The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has directed Deposit Money Banks (DMBs) in the country to establish and maintain dedicated fraud desks in order to check and reduce electronic payment fraud in the industry effective from July 1, 2015.
The CBN, in a circular with reference number BPS/DIR/GEN/CIR/02/004 dated June 11, 2015 and signed by Dipo Fatokun, Director Banking and Payments Systems Department, affirmed that it had established the Nigeria Electronic Fraud Forum (NeFF) to resolve the issue of frauds in the adoption of electronic payments.
“Following submissions to the bank by the NeFF and consultation with DMBs and electronic payments service providers, it had become imperative that an effective mechanism for receiving and responding promptly to fraud alerts be set up in the banking industry towards managing and reducing successful electronic payments fraud rates in the Nigerian Banking Industry,” Fatokun said.
“To this end, all DMBs, MMOs, switches and all payment service providers are hereby directed to maintain a dedicated fraud desk in their respective organizations,” he added.
He affirmed that the fraud desk shall be appropriately staffed with personnel that have requisite training on emerging fraud trends on various electronic payments channels.
The circular stated that the desk would provide support to customers on electronic frauds, with a minimum of 10 dedicated phone lines manned and available at all times.
Also, the desk is expected to make available the options for calls to contact centre, in respect of fraud alerts or complaints, to be redirected to front desk.
The desk is expected to block and or place no debit restrictions on accounts upon receipt of fraud compliant and receive customers stop transaction instructions to block their accounts through short codes service provided to the customers by the bank.
The front desk officers are to sensitise customers on e-fraud and fraud desk services as well as manage/resolve all intra-bank issues by leveraging on enterprise fraud management system.
The CBN says the NIBSS will be responsible as industry coordinator of the fraud desks across all banks, mobile money operators (MMOs), switches and payments service providers to log frauds.
The NIBSS will also maintain direct and dedicated lines as well as email contacts of all stakeholders for the purpose of exchanging information and coordinating industry response to fraud attempts and incidents.
The nation’s interbank settlement system would also ensure that the banks receive enhanced e-fraud portal/instant payment platform, with capabilities for banks to initiate ‘block’ and ‘hold funds’ electronic messages from a bank’s fraud desk to the other, and would provide operational rules for the industry coordination of fraud desks and sign service level agreement with DMBs, MMOs, switches and payments service providers.
According to the circular, under the new arrangement, interbank transactions on all electronic channels are expected to be passed through the central anti-fraud solution in the NIBSS, which will have access to each bank’s record of fraudulent transactions and provide monthly reports to the CBN.