Payments facilitated via online platforms in Nigeria rose to a record-high height in the third quarter of 2020, reaching US$116 billion – marked growth compared to US$68.3 billion during the same period in 2019.
A direct side effect of this growth of course was a surge in the cases of financial fraud. Between January and September 2020, fraudsters attempted over 46,000 times to illegally access customer accounts.
That figure is three times the level of attacks recorded for the same period during the year 2019. And at least 91% of those attempts succeeded.
In those nine months from January to September 2020, fraudsters successfully carted away about 5 billion naira (US$12 million) from customer accounts. This amount is the direct equivalent of the monthly minimum wage of over 173,000 Nigerian workers.
This increasing trend of fraud is a major drawback to Nigeria’s journey towards a more cashless economic system. As part of measures to curb it, Nigeria’s apex bank has published new guidelines to further secure the system using the unique 11-digit bank verification numbers (BVNs) that identify bank customers.
These identity numbers also make it easier for the regulator to identify the culprits, ass them to its watchlist, and track them down.
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