Office Lives: Oreoluwa Ajayi, Associate Director, Prembly.

Oreoluwa Ajayi is the associate director of Prembly, a top Security and Compliance infrastructure Company. Oreoluwa is an experienced industry sales and business development personnel with a demonstrated history of working in the information technology, payment, digitalization and services industry.

What did you study at university?

My first degree is in Mass Communication from Igbinedion University, Edo State, and my second is in International Business from the University of Hertfordshire, Hartfield, in the UK.


What did you dream of becoming as a child?

Growing up, I actually wanted to be a politician or a lawmaker. I wanted to have power and make and effect meaningful changes. This led me to study Law at university for about two and a half years, but it was tough. That led me to switch courses to Mass Communication. So, what I dreamed of was to be a politician, and I still romance that idea of being in politics or just being in a position where, I can make tangible, nationwide impact.


Following your passion, did you ever hold any leadership role in school that that allowed you to be in charge of some decisions?

No, I didn’t hold any public or leadership position in university. There were several reasons. First, I struggled with completing my law degree and then I also struggled with crossing over to Mass Communications and ensuring I graduated with a good result. Second, my alma mater used to be a very private school and there was little opportunity for such roles at the time. Lastly, I was also rather shy.


From Law, to Mass Communications and then International Business. How did you get into security infrastructure and data verification?

The story of my journey to Identity Fraud and Cyber Security isn’t all cut and dried. So, along the line I started a career in Tech, with a core focus on the payment and switching side of Tech. I would say the childhood passion and ideals which initially led me to study law actually led me to remain and grow in this sector. I detest cheating, and the whole crux of identity verification is all about securing your information so that people don’t cheat you or steal from you.

So, yes, my ingrained abhorrence for anything that has to do with cheating or fraud, is what keeps and drives me in this sector. To, ensure that somehow, we are successful in pre-empting and mitigating fraud.


Could you elaborate on the tangible impact that fraud has on the ecosystem, and how Prembly helps to mitigate the risks and economic impacts associated with businesses and individuals alike?

We’ve always had fraud, but since the onset of COVID and post-COVID, we have had increased digital footprints with corresponding prevalence of fraud in its various forms.  Businesses and individuals alike are now forced to transact and share a myriad of data online. Identity fraud has become an increasingly prevalent issue in our digital age and so with the rise of constant online transactions and digital onboarding processes, businesses and individuals face significant risks associated with identity fraud. Unfortunately, because of that, cyber attackers also improvise and evolve on their ways of hacking into systems, stealing identities and committing fraud.

The most common frauds that individuals typically fall prey to would be identity theft, imposter scams and education fraud. These are well known and publicized, for example on social media we have the what I ordered vs what I got trending hashtags.

Businesses on the other hand, until recently, would rarely voluntarily disclose fraud except where there is a leak within that organization. This stemmed from outdated thinking of mitigating reputational risks and protecting the brand trust/image. Outdated, but not unfounded because, naturally, the average end user reacts skittishly to information of a data or cyber breach. However, such nondisclosures empower the cyber attackers to launch similar attacks on other businesses within the same sphere. Once the businesses within your own vertical are aware, they can plan to preempt and mitigate similar attacks, thereby disarming the cyber attackers from committing or using that same tactic.

So, a lot of Institutions today, especially in to space, are being more collaborative in terms of disclosing their fraud or crime stories so that they can together develop an infrastructure o stop further criminal activities within that same sector.

At Prembly, we’ve identified and differentiated the various loopholes and challenges. We have worked closely with many businesses, individuals, government agencies, and other partners to enable us provide real-time credible identity verification for businesses and for individuals as well.

We enable our customers, individuals and businesses, feel safe and secure to provide their personal information on a platform without the fear of opening up their system to fraudsters.

That’s how we’ve been able to impact the ecosystem at large, beyond borders to help businesses and also individuals mitigate this type of risk in terms of identity theft and cyber-attacks, amongst others.

Read more: What I Ordered vs What I Got; Are There Any Remedies Available To An Unsuspecting Buyer In An E-Commerce Transaction?

How does Prembly ensure extensive and comprehensive checks during onboarding? Would you describe this process as fool proof?

Today we are very compliant to all the certifications that we need to ensure that we operate, and we do operate within strict guidelines. We also have our security certificates, to ensure that every time that we pass on information, we do so within specific guidelines like our NDPR, GDPR data protection, private protection, certificates and licenses. Whatever we provide to our customers through their onboarding process, is in line with the AML, CTF or CFT guidelines.

We’ve simplified KYC requirements for businesses according to their terrain and their type of business. We also use a screening tool, which is our fraud prevention and security transaction monitoring solution such that beyond KYC today, which is the regular ID checks, our clients are also able to conduct a proper profiling of their business or individual Clients. They are able to run some level of security checks like criminal or fraud profiles beyond mere ID verification. So, alongside simple KYC requirements we’ve also embedded different screening and profiling solutions with the help of AI and machine learning and other tools.


Let’s break this down to specific scenarios. In the instance where a prospective client or customer presents details inconsistent with the Corporate Affairs Commission registered details, how does the system respond to that?

Did you take a peek at my notes? That was literally the example that I jotted. We had this scenario that you just painted happen two weeks ago. In such instances, we try to engage the customer without giving so much information away.  A simple query, just to see if maybe they would end up providing the right information. If they can’t, you let them know that unfortunately, they cannot proceed with the onboarding process without giving them a specific reason so that assuming that person was a fraudulent person they don’t now come back with a more revised way to spoof the system. So that’s what we have. I mean, if we are providing KYC and KYB solutions to businesses we have to use the solutions for ourselves as well.


What innovative technologies does Prembly utilise to detect and prevent digital fraud, and how do these technologies set you apart and keep you relevant in the evolving industry?

One of our innovative solutions that actually does that effectively is called Identity Radar. The Identity Radar is a machine learning based algorithm technology that learns patterns from a customer behavior, and is used alongside AI which is more like a rule-based infrastructure. This combination enables us take care of false positives as much as possible.

We run the operation in real time, adapting evolving tactics whereby we integrate diverse data sources and reduce human errors as much as possible.

The Identity Radar helps with profiling, screening, AML checks, criminal record checks and learning the transactional behavior of your customers based off of the rules that you have set such that when there is an anomaly it triggers your system for you to act, according to your specified risk appetite. As industries continue to evolve, today, the versatility and adaptability of machine learning algorithm ensures that it stays relevant in staying ahead of fraudulent activities. So, what that means essentially is because it has learnt a particular pattern and behavior and because of the rules that have been set, it sorts of preempts you before an actual fraudulent activity takes place, providing a crucial line of defense against financial loss, reputational damage, loss of trust from your customers and so on and so forth


Can you share a specific success story where Prembly’s solutions have significantly mitigated fraud for a business or an individual?

There are so many, you would be surprised because these frauds just keep trying. In a particular incident, we were able to use our biometrics KYC solution to identify an ID theft and stop an account from being hijacked. They fraudulently obtained the BVN and details of the individual and cloned videos off of that person’s social media and attempted to spoof the system with the recorded video However our biometric solution is so intelligent that it conducts liveliness checks. What that means is it’s so intelligent that it picks certain features off of your face and your environment to ensure that what is presented to it is a real time image. If the image or video has been doctored or is just pasted there, it’s able to identify and detect that it is not a real time image. So, we were able to stop an actual theft of millions from happening within that customer system.

In that instance, where such things happen, what we typically do is of course, we’ll feed back to the business to say the image doesn’t match or the liveliness check failed because maybe it was a still image that was presented or a doctored image. So, we say that business that information but of course the business doesn’t interpret that response to the end user to let them know so maybe they would just say, your facial biometrics failed as opposed to telling them it failed because the lighting is bad or your eyes was not opened. You’re not prompting them to do the right thing.


But if it’s not a case of fraud, if it’s genuine error without intent to defraud, how does the person get that verification at the end of the day if this system is not telling what they did wrong?

So, in this scenario, where the information is being provided real time, and the individual fails the face liveliness check, probably due to blinking or poor positioning, remember that the backend will communicate the actual issue to the business owner who then interprets same to the end user appropriately. In the same vein, the backend communicates the threat of a fraudulent activity to the business owner who then addresses it accordingly.


In the era of data breaches, how does Prembly ensure the privacy and protection of its users’ data while conducting other activities? And how does it build trust?

We get this question a lot, even from our customers. So, we are aware that we operate in a very sensitive space where data is being transmitted and we are heavily regulated. We have no choice as Prembly but to abide and operate within those very strict guidelines. For instance, we run every ID verification in real time, meaning we provide on time, real time information every single time. Beyond that, at Prembly, safeguarding our user data is very critical because its paramount and having that in mind, we have employed an encryption and decryption model in strict compliance to international best standards. We usually conduct regular security audits. We also employ crypto shredding, meaning we get rid of unneeded or unwanted data. We are transparent with our data policies and proactive in terms of customer education. We have sessions on a quarterly basis where we actually invite our customers and educate them on how they also need to educate the end-users on how to protect their data. We’ve also listed all our compliance licenses and certifications on our dashboards. With no secrets, clients and prospective customers can verify andperiodason to trust us.

Also read: Prembly Holds Events on Financial Regulations, Announces Launch of Compliance Tracker

Can you simplify some of these terms?

Encryption and decryption mean you cannot have access to the keys to decrypt a data if, first of all, you are not regulated or operating within the guidelines for data protection, you cannot have access to the keys to decrypt.

Crypto shredding refers to shredding any information that is not needed within a particular period of time, so it becomes non-existent. So, there’s no repository where you can just access data and then do anything funny either internally or externally.


Lastly, how does Prembly view its role in the broader context of the continent’s digital economic growth and development?

We are definitely making a difference in terms of positioning data verification in Africa and certain parts of the world. We are very huge on global positioning, because we’ve noticed that a lot of global entities see Africa or Nigeria as very green land. We are taking the endpoints that we have today, to promote Africa, to say listen, we can help you to expand into Africa. We can be your data verification partner. You can trust us because we have direct connections to all necessary government agencies. In terms of data verification, we have a lot of foreign, US, European customers that are coming into Nigeria and other African countries where Prembly has a presence.

are very big on partnerships because we understand that we cannot do it alone. Nobody is an island. So where necessary we forge third party partnerships in countries or instances where we need to provide our services.

Yes, we go in to partnerships with different government agencies, institutions, tech companies as well just to ensure that we take Africa to the world and we bring the world to Africa as much as possible. It’s a two-way street.


What’s your favourite part of your job?

The favorite part of my job is knowing that we provide immense value. When I hear a customer say “Yes, this is exactly what I need, when do we start, how do we start?” it just gladdens my heart.

Another thing that gladdens my heart is when an existing customer refers another business to you, it means you’re actually doing something right.


Exit mobile version