As electronic payment platforms gain traction, the need for consumers to be conscious of their online security becomes paramount.
Recent data highlights a surge in Nigerians adopting electronic platforms for day-to-day transactions.
According to a recent report by the Financial Institutions Training Centre (FITC) on Fraud and Forgeries in Nigerian banks for Q2, 2023, fraud cases have jumped to a whopping 276.98%.
According to Chika Nwosu, MD/CEO of PalmPay, “With the growing use of digital payment platforms, new risks and concerns emerge for operators and users.”
In 2022, PalmPay introduced the Wallet Safety Workshop to ensure the security of user transaction privacy and stable and reliable transactions. This monthly campaign for payment security awareness helps customers improve their overall security knowledge, manage their personal information online, and learn how to spot and avoid e-scammers and fake news.
Since the launch of the workshop, PalmPay has been using online and offline channels, including the app, social media, official website, and printed materials, to publicise and expose examples of social media and telecom fraud, as well as how to spot fraudulent behaviour and necessary steps to take to avoid being trapped.
In the past year, PalmPay has been educating users and the general public on various aspects of cybersecurity knowledge, such as password and devices management, risk identification, phishing, fraud detection, and payment security.
Internally, PalmPay has significantly fortified its security features, aiming to empower users in account protection. The Fintech has taken action against fraudulent accounts through an investigation of internal accounts and has banned thousands of problematic accounts to enhance user account security.
The introduction of device management feature allows users to control trusted devices and remove untrusted ones. When accessing the PalmPay app from an untrusted device, a comprehensive security verification process is required, combining OTP and PIN, to ensure top-tier security.
Additionally, an automatic logout feature has been implemented, allowing users to set a time limit for inactivity, followed by PIN entry upon re-entry. PalmPay also offers fingerprint and facial ID login options to enhance account access. In 2023, millions of users have linked secure email addresses for seamless receipt of in-app OTPs and future security-related notifications.
PalmPay is taking its commitment to user security to the next level by integrating liveness detection and facial recognition capabilities into its transaction scenarios, particularly during withdrawals. This security measure ensures a more accurate identification of potential fraudulent activities and unauthorized access, further safeguarding customer accounts.
Recently, PalmPay unveiled the new PalmPay Business App, featuring a comprehensive security upgrade. It now integrates advanced features such as liveness detection and facial recognition. The upgraded system verifies if the user’s actions are performed by the genuine account holder. Even in cases of telecom fraud where sensitive information like OTP/PIN might have been compromised, the system can use facial recognition to confirm the user’s identity, thereby safeguarding customer accounts and financial assets.
According to Mr Nwosu, “It’s impressive that these efforts have led to remarkable financial recovery. In the first seven months of 2023, over $677 million has been successfully recovered for more than 853,000 users. This achievement highlights our commitment to safeguarding our customers’ financial interests and assets.” He urged Nigerians who have not embraced e-wallet to do so because it is secure, convenient and accessible.
The brand commits to keep educating users and the general public on security guidelines both on online and offline channels.
London Fintech Owner Faces Extradition to Belgium Over Alleged Money Laundering for Drug Traffickers
A London-based fintech owner accused of aiding drug traffickers in laundering hundreds of millions of euros through a cryptocurrency exchange platform must be extradited to Belgium to face criminal charges, a London judge ruled.
Caio Marchesani, the owner of Trans-Fast Remittance, a payments business regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority, is alleged to have facilitated the hoarding of significant amounts of cash for Sergio Roberto De Carvalho, a Brazilian previously described by Interpol as one of the world’s most wanted kingpins before his arrest in 2022.
Marchesani is also accused by prosecutors of managing cryptocurrency accounts for Flor Bressers, a Belgian national known as the “finger cutter.”
Marchesani, who was apprehended at Heathrow Airport in May, has seven days to appeal against the extradition order, according to the London judge’s decision on Tuesday.
Following the ruling, both Marchesani’s lawyer and the prosecution declined to comment.
In a statement filed in court last month, Marchesani maintained his innocence, stating, “I have not been involved in money laundering the proceeds of drug sales for the alleged organized criminal group.”
His legal representatives at Mishcon de Reya had previously argued that the prosecution’s case contained “false, vague, ambiguous, or inaccurate particulars.” They emphasized that none of the allegations against Marchesani were related to his business interests in the UK.
The efforts to extradite Marchesani are part of a broader investigation that began three years ago after the Dutch government seized more than 12 tonnes of cocaine, valued at over €260 million ($278 million), at Europe’s busiest port, Rotterdam. Authorities traced the seized drugs back to Bressers and De Carvalho, eventually focusing on Marchesani after a breakthrough in decoding encrypted communications.
Prosecutors acting on behalf of Belgian authorities alleged, “He is a shadow banker who receives money, either in cash, cryptocurrency, or both, and moves it around at the will of the criminal organization to disguise its origins,” during an earlier hearing.
A trial involving 30 defendants in the case, including Bressers, commenced in Belgium earlier this month but was immediately postponed, as reported by local press outlets.
A pre-recorded message from Trans-Fast Remittance stated that their payment service is currently offline but aims to resume services soon. Companies House filings from August indicate that another owner has been added to the registry.
Flutterwave, Africa’s Leading Payments Technology Company, Celebrates the Success of its Graduate Trainee Program
Flutterwave, the foremost payments technology company in Africa, proudly announced yesterday that it has successfully onboarded nearly 85 percent of its 200 Graduate Trainees following a year of intensive training.
In a recent statement, the company emphasized its unwavering commitment to nurturing young talent while maintaining its reputation as an exceptional workplace that fosters career growth opportunities in the technology sector.
Launched in August 2022, the Flutterwave Graduate Trainee Program was a 12-month-long paid initiative tailored for recent graduates with limited or no prior work experience but boundless aspirations.
The program’s primary objective was to establish a network of emerging talent, equipping them with both technical and soft skills, along with practical experience, through engagement with a global organization boasting over 750 employees worldwide.
The program’s adaptability, including accommodating the unique needs of recent graduates, such as aligning with their National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) obligations, underscores Flutterwave’s commitment to its customers, young talent, and the community.
Speaking on the successful culmination of the program and the abundant growth opportunities available to employees at Flutterwave, Mansi Babyloni, Flutterwave’s Global Chief People Officer, said, “We are excited to have fulfilled our mission of providing 200 exceptionally bright young graduates with the opportunity to learn on the job and kick-start their careers in the tech industry early in life. As 170 of them transition from Graduate Trainees to full-time employees after completing 12 months of on-the-job training and shadowing, a world of opportunities awaits them. I am thrilled that they can now navigate their career paths within our newly launched career progress framework, which epitomizes boundless potential. Today, they hold roles as Analysts and Engineer 1s; tomorrow, they could be VPs and CXOs. At Flutterwave, anything is possible. I extend my best wishes to all 200 Graduate Trainees, even those who have pursued other opportunities; the world is your oyster!”
Bode Abifarin, Chief Operating Officer at Flutterwave, said, “We’re thankful for the successful completion of the Flutterwave Graduate Trainee Program. We thank the People Team and all the Graduate Trainee Managers that helped coach, mentor and train our GTs to propel their growth into Analysts and Engineer 1s. This is in line with our mission to create endless possibilities for all; truly, their careers have taken off and there’s no limit to what they can achieve going forward.”
MoneyMaster Payment Service Bank Offers 8.0% Annual Interest Rate to G-Kala Savers
MoneyMaster Payment Service Bank (MMPSB), established by Globacom, is set to elevate the experience of its G-Kala savings account holders by introducing an enticing 8.0 percent annual interest rate on their savings accounts with the bank.
This innovative initiative is aimed at cultivating a culture of saving among both new and existing customers of the bank, thereby promoting financial inclusion across the nation.
In a statement released by the bank in Lagos, it was disclosed that “both new and existing G-Kala savings account holders will benefit from an 8.0 percent interest rate per annum on all deposits made into their G-Kala savings account.”
However, customers are advised that “no more than three withdrawals are allowed per month to qualify for the interest, which will be calculated and credited monthly,” the statement emphasized.
This bold move is intended to encourage the adoption of cashless banking, making it accessible to potential customers who can effortlessly open an account via the bank’s website for a seamless and convenient experience.
“This presents an exciting opportunity for everyone to open a G-Kala account with MoneyMaster PSB, deposit funds into the wallet, and enjoy an 8.0 percent interest rate per annum,” the statement continued.
The bank underscored that G-Kala is a tailor-made product designed to cater to customers who may not have easy access to traditional banks or who belong to the unbanked population.
“G-Kala brings the benefits of banking directly to their mobile phones through USSD, eliminating the need for an internet connection. It empowers them to deposit, withdraw money, transfer funds to other banks, purchase airtime, and pay bills such as electricity, water, DSTV, and more.
“This innovative service offers a convenient and secure alternative for banking transactions, available anytime and anywhere, operating in real time. It’s not only safer and faster but also more convenient and cost-effective compared to traditional money transfer services.”
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