By MARTIN EKPEKE
As Nigerians gradually transit to using the mobile phone and others electronic devices to make payment, an information security expert has highlighted top security concerns every institution involved should consider before launching a mobile payment platform.
While speaking at the 5th IT Edge West Africa Convergence Forum, in his paper titled ‘Information security and IT Convergence,’ Mr. Effiong Ndarake Effiong, an IT expert at MicroCred Microfinance Bank Nigeria Limited in Kaduna, advised that the mobile payment channel should be leveraged in a secure way such that the online and mobile banking channels can work together to offer opportunities for growth and adoption in the realm of secure peer-to-peer payments.
The mobile money payment is a relatively new scheme in Nigeria, it will take some time for people to fully accept and adapt to it, especially in an era when internet and electronic payment fraud is on the increase on a daily basis. A report by IC3 puts internet crime at 336,655 as far back as at 2009.
Effiong strongly advised that when transmitting sensitive mobile financial information like PINs, account balances and other sensitive information, security should be of utmost importance to prevent fraudsters from gaining access to customers’ accounts and making unauthorized transactions using the customers’ details.
The security of mobile banking and payment should not be treated with levity, because if treated with levity, the problems that the financial industry will face will make ATM related fraud seem very trivial, said Effiong adding that the security of the customer information is important, especially in the internet age where convergence has brought everything together. “Given the number of organization’s security breaches that occur daily, the more accessible the information, the greater the hazards, it is therefore inevitable that security needs to be tightened,” said Effiong.