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‘Nigeria Loses N127b Yearly to Cybercrimes’

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cybercrime
  • ‘Nigeria Loses N127b Yearly to Cybercrimes’

A cyber security group, Cyber Security Experts Association of Nigeria (CSEAN) has estimated that Nigeria loses about N127 billion to cybercrimes yearly.

It said several cases of cyber crime activities in the country, many of which have resulted in financial losses by individuals and organisations, had been widely unreported.

The CSEAN said the country might face even greater odds in cybersecurity threats this year.

It, however, identified five cyber crimes that will dominate Nigeria this year based on the current trends as CEO e-mail scam, ransomware, online-assisted kidnapping, cyber bullying and online impersonation.

CSEAN President, Remi Afon, who said that the year 2017 would witness more ransomware than ever seen before in Nigeria, stated that with the rise of ransomware-as-a-service, cyber criminals could now purchase a user-friendly kit they could deploy with little or no cyber know-how from the dark web.

He described ransomware as a type of malware that infects a machine when a user clicks on a seemingly legitimate link and unknowingly downloads a malicious file. The virus will then encrypt the user’s files, share drives and servers, leaving them inaccessible unless the victim pays for the decryption key usually in crypto currency.

He said: “That kidnapping is on the rise in Nigeria is no news. What many people don’t know is that kidnappers are being assisted by their victims’ social media online activities and geolocation data on their smartphones. Geolocation data is information that can be used to identify an electronic device’s physical location.”

According to him, using smartphones’ built-in Global Positioning System (GPS) functionality allows location-based services (or geo-location) to locate and publish information about smartphone owners’ whereabouts.

He also identified online impersonation, which he categorised into two, as another top cyber crime to watch out for in 2017. He said while the first category impersonates politicians and religious leaders on social media by creating fake profiles with the aim of scamming their victims, the second usually creates fake profiles with attractive fake pictures so they can engage in what is called ‘romance scam’.

Afon stressed that cyber criminals were mainly interested in targeting foreigners, claiming they were in love with them and establishing a love relation to be able to swindle them.

CEO/Founder Investors King Ltd, a foreign exchange research analyst, contributing author on New York-based Talk Markets and Investing.com, with over a decade experience in the global financial markets.

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Fintech

TeamApt Transactions Hit N1.4T In May

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TeamApt - Investors King

Nigeria’s one of Nigeria’s leading fintech companies, Teamapt said it transacted N1.4 trillion ($3.5billion) value in 68 million transactions volume in May 2021 on its agency banking platform.

The data sourced from the monthly report of Shared Agent Network Expansion Facilities (SANEF), an initiative of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to promote agency banking and mobile money in the country, shows that Teamapt controls 74 percent of the total agency banking operations within the period.

The company which is currently leading Nigeria’s agency banking industry provides financial services for the underserved mass market through Moniepoint – its financial access product, and Monnify – its payment gateway infrastructure.

At a media briefing on Thursday in Lagos, officials of Teamapt revealing more of its transaction figures and financial performance for the past months said in less than two years, the company has grown rapidly to operate the largest agency banking platform with a network of over 100,000 agents.

In March 2021, it hit a milestone of transactions worth over N1trillion ($2.4bn) for the first time. In May, the value increased to N1.4 trillion ($3.5bn) with 68 million transactions in volume, and between April 2020 and April 2021, the total value of transactions processed has gone up to $16 billion.

Speaking on the company’s plans to transform financial services in Africa, CEO and founder of TeamApt, Mr. Tosin Eniolorunda said “To achieve our mission of providing financial happiness for all, we started out by building working infrastructure and distributing this in every of Nigeria’s 36 states.

“So far, Moniepoint has served over 25 percent of the 48 million banked Nigerians, previously underserved by the financial system. This is a great feat but we still have a lot of work to do. Many Nigerians are still underserved, and with this pain not exclusive to Nigeria but shared among Africans, we intend to scale into more regions of the continent.

“We remain focused on innovating, and we expect that in the future, through Moniepoint, we will reach more people across Africa and build their trust in the financial system and processes. We look forward to empowering our agents with the facilities to offer other financial services directly to customers, beyond deposits and withdrawals,’’ Eniolorunda added.

TeamApt reiterated its commitment to transform financial services in Africa, the company was founded in 2015 and started out by building infrastructure for tier-one financial institutions.

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Fintech

SEC Plans to Launch Regulatory Incubation Programme For Fintechs

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Securities and Exchange Commission- Investors King

The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has announced plans to launch a regulatory incubation (RI) programme for fintech operating or seeking to operate in the Nigerian capital market.

According to a circular published on the commission’s website on Wednesday, June 16, it says that the initiative will be launched in the third quarter of 2021 and will operate by admitting identified fintech business models and processes in cohorts for a one-year period.

The RI program comprises two phases of participation – an initial assessment phase and the regulatory incubation phase.

The SEC said that the categories to be admitted into each cohort will be determined based on submissions received through the fintech assessment form and communicated ahead of each take-off date.

The circular read: “Review of completed Fintech Assessment Forms will continue on an ongoing basis. FinTechs who consider that there is no specific regulation governing their business models or who require clarity on the appropriate regulatory regime for seeking the authorization of the Commission, are encouraged to complete the Fintech Assessment Form.

The commission maintained that it designed the RI program in order to address the needs of new business models and processes that require regulatory authorization to continue carrying out full or ancillary technology-driven capital market activities.

It will serve as an interim measure to aid the evolution of effective regulation which accommodates the innovation by fintech without compromising market integrity and within limits that ensure investor protection.

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Telecommunications

Truecaller Launches Smart SMS Feature in Africa

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Truecaller- Investors King

Truecaller, the world’s most trusted and accurate Caller ID and telephone search engine, is rolling out a new feature to further augment the user experience.

The new feature Smart SMS has been introduced based on user feedback and is designed to cater to the evolving needs of our consumers. It offers a host of new services to make day-to-day communication a lot more convenient.

Smart SMS is powered by state-of-the-art machine learning models that adapt based on the feedback you give it. It supports users with important messages from banks, billers, travel companies, delivery companies and so much more.

Smart SMS also helps users stay protected from spam and fraud. Only the essential information within an SMS is highlighted and all SMS messages are categorised and easily accessible. From keeping track of your expenses to last-minute changes to your travel, Smart SMS is the future of SMS that will make life a whole lot easier.

Commenting on the new addition, Zakaria Abdulkadir Hersi, Director of Business Development & Partnerships Africa at Truecaller said: “Roughly 80% of SMSes one receives daily are from businesses, disengaging users from important/useful messages. To combat that, SMS apps need to become smarter by filtering out spam and categorising useful information.

“At Truecaller, we constantly strive to offer the best user experience by adding unique features that fit in with our core mission: to make communication safer and more efficient for everyone. Truecaller has evolved into a powerful communication hub and for the people who wish to use the app to its fullest, we want to streamline the experience as much as possible for an efficient calling and messaging experience for our end user.”

Truecaller uses the same powerful algorithms used to identify spam callers in SMS as well. The SMS intelligence is built into the app itself and it can work offline – nothing leaves your device, including all OTPs, bank SMSes and financial information.

The feature also offers a Smart Inbox that identifies unknown SMS sender numbers and SMS sender IDs are resolved to business names with logos.

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