POOR and dilapidating infrastructure and low level of education have been identified as major hindrances to e-payment adoption in Nigeria.
This is despite increasing innovations in the electronics payments industry including new technologies in the form of cloud-based near field communication (NFC) mobile technology, e-commerce, and in-app payment systems, just to name a few.
Specifically, NFC technology allows two devices placed within a few centimeters of each other to exchange data. In order for this to work, both devices must be equipped with an NFC chip. All these innovations help make electronic payments easier and more accessible. However, majority of Nigerians have not availed themselves of these innovations.
Ashaye noted that as far as e-commerce and e-payment are concerned, education must be a continuous thing and the government, financial institutions, the media and all stakeholders must partner to make this happen.
According to him, since fraudsters and their methods become more sophisticated, the cards industry must stay updated on potential risks and counter them with measures to predict and prevent fraud.
It was gathered that the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standards (PCI DSS) have set risk management policies and programmes in order to define the technical and operation requirements for cardholder data protection.
Beyond these standards and compliances, the electronic payments networks are implementing steps to prevent fraud and ensure their risk management assets are oriented to new threats, and their systems geared to resist any attacks.
Mr. Ashaye noted that the adoption of Europay, MasterCard, and Visa (EMV) enabled or chip-enabled cards, tokenization and point-to-point encryption are technologies that will positively shape the card industry in the coming years.
“The global shift towards chip-based EMV cards is the solid foundation for fraud protection. The chip serves as a microprocessor embedded in plastic payment cards or mobile phones. Unlike magnetic stripe cards, the data on the chip is dynamic and changes with every transaction, making it complex for criminals to create counterfeit chip cards or fraudulent transactions,” he said.
He insisted that one of the most important initiatives for bolstering security in payments is to foster the collective responsibility of all the units in the payment ecosystem, which is made up of financial institutions, merchants, and card networks. To sustain this ecosystem, every part of it should take measures to protect consumers from fraud.
“Merchants and issuers who comply with EMV standards benefit from the reduction of potential losses from fraudulent transactions. By upgrading their payment terminals, business owners can significantly reduce the threat of card fraud. The aim of the payment industry is to accelerate this evolution, and government regulation has helped speed the process along”.
“Today’s complex global payment systems are immersed in vast amounts of data, which is being used to develop an additional layer of defence that detects fraudulent transactions before they take place. Data (or Big Data) is one of the strongest resources that a card payment network can leverage, and additional layers of defence can be built by creating a profile of potential risks and a general risk assessment.”
The Visa Card boss maintained that using this data to develop security measures is one way for companies to take advantage of their existing network systems. Predictive fraud analytics tools help payment works stay one step ahead by using advanced fraud monitoring and detection systems.
“Yet overall, it is important to remember the difference between perception and reality when it comes to fraud in the card payments industry. While there are still apprehensions from consumers about fraud, the rate of fraud has been on a steady decline over the past few years”.
However, Mr. Ashaye maintained that it is a continuous process, as innovations keep the momentum toward more cashless transactions, so security measures must keep up with pace and combat fraud proactively.

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