There are several local cases that have established the grave nature of financial fraud. The issue has far-reaching consequences for both the finance industry and daily life. For instance, fraud has been linked to reduced confidence in the finance space and indirectly affects people’s cost of living. It is also worth noting that for a long time, organizations in the Kenyan market have relied on tradition practices for fraud detection that use manual techniques such as auditing, which have since proved their unreliability owing to the complexity of associated with modern financial crimes.
The growth of modern technologies such as the use of mobile money services and internet banking has caused a significant jump in financial fraud. Social factors such as the widespread use of mobile money services have not only increased the distribution of mobile money-related products, which are used by banks, insurance firms and saccos, but also resulted in an increase of fraud. Companies operating these services know that cyber criminals continually refine their vice, and as such, there is need for detection methods to be able to evolve accordingly.
To this end, telco Safaricom has announced a fraud intelligence solution for banks, insurance firms and other micro-finance organizations to reduce or eliminate fraud cases targeting their customers. The carrier says that the solutions will offer such businesses with tools to determine the authenticity of financial transactions.
Also, the tool is said to offer financial companies with capabilities to better design lending propositions, strengthen the registration and onboarding exercise for new customers, and manage phone addressed associated with customer accounts, some of which may no longer be in use.
Safaricom reports that the tool will work across USSD, internet banking and financial apps for smart devices.
It is worth noting that businesses that are interested in the solution can get access to the product via an API offered as part of the Daraja M-PESA APIs. Specifically, customers who log into any of the channels will have their phone number checked by his/her financial institution to check against parameters such as if the number has been recently swapped. The organization can then proceed to execute a task after establishing authenticity of the command.
“Through the years, we have developed in-house capabilities that have helped us cut down on attempted fraud incidences targeting our customers by more than 75 percent. Today, 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 Lopokoiyit, Chief Financial Services Officer, Safaricom.