The banking sector in Kenya has seen a significant increase in fraud at alarming levels leading to huge financial losses and loss of customer confidence in their respective affected institutions and the sector as well.
To this end, Safaricom has this morning launched a fraud intelligence solution for financial institutions in the country. The service will help banks, micro-finance institutions and insurance firms to reduce fraud incidences targeting their customers by providing them with a tool that helps determine the authenticity of a financial transaction.
In addition to authentication, the solution will also provide financial firms with capabilities to better design their lending propositions, enhance the registration and onboarding of new customers, and also in managing phone numbers linked to a customer’s accounts but which may no longer be in use.
“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 Sitoyo Lopokoiyit, Chief Financial Services Officer, Safaricom.
The solution works across the three channels including USSD, internet banking and smartphone apps. Such banking channels have been on the rise in the country corresponding with increasing internet and smartphone usage.
Financial institutions will access the service through an API provided as part of the Daraja M-PESA APIs. 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 whether to allow the transaction or if to further authenticate the customer through other methods.
Adoption of the solution is expected to benefit the country through increased usage of mobile and internet banking due to increased confidence both from the financial sector and customers. Today, more than 3.5 million Kenyans use mobile and internet banking services in the country every month.