BusinessDay

Interswitch, Providus harps on adequate security in payment ecosystem

Interswitch, an integrated payments and digital commerce company, in collaboration with Providus Bank, has emphasized the need for heightened focus on security in the payment’s ecosystem as part of efforts to foster a safer and more inclusive payments ecosystem,

This submission was made at the official unveiling of the tokenisation solution jointly developed by Interswitch, Providus Bank, Mastercard, and Thales, where industry experts also gathered to discuss current and future trends in the payments space.

The event highlighted the demand for more convenient, accessible, and secure means of conducting everyday financial transactions by consumers, a trend which prompted the introduction of the tokenisation solution, with the aim of encouraging more Nigerians to accept cashless transactions.

Jonah Adams, managing director, Digital Infrastructure and Managed Services, Interswitch Group, explained that the collaboration that birthed the tokenisation was crucial, as it opened up realms of possibilities in both Nigeria and African payments ecosystem.

He noted that the tokenisation solution was a first-of-its-kind solution in West Africa and the sub-Saharan region, with everyday transactions happening at the speed of thought, and posited that it would transform the payment space and merchant acquiring space.

According to him, “tokenisation as a solution was designed to enable more personalized, speedy, secure and convenient payment interactions. Tokenisation enables consumers’ 16-digit Permanent Account Numbers (PAN) to be replaced with unique identifiers to keep fraudsters from accessing the personal details of end users. Tokenisation is at the heart of connected devices and will allow users to carry out financial transactions using their electronic devices or payment cards knowing that such transactions are safe and secure.”

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Babatunde Okufi, group head, Business Development, Interswitch Purepay, focused on the need for fintech and financial institutions to design more innovative solutions that keep the funds and data of end users safe.

“The emergence of COVID-19 shifted consumer behaviour. And as more consumers get on the digital payments train, there will equally be more fraud cases. Fraudsters innovate, and players in the payments space should also innovate to ensure that they gain higher grounds on these cyber attackers,” Okufi said.

Okufi noted that to curb the prevailing cases of e-fraud, rules have been instituted such as the introduction of transaction limitations, leveraging Artificial Intelligence (AI), and effective fund transaction tracking between sender and receiver.

Frank Atat, divisional head, eBusiness, Providus Bank, who was a panellist, proffered that partnerships between key stakeholders remain crucial to improve payment convenience and reduce cyber threats through the deployment of cyber tools.

Atat noted that with more stringent safety measures, consumers would increasingly adopt digital payment methods, adding that many Nigerians were unaware of the benefits of digital payments owing to the lack of widespread awareness. However, to address this challenge, he suggested collaboration between players in the ecosystem.

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