NIGERIA :Tracking cyber fraudsters prohibitive - VoguePay

An indigenous player in the electronic payment segment of the information technology (IT) industry, VoguePay, has lamented the high cost of tracking online crooks and the time it takes to get justice in the country.

Its Chief Technology Officer, Mr. Leke Ojikutu, told reporters in Lagos, that online fraud could affect everyone, who makes or accepts payments online; partly because it’s easier to steal anonymously. He added that tracking down someone over the internet and prosecuting them is difficult and almost impossible.

Ojikutu, also a co-founder of the firm, said one of the key steps to eliminating online frauds, is the ability to recognise it before a card is charged.

A renowned software architect, who has developed applications for federal and state government parastatals/agencies, including the deployment of the first tax database of Lagos State Internal Revenue Service (LIRS), he said the industry experience was critical to building VoguePay into a trusted online payment processor in Nigeria.

He said identity theft is a crime online payment platforms needed to reduce to its barest minimum. This, he said, is where VoguePay plays a crucial role to its users as every merchant is unique and has a unique sales history and e-behaviour that the system recognises and uses to prevent fraud from being carried out on his account.

According to him, reports from institutions such as Nigeria Deposit Insurance Corporation (NDIC) and DataGroupIT are helpful in helping to quantify the impact of financial losses due to online fraud. He said NDIC reported over N25.61 billion loss to fraud in 2014 while DataGroupIT’s recent white paper indicated a more severe impact of N78billion/$391million loss to online fraud in Nigeria yearly.

These losses are attributable to increase in the incidences of payment fraud conducted through various channels, which include stolen credit cards, compromised online accounts, web and browser-based malware, system breaches, social engineering, malware and SQL injection among others designed to sabotage the account holders of their funds.

Ojikutu noted that this was why VoguePay has evolved several anti-fraud protocols and intelligent approaches to eliminate possibility of fraud and/or stop it before it succeeds. He added: “Some of these measures include data storage and transmission on strong encryption technology, safe user authentication procedures at login and secure session handling. We combine several principles to authenticate the author of a transaction as being rightfully authorised to carry out such transactions.”

On a global scale, he said, there was need for collaboration between payment processors, card issuers and security agencies in terms of reporting and investigating incidents and apprehending perpetrators. “That is why VoguePay is championing stronger cross-continent collaboration between payment processors, card issuers and security agencies in reporting and investigating incidents and apprehending perpetrators, this is because in order to facilitate safe online transactions, the decision on who can transact cannot be left to chances,” he further stated.

VoguePay is also a member of the Electronic Payment Providers of Nigeria (E-PPAN), a non-governmental organisation that provides advocacy on safe electronic payment transactions in the country.