Market News

Banks plan greater tech uptake in online payments fraud fight


Kenya Bankers Association CEO Habil Olaka (left) and Fidelis Muia, Director of Technical Services. PHOTO | SALATON NJAU | NMG

Kenya Bankers Association (KBA) is seeking to increase the implementation of a two-step verification process and contactless technology by lenders to reduce fraud, especially in online payments.

The security strategy will see banks send a one-time personal identification number (PIN) to users and shoppers when transacting online.

E-commerce has gained pace in the country accelerated by the Covid-19 pandemic, with 60 percent of consumers estimated to engage in digital payments hence fuelling card frauds.

“Some banks have put multiple-factor authentication where sale and transaction are not confirmed on the internet alone,” said Fidelis Muia, technical services director at KBA.

“The banks will send a second one-time authentication password to the message or emails. We will see a reduction in frauds if all banks implement the feature.”

Card usage continues to face risk threats of fraud through social engineering, phishing, and identity theft, among others.

A lot of online payment fraud occurs without the presence of physical cards, indicating that criminals obtain the information they require without the knowledge of the affected bank customers.

“We are looking at reducing exposure of PINs by investing in contactless payment so that consumers don’t have to leave their pins, especially for small transactions and therefore we will push for this,” he added.

KBA will also be engaging consumers not to give out personal information such as passwords, PINs, and birth dates to reduce identity fraud.

Data from the Central Bank of Kenya’s national payments strategy show volume of card transactions at a point of sale (POS) increased to 42 million in 2021 from 5.5 million in 2010.

The value increased to Sh194 billion from Sh44 billion over the same period.

There were 49,375 POS machines as at February, up from 47,762 in a similar period in 2021.

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