GHANA:How secure is mobile money?
Just recently, a busy fabric retailer at Accra Central received a call from an unknown man claiming he had sent her GhC800 mistakenly and therefore requested that she send the money back to him.
She was busy at the time so she quickly reached for her phone to immediately authorize the transfer of the said amount, but thought to quickly check her balance first. Upon checking her balance she realized that there was no such credit to her account.
It was then that she became suspicious and did not authorize the transfer. That was how close she was to being a victim to one of the fastest growing fraudulent mobile money tricks in Ghana.
The introduction of Mobile Money in Ghana has enabled businesses to make and receive payments from others conveniently and remotely. The fast evolution of payment systems and drive into a cash-lite or cashless society in Ghana is being realized gradually with the growth of Mobile Money.
This innovative technology has also created an avenue for some unscrupulous persons to attempt exploring possible security lapses within the system to fraudulently withdraw money and tamper with users’ data.
Although Mobile Money users are responsible for securing their end of the system to prevent ‘intruders’ from performing transactions on their behalf, they still stand at risk at the least security breach.
The Ministry of Communications in 2016 reported that mobile phone subscription in Ghana had soared to over 35 million. This coupled with the increasing financial literacy in the country projects a boom in Mobile Money usage in Ghana. Although most of the mobile payment services/platforms are safe, cyber crooks are constantly trying to outsmart the system and users.
Basic security tips for users include;
- Avoiding sharing passwords with third parties
- Avoiding the usage of weak PINs
- Being vigilant not to fall to tricksters
For small and medium-scale enterprises in retail, healthcare, hospitality among other sectors that look to taking advantage of the new technology; the current Mobile Money infrastructure should give the confidence of effectively taking charge of business finances in a more secure and convenient way.
In addressing the challenge of having to turn away customers who do not have cash to make payments, leading mobile technology company Hubtel, has introduced a fully integrated payment acceptance solution that enables companies receive payments from customers via Mobile Money and cards securely. While helping businesses make extra profit, it enables them to record and accurately track records of all financial transactions. It’s safer, much more convenient and very secure.
Despite the ongoing efforts of the authorities to minimize the possible security lapses exploited by fraudsters, ultimately Mobile Money users are responsible for securing their end of the system by utilizing all the tools and information to secure their money.