Kenya Bankers Association Partners with Tech Companies to Champion Online Safety Campaign

The Kenya Bankers Association (KBA) has partnered with financial service providers to create awareness on safety measures in conducting transactions while using ATM cards, mobile phones, and online platforms.

The month-long initiative, dubbed “Kaa Chonjo!”, will be carried out with support from, including Visa, Safaricom, PesaLink, and the Retail Trade Association of Kenya (Retrak).

Themed “Consumer, Retail and Technology Trends in Mobile, Card and Online Payments”, the Kaa Chonjo! campaign comes on the backdrop of rising economic fraud targeting both financial institutions and consumers.

A 2018 report by PwC titled Global Economic Crime and Fraud Survey (GECS) shows an overall surge in economic crime reported in the past two years, making it necessary to create awareness on ways of mitigating fraud for both consumers and organisations.

In 2017, a study by KBA lauded the adoption of the Chip and PIN technology as a major step in alleviating fraud. The survey pointed to a significant reduction in card-related fraud following the integration of EMV as the standard for payment cards in Kenya.

However, fraud trend have shifted with identity theft cases, mobile, and online fraud being among the new challenges facing consumers of financial services.

“In light of persisting cases of fraud in the service end of the financial sector, the importance of service providers educating customers on ways of conducting secure transactions cannot be gainsaid”, says KBA Chief Executive Officer Dr. Habil Olaka. While technology is increasingly taking a central role in enhancing efficiency in service delivery, it is prudent for banks to invest in creating awareness to address the challenges associated with fraud”, he adds.

The rapid integration of technology in payments is gaining popularity in the financial industry, largely due to convenience, reduced costs, enhanced customer satisfaction, and convenience.

While technology continues to revolutionise the financial industry globally, it has also brought about, particularly in ensuring safe transactions for consumers.

According to the 2018 edition of the European Association for Secure Transactions report, 15 countries reported payment fraud issues, with seven of them reporting increased card-not-present fraud related to e-commerce merchants.

Phishing activity was also reported by four countries, with one reporting phishing attacks through ads on social media sites.

In Kenya, payment cards service providers continue to promote better access to payment cards. This has not only afforded consumers better access to their money but also enhanced convenience. Payment cards include credit, debit and prepaid cards.

According to the Central Bank of Kenya, the banking sector continues to adopt more secure, convenient and safe technology at their cash points to curb insecurity and at the same time enlighten their customers.

Visa’s Director for Risk, Nita Omanga says, “As a global leader in payments, one of Visa’s key mandates is to ensure the security of all transactions that pass through our network. Innovation in commerce has always been about reducing friction and providing a better consumer experience. As consumer technology evolves, payment security and convenience must evolve with it. The question is no longer, where Visa is accepted, but how it is accepted: via any device, meeting consumers in their existing digital hangouts while offering the same level of security. The more knowledge that consumers have, the better equipped they will be to transact through the mode of their payment choice.”

In 2015, it was estimated that Kenya could be losing about Sh40 million monthly to SIM Box fraud, a form of crime where international calls are routed as local calls, prompting mobile operators to invest in new technology to curb the rising threat. Social engineering is among the key issues in mobile money services.

Card, mobile and online payments have been embraced with more retail transactions being conducted. RETRAK members have readily embraced cashless systems as they provide mutual advantages. On the one end, these systems are convenient to the customer, with growing efficiencies and also reduce cash handling risks”, says RETRAK CEO Ms. Wambui Mbarire.

Through the Kaa Chonjo Campaign, KBA and its partners will seek to promote a secure financial environment as part of their efforts to facilitate industry development.