Fraudsters, especially through the electronic payment channels may have stolen about N237 billon since 2007 from Nigerian banks.

The Country Manager, Accenture, Niyi Yusuf, who declared that the e-payment sector was at the risk of huge losses, made this known on Monday.

Yusuf spoke as one of the lead presenters at this year’s edition of the yearly payment systems and fraud conference organised by the E-Payment providers Association of Nigeria (E-PPAN), in collaboration with the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), and other major stakeholders in the e-payment industry.

Experts, who gathered at the forum, discussed the theme: ‘Leveraging Big Data Analytics in Combating Payment Fraud.’

According to Yusuf, as technology grows, the fraudsters also became more sophisticated leveraging the pervasive Internet access, stating that since 2007, about N237 billion has been lost due to fraud in banks.

“As the adoption of e-payment rose in Nigeria, so also the amount lost to fraud. Only 12 per cent of fraud happens across the counters while the remaining 88 per cent is online,” he said.

According to Yusuf, the emerging trends in the financial industry will make combating fraud tougher and more essential in the next five to 10 years.

Speaking at the forum, Chairman, Lambeth Trust Limited, and member, board of trustees, E-PPAN, Tunde Lemo, said with increasing transactions, stakeholders have to come together to face tougher challenges in combating electronic fraud (e-fraud).

Also speaking, Deputy Governor, Operations, CBN, Adebayo Adelabu, challenged the players in the e-payment sector to take security measures very seriously, saying the apex bank would continue to implement policy framework that will continue to engender secure cashless transactions in the country.

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In his submission, Chairman, Committee of E-Banking Industry Heads (CeBIH), Dele Adeyinka, noted that the rising volume of transactions across different payment channels meant that “we need to constantly look for ways to ensure the e-channels are much more secure for people to transact without fear of losing their money.”

Meanwhile, of all the e-payment channels available in the country, ATM, web and mobile account for 77 per cent of fraud incidences, according to the Head, Industry Security Services, NIBSS, Olufemi Fadairo.

Fadairo tasked stakeholders on the need to consolidate data in the industry towards mitigating fraud incidences.

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