|African Banks Vulnerable and Exposed to ATM Fraud|
|Wednesday, 03 February 2010 13:49|
"It is unclear what the actual financial impact ATM fraud has in Africa, due to the lack of actual reported figures, according to Mr. Johan Barnard Managing Member of Perficio Prosperitas Training Institute in South Africa.
The African banking sector is facing ATM fraud syndicate attacks from both local and foreign origin. With recent media reports from Tanzania where a Bulgarian couple and in Kenya where a Russian national was arrested for suspected ATM fraud, it is clearly illustrated that the East European syndicates are moving into Africa.
The relatively new ATM environment and lack of advanced ATM security knowledge and infrastructure, attracts the syndicates that see Africa as a soft target.
In Kenya we are now noticing variable similarities in ATM fraud cases to some North American scams specifically directed at tourist and experts. In the Kenyan cases however, the scams are directed more at the so called upper or middle class citizens.
The key challenges the banking sector in Africa faces are that of knowledge and understanding of ATM and Card fraud scams. Most banks do what they can to secure ATM and Point of Sale (POS) terminals, however banks can't properly safeguard themselves and their clients if they don't fully understand the various ATM scams and methods used and the risks posed to them and their clients.
"Fraud losses through credit card transactions performed through phone, mail order or online were up generally in Africa, alongside fraud committed with genuinely issued cards that did not reach their recipients, this due to the introduction of the so EMV or chip card.
While there is a decrease in the growth rate of certain card frauds year on year, banks must not become complacent as it is not uncommon for fraudsters to seek new and alternatives avenues to commit their crimes", according to Mr. Barnard.
In December 2009 PPTI and its partner DFR Risk Management based in the UK, a leader in consultation in and investigation of ATM fraud, hosted their first Combating ATM Fraud in Africa training course in Zanzibar.
Mr. Barnard states that the attending banks were amazed by the information supplied and that the banks were equally shocked when they realized how vulnerable and exposed they were.
"It is due to the success achieved and the realisation of the lack of knowledge encountered at the Zanzibar event that PPTI and DFR Risk Management will host a similar event in Nairobi, Kenya in March this year.
We are extending a further service to the attending banks whereby we are offering consulting sessions the week after the event at reduced rates. We wish to assist the banks in effective implementation of the skills and knowledge gained at the event, as these actions are usually very challenging."
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