Consumer education will play a central role in addressing emerging security challenges. During the launch of the Kaa Chonjo! (Be Alert!) card, mobile and online safety awareness campaign held today, players in the financial, payments and retail sectors highlighted the importance of continuing to empower the public with information on fraud prevention.
In his remarks, Kenya Bankers Association (KBA) CEO Dr Habil Olaka noted that emerging financial security threats are increasingly targeting mobile and internet banking channels due to the enhanced use of digital payments precipitated by COVID-19 in 2020, adding that fraudsters often exploit low levels of awareness on financial security to cause security breaches on contactless payments platforms.
“Over the past few years, cases of social engineering and identity theft have persisted. Similarly, cases of phishing emails, malware attacks and baiting have scaled up in tandem with the enhanced uptake of internet and mobile transaction platforms,’’ said Dr Olaka, noting that the banking industry is adopting a holistic approach to cyber security by developing partnerships to address the challenge.
VISA’s Country Lead for Kenya Eva Ngigi Sarwari said that the company is focused on educating customers on how to stay safe in the era of digital payments, that are dominating both big and small firms.
“The Central Bank of Kenya has recently developed the National Payment Strategy (NPS) for 2022 – 2025 to better regulate the ecosystem for the benefit of all those involved. At VISA, we are focused on making the payment experience seamless, safe and secure for all consumers to provide them with a desirable experience that allows them to support the growth of our merchants, both big and small, in a frictionless manner. We believe that over the coming month, through this campaign, we will be able to take great steps in educating customers on how to stay safe through this partnership with KBA,” said Sarwari.
Retail Trade Association of Kenya (Retrak) CEO Ms Wambui Mbarire observed that a rising population of consumers is today using online payments to settle their transactions at retail outlets noting that with the deepening ubiquity of electronic commerce, consumers need to be reminded about the various points of risk and mechanics of fraudsters so as avoid falling victim.
“Our members have the imperative to balance fraud mitigation and customer experience in view of Kenyans’ evolving purchase behaviours and definitive preferences,” added Ms. Mbarire.
Themed “Fraud Mitigation Through Consumer Awareness’’, this year’s campaign will be held on the back of a sustained uptake of digital banking solutions. According to the Banking Industry Customer Satisfaction Survey (2021), the switch to digital platforms has continued to rise, with up to 60 percent of the banking public preferring contactless banking through channels such as mobile, the internet and cards.
The campaign will be coordinated by KBA in partnership with member banks, card service provider VISA, Retrak, Association of Microfinance Institutions (AMFI), PesaLink, Kenya Society of the Blind (KSB), Association of the Physically Disabled of Kenya (APDK) and Consumer Grassroots Association.