Nigeria’s payment system is the best in the world in terms of security, provider of shared platforms for financial transactions in the country, the Nigeria Interbank Settlement System (NIBSS) has said.
Its Business Development, Niyi Ajao, who spoke on the sideline of the launch of Tech Fest by Diamond Bank in Lagos, said the growth in mobile transaction in the financial sector in the country has been phenomenal.
According to him, this development is largely due to the security of the transactions, adding that globally, Nigeria’s payment system is the best because of the different of layers security.
He said: “Today, everybody is moving towards the mobile phone for payment and with emphasis on USSD and the reason is very clear, with USSD you don’t need to pay for data on the phone. So, the issue of not having internet connection is not an inhibiting factor. With mobile banking application, you need the internet but with USSD, you do not. You just do * a number and $ and the transaction is done. Everybody, even with a feature phone, the simplest phone that costs as little as N2,000, you can do a USSD and that is where we see a lot of transactions in banking moving into now.
“Payment is moving into that and it’s understanding-people want convenience, everybody wants convenience and that is why we are challenging innovators, we are challenging everybody in the system to continually look for ways to release services on the USSD on the mobile phone because experience has shown that that is where the people prefer to really don their transactions.”
He said one thing that needed to be admitted and agreed on is that no matter the means of payment chosen, there is always the risk of losing cash if care is not taken.
“Even if you go by cash, the risk of losing money is always there if you don’t apply by the basic security principles. If I put my cash inside my purse and I don’t keep my purse well, pick-pockets will pick it. So, for all these other new channels, including the mobile phone, it has its own risk but the beauty of it is that every customer, everyone that abides by the basic principles, would not lose money.
“For instance, with the mobile phone payment, even if you steal my phone, to complete a payment process you need my PIN (personal identification number). So, I can’t lose money, if I don’t release my PIN except some fraudsters are just coming to trick me to give them my PIN because under the guise that they want to maintain my account. I should be intelligent and I should know that I shouldn’t release my PIN to anybody. Even if somebody calls me on the phone and says he’s my banker, I shouldn’t release my PIN, I would not. If you abide by all these things, you will not lose money. At NIBSS, we see exactly what is going on in the industry.
“Check all over the world, Nigeria has one of the most secured payment platforms because we have many layers of protection. Apart from the PIN, we have protection on the network, on the application layer and then we now have the BVN (bank verification number). Even if somebody steals your money, the system is there for us to know who stole your money because you can’t do any transaction without your BVN. So people should be free to imbibe all these new payment systems,” Ajao said.