Mobile and Cyber security are among the top things that no company can afford to take lightly as the world moves more and more towards working digitally. Crucial personal data and financial services like banking are now on our mobile phones. Fraudsters are always on toes and companies always have to be on toes to protect customer transactions.

Towards this, Safaricom has today launched a fraud intelligence solution (IMSI API) for financial institutions in the country to allow companies that use its platform to ascertain whether transactions are being carried out fraudulently, using swapped SIMS.

The new tool will have far reaching benefits for banks, SACCOs, micro-finance institutions and insurance companies. Other than being able to detect and reduce fraud, they’ll also be better able to authenticate financial transactions, design safer lending, safely onboard new customers and manage phone numbers linked to a customer’s account but which may no longer be in use.

The solution will work 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.

“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.

How will the anti-fraud solution work?

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.

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