Fintech has more opportunities for growth in Africa ― Efenure

Customer trust critical to successful payment ecosystem, says Flutterwave’s head of risk

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Flutterwave’s Head of Risk, Africa, Emmanuel Efenure, has said that fintech companies and banks are in the business of trust-building as they build financial solutions that enable payments.

He added that creating a successful payment ecosystem that protects consumers and enables businesses to thrive requires that all stakeholders including regulators work together toward strengthening consumers’ trust.

Emmanuel said this while participating as a panelist at the annual conference of the Committee of e-Business Industry Heads (CeBIH) conference-themed “Leveraging Ecosystem Synergy to Combat Fraud.”

Other panelists at the panel session were Niyi Toluwalope, CEO of eTranzact, represented by the Head of Risk and Information Management, Edward Onyenweaku; and Griffith Ehebha, Executive Vice President, Risk and Information Security at Interswitch Group. The panel discussion focused on “The Fintech Ecosystem–Perspective on Fraud.” The keynote speaker for the session was Dr. Peter Obadare, Co-founder and Chief Visionary Officer of Digital Encode.

Formed in 2008, CeBIH seeks to achieve the primary objective of promoting electronic banking services in line with global practices by serving as a forum for Heads of e-Business/e-Payments in Nigerian deposit-money banks to share ideas and experiences.

This year’s event, which had Flutterwave as a Premium Sponsor shows the company’s renewed commitment to create a safe and secure digital payments ecosystem for all Nigerians.

The moderator Ajibade Laolu-Adewale, Secretary of Emerging Payments and Technologies at CeBIH, opened the panel discussion by emphasizing the importance of stakeholder management as a vital tool in combating and curtailing fraud in all its forms.

Emmanuel noted that the keynote addresses and remarks delivered prior to the panel session reemphasized that no one or company is immune to fraud.

He said, “Fraud is real, and the industry must understand that. The reality is that irrespective of whether you are a bank or a fintech, you are not immune. The 238 per cent increase in cyberattacks in the global financial sector in 2020, is a vivid reminder.”

He also added that N3.5 billion was lost to fraud-related incidents by financial institutions in Nigeria between July and September 2020, according to data from NIBSS.

Commenting, Griffith Ehebha said, “The innovative efforts to make payments faster, easier, and more accessible to everyone has led to the emergence of Fintech. It is a very vital experiment making a significant difference in how we pay and get paid. However, there are major risks involved; fraudsters always look for loopholes to defraud people globally”.

Building on Griffith’s comments, Edward Onyenweaku opined that the onus, therefore, lies on all financial institutions and regulators to sensitize the people on the dos and don’ts of electronic payments and continually innovate to make the ecosystem more fraud-proof.

The panelists agreed that since the regulators are working adequately to combat fraud, it is imperative for every member of the ecosystem, including consumers, to play their part to eradicate fraud.

Dr. Peter Obadare added that “Banks (and fintech companies) must look critically at and revamp their fraud management system with a focus on four core areas–Architecture, Design, Implementation, and Operation. They must also break down their tendencies to favor an individualistic approach to combating fraud.”

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