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E-Banking Fraud Rises by 186%, Access Bank Launches Awareness Campaign

Access Bank Plc one of Nigeria’s largest banks by asset size, capital and retail banking base size has launched a campaign to combact e-Banking fraud. The campaign is part of the bank’s continued commitment to educate and protect its staff, customers and members of the general public from e-banking fraud. The campaign objective is the sensitize on measures to protect against cyber and e-banking fraud.

Earlier this year, a report by the Nigeria Inter-Bank Settlement System (NIBSS) showed that the number of fraud attempts in digital banking as of September 2020 grew by 186% yoy, to 46,126 cases. This was driven mainly by increased attempts via mobile (330% yoy), online (173% yoy) and Point of Sale (POS) machines (215% yoy)”.

The campaign is themed ‘Banks Don’t Ask, and focuses on three key activities that account for most fraud incidents in Nigeria. These are phishing, SIM card fraud, ATM fraud and POS fraud. From all indications, the rates of phishing, SIM card fraud, ATM fraud and POS fraud in the country has tripled in the past few years. Also, the sophistication with which these activities are carried out has evolved, resulting in unsuspecting customers being highly susceptible to these criminal activities.

Victor Etuokwu, ED Retail Banking of the bank noted that, “In the past few years, there has been a significant increase in the rate of internet-based and technology-perpetrated fraud”. He added “We want to ensure that our customers are not only protected but are also aware of the tactics employed by fraudsters. Access Bank will never request for personal banking information such as your 16-digit card number, password, PIN, BVN, CVV or One-Time Password (OTP). So, customers are also advised to never share this information with anyone even if they claim to be from the Bank”.

Also Read: Fraud Alert: CBN Warns Against Fake Loans and Investment Schemes

Earlier this year, a report by the Nigeria Inter-Bank Settlement System (NIBSS) showed that the number of fraud attempts in digital banking as of September 2020 grew by 186% yoy, to 46,126 cases. This was driven mainly by increased attempts via mobile (330% yoy), online (173% yoy) and Point of Sale (POS) machines (215% yoy).

The report by NIBSS also noted that successful fraud attempts cost the country’s banking system about NGN9billion (USD12.14million) as of September 2020.

Also, the Nigeria Deposit Insurance Commission (NDIC), a government agency focused on insuring deposits of Nigerians in cases of losses, noted that in 2018, Nigerian banks lost over NGN15.5 billion (USD41.6million) to fraud, a massive jump from what the industry recorded in the previous four (4) years. The industry lost NGN12.30 billion (USD29.85million) to various frauds between 2014 and 2017. About 89 percent of all financial services fraud happened through electronic channels while only 11 percent was non-electronic.

The above dataset show the extent to which banking fraud causes loses to the financial system, shareholder wealth and customer deposits.

Abiola Gbemi

Abiola Gbemisola is a seasoned investment professional with over seven years experience across investment research and financial advisory. He holds a Bachelor's degree in Economics from Obafemi Awolowo University and is a CFA Level III candidate. He has been featured on several media platforms, sharing his views and insights on the economy and financial markets.

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