Business

Safaricom extends SIM fraud fight to lenders

Safaricom extends SIM fraud fight to lenders
  • New solution targets all financial services firms that are increasingly becoming major targets for fraudsters.
  • It will enable financial institutions to check if a customer SIM swap has occurred in our network.
  • The tool will empower them to make more informed decisions when interacting with their customers in the digital space

Safaricom has launched an anti-fraud intelligence solution to alert financial sector players on fraudulent mobile banking transactions involving SIM card swaps and newly registered lines.

The telco said Tuesday the service eyes banks, micro-finance institutions and all digital financial services firms that are increasingly becoming major targets for fraudsters.

Chief financial services officer Sitoyo Lopokoiyit said since customers now open bank accounts via mobile phones and access their money via wallets such as M-Pesa, the security of such e-accounts is critical.

“This product will enable financial institutions to check if a customer SIM swap has occurred in our network. The tool will empower them to make more informed decisions when interacting with their customers in the digital space,” said Mr Lopokoiyit of the product that is also likely to diversify the telco’s revenue streams.

The move will see banks send a notification to Safaricom to verify on a real-time basis the SIM status of any customer attempting mobile banking or Internet transactions. They will then decide whether or not to carry on with the transaction.

Currently, more than 3.5 million Kenyans use mobile and Internet banking services every month. This means that any of Safaricom’s 33 million customers who use mobile or Internet banking are a potential fraud target.

Mr Lopokoiyit says Safaricom used to receive about 100 to 200 cases of illegal SIM swaps every month last year, costing it about Sh1 million in a month.