Safaricom on Monday launched an anti- fraud intelligence solution to help financial institutions reduce fraud incidences targeting their customers by providing them with a tool that authenticates financial transactions.
Speaking during the launch, Safaricom Chief Financial Services Officer, Sitoyo Lopokoiyit said that financial institutions would access the service through an Application Programme Interface (API) provided as part of the Daraja M-PESA APIs.
He added that once a customer attempts to log in through any of these channels, the institution would then run the customer’s phone number through the service to check against parameters such as whether a customer’s number has been recently swapped.
“Institutions can then factor in the result of the check to complement internal fraud rules and to make a decision whether to allow the transaction or if to further authenticate the customer through other methods,” he explained.
He added that the solution works across three channels including Unstructured Supplementary Service Data (USSD), internet banking and smartphone apps, which have been on the rise in the country corresponding with increasing internet and smartphone usage.
“We are launching a solution that will provide these world-class capabilities to our enterprise customers in the financial sector, empowering them to make more informed decisions when interacting with their customers in the digital space,” said Sitoyo.
He added that apart from authentication, the solution would also provide financial firms with abilities to better design their lending propositions, enhance the registration and on boarding of new customers, and also in managing phone numbers linked to a customer’s accounts but which may no longer be in use.
“Through t he years, we have developed in-house capabilities that have helped us cut down on attempted fraud incidences that arise from sim swap, targeting our customers by more than 75 percent,” said Sitoyo.
According to Safaricom Corporate Security Officer, Nicholas Mulila adoption of this solution was expected to benefit the country through increased usage of mobile and internet banking due to increased confidence both from the financial sector and customers.
Today, more than 3.5 million Kenyans use mobile and internet banking services in the country every month.
He added that sim swap fraud incidences have reduced from 10 cases amounting to over Sh.1 million monthly to Sh.200, 000 in the recent years.
Safaricom has over 31.8 million customers, providing over 200, 000 touch points for our customers and offering over 100 different products under their portfolio.
By Gloria Chebet/Purity Mumbua/Wangari Ndirangu