Thursday, November 25, 2010

"ATM-Based Payments Hit N80bn Monthly"

Aganga, Finance Minister

ATM transactions in Nigeria have hit N80 billion  monthly. Chief Executive Officer of Valucard Nigeria Limited, Mr. Kyari Bukar,  who made this disclosure at the Information Security conference held in Lagos yesterday, also disclosed that Point of Sales (POS) transactions across the nation has hit N1.4bn monthly.
Bukar said  the need to protect users from fraud following high levels of e-Payment fraud recorded in the country prompted the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN)  to enable  migration from the unsecured magnetic stripe cards to Chip/PIN cards. He said this move, coupled with various sensitization programmes,  have helped to reduce ATM fraud across the country.
Warning Nigerians to be safety conscious, Bukar stressed that losses from card fraud affect card usage rates, authorisation parameters, operational process and staffing while also decreasing profit margin. These losses,  according to him, can endanger relationships between partners and consumers which is the most valuable asset acquirers and issuers have. He expressed joy that various campaigns by both government and the regulators on the need  for ATM users to ensure that they keep their cards safely, without giving others access to their pins were yielding results.
"One thing that has been done was the issuance of EMV Chip/PIN cards to the people. We still need proper legislation on this to get the message circulated. People can use their ATMs safely for now. Operators are still working on more security features that would make us to be ahead of fraudsters," he said.
He charged Nigerians to ensure that their cards are EMV compliant and not just chip/PIN alone.
Bukar stated that it was imperative for depositors to embrace the chip-based EMV (Europay, MasterCard and VISA) payment cards in order to enhance secure e-payment system in the country. He also canvassed for more sensitisations by both the government and regulators for ATM users to ensure that they keep their cards safely, without given their pins outside to people who will defraud them.
According to him, "There is need for Nigerians to ensure that their cards are EMV compliant . He stressed that it should not just be
chip/PIN alone. He also credited Nigeria for being ahead of the United States by being EMV compliant when the US was not. He said that the US will be EMV compliant by 2011 and the fact that it was not EMV compliant was the reason why level of fraud has hit  $1.2bn per annum.
In his comments, the Chairman, School of Management & Security, Dr. Ona Ekhomu also called on relevant authorities to collaborate to secure the country's information system for the future. He emphasized that that this was a critical challenge that must be addressed now to prevent the future of Nigerian children.
Recall that Nigeria on the 30th of September 2010, completed the replacement of all existing magnetic stripecards with the more secure chip / PIN platform.
Kyari Bukar, CEO, Valucard Nig.