Be sure your electronic transactions are secured this X’mas……Pt.1

The call for a shift towards a more cashless society has never been that stronger like it is today. Financial institutions as well as Telecommunication companies have intensified their campaigns for electronic payment options. Not only are they talking about it but there are continuously coming up with innovative e-products for the Ghanaian market.

At a launch of one of the recent innovations in our quest for a ‘cashlite society’, there was a sweeping agreement that the Ghanaian in general loves handling cash. That is generally true because we have grown up to see it done that way. And over the years we have learned ways in which to keep our cash safe in our wallets.

I have also witnessed auntie Esi, who is a trader at the Ashaiman central market handled huge amounts of money in a unique way. She, like most of our market women would have their monies in some form of a sack tied around the waist. It was also commonplace to see ladies keep monies in their braziers those days, which is however minimized today: I think the breast cancer education has gone down well.

Perhaps having fat wallets to display huge sums of money anytime we make a purchase seems to put as in that ‘social class of the haves’. As one of the speakers at the launch rightly puts it: ‘we all have our stories to tell with carrying huge sums of money’. Auntie Esi has had her own ordeals which I still remember since my teens. But as a teenager I was always amazed seeing her carrying huge amounts again and going about her business. Sometimes she has to be accompanied by my cousins, Etornam and Eli especially during early hours of the day.

Maybe most of us, just like auntie Esi had no alternative means of carrying money for our daily use. Today that shouldn’t be the case for any Ghanaian. At least we’ve heard about the various cards the banks are offering.The telecoms are also preaching the message of mobile money: Airtel’ Mr. Money advert, tiGO’ ‘No Wahala’  and MTN’ mobile money.

You see having the cash in our pockets gives us the guarantee that it is safe and secure as long as we could feel that our wallets are intact. We also know we have control over how we spend our monies. What about access when we need it; we believe it’s just a pocket deep and we have our monies in hand. The various electronic money platforms also promise all these: control, convenience, easy access and better security. In this series I am going to mainly look at the security assurance from one of the most recognised players in the e-payment process protection. Visa over the years have assured patrons of its high security technology and that they should feel free and safe to make e-transactions.

Before we go into how VISA is working to ensure that monies on our plastic cards are safe, I would want to hammer home this fact; the best strategy in securing your money starts from you the card holder.

The Visa Assurance

Visa has in mind the basic strategy that makes-up the best security arrangements one can get anywhere in the world. Visa has in place measures to help prevent possible fraud situations. They are also able to detect when the situation has by passed the prevention level. Then when the first two steps have been by-passed and the actual fraudulent activity had taken place, Visa has in place procedures that ensure you don’t bear the liability.

My understanding of these 3 key processes gives me the confidence of  holding those VISA branded cards for accessing  my money and for all my transaction here in Ghana and  abroad. So I would want you to follow me in the following series to understand these processes. Things are difficult these days; you should never put yourself in a position of being a target for robbery attacks.So how are the preventive measures that VISA has in place ensuring that we don’t fall victims to fraudsters who we know are everywhere, even on electronic platforms?

If you happen to have a Visa branded bank card, just turn to the back, you will see a 3- digit number which is usually separated from the one on the signature strip. What this is essentially for is to ensure that indeed you have the card in your possession in situations where you are making purchases online or you are being asked to give it over the phone for specific purposes. This is very critical, because we have all, in one way or the other shared our account details with either family or friends and also for business transactions. It is possible that a business partner who happens to know your address and your account details can attempt to make purchases using your card information.

But if   he tries to buy something from Amazon for instance he will be required to provide the 3-digit security code which only you, having the card can provide. So his attempt will be thwarted.

If this unscrupulous individual attempts to give some fabricated numbers, a cross checking is first done from your  bank or the institution that gave you the card for validation before being allowed to proceed. To be continued…….


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