Safaricom launches platform to curb cyber fraud in banking sector


Telco giant Safaricom on Tuesday launched an intelligence solution that will be used to curb the occurrence of cyber-attacks and fraud in the banking sector by allowing lenders to determine the authenticity of transactions.

The solution according to Safaricom will similarly grant financial institutions the capabilities to better design their lending propositions and enhance the registration and onboarding of new customers.

“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 Safaricom’s Chief Financial Services Officer Sitoyo Lopokoiyit said in an official statement.

Customers can access the service through a unique USSD code provided by the telco and internet banking and smartphone apps while financial institutions will access the service through an Application Programming Interface (API) provided as part of the telco’s Daraja M-PESA initiative.

Once a customer attempts to log in through any of the channels, the institution will then run the customer’s phone number through the service to check against such parameters such as if 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 on whether to allow the transaction or if to further authenticate the customer through other methods.

If widely adopted the solution will significantly lower the number of cyber threats that have been documented in the country. As at June 2018, according to data from the Communication Authority of Kenya (CA), the number of cyber-attacks in the country stood at 3.46 million.

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