her, there is an increase in fraud across all climes, globally, “but in Nigeria, while we are seeing a rise in attempts, actual loss to fraud is reducing.”
The volume of fraud in the country had risen from 19,513 in 2016 to 25,043 in 2017. However the value of attempted fraud and actually loss declined in 2017. The value of attempted fraud dropped slightly from N4.36 billion in 2016 to N4.034 billion in 2017, while actually loss value declined to N1.63 billion in 2017 from N2.19 billion in 2016.
Director, Other Financial Institutions, CBN, Mrs Tokunbo Martins, while noting that fraudsters are upping their skills alongside technology advancements stressed the need for operators in the payment system to collaborate in combating fraud in the industry. “We need to keep up the steam, passion in the fight against fraud and not rest on our oars because fraudsters are constantly exploring loopholes,” she said.
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