Bolster security measures against digital fraud – BoG urges


By Joshua Worlasi AMLANU

Bank of Ghana (BoG) has thrown the spotlight on the urgent need for a shared commitment to combat the rising tide of digital and mobile money fraud in Ghana’s financial sector.

Dr. Kwasi Osei-Yeboah, Head of the Financial Stability Department, rallied for a collective action to combat digital fraud toward a safer and more resilient financial landscape.

“Nothing short of having the culture of shared commitment can make a significant impact in combating digital and mobile money fraud in Ghana,” emphasised Dr. Osei-Yeboah, speaking on behalf of the Second Deputy Governor of the Bank of Ghana, Ms. Elsie Addo Awadzi.

In an address at the Workshop on Committee for Co-operation between the Law Enforcement Agencies and the Banking Community (COCLAB), Dr. Osei-Yeboah urged financial institutions to bolster the security arrangements around their digital products.

“We want to use this opportunity to encourage financial institutions to bolster the security arrangements around their digital products by implementing layered authentication and verification procedures, including multi-factor authentication as well as employ encryption technologies to protect data during transactions,” he said.

Highlighting the rapid digitalisation sweeping through the financial landscape, Dr. Osei-Yeboah acknowledged the strides made in transitioning banking services online, with up to 80 percent of banking products now accessible through digital platforms. However, amid these advancements, concerns were raised over the alarming increase in fraudulent activities targeting digital financial services.

“In 2023, banks reported 15 SIM swap cases with a total loss value of GH¢4.8million; and at the same reference period, PSPs recorded 14,655 SIM swap related frauds with a total loss value of GH¢16million,” Dr. Osei-Yeboah revealed.

The surge in digital fraud poses significant risks to banks, customers and the government’s agenda to promote cashless transactions and financial inclusion.

Dr. Osei-Yeboah called for a unified effort among stakeholders to confront this growing threat head-on. “Together, we must pool resources and remain vigilant, adopting proactive measures to safeguard our digital identities,” he urged.

Public education and awareness remain a crucial item in the toolkit for empowering users so that they can recognise the pitfalls and avoid potential dangers. “Awareness campaigns should educate users about the common tactics being used by fraudsters, and possible vulnerable areas in the digital set-up,” Dr. Osei-Yeboah added.

The comprehensive approach outlined by Dr. Osei-Yeboah involves collaboration between financial institutions, law enforcement agencies and regulatory bodies.

He emphasised the importance of strengthened regulatory frameworks and efficient customer support systems for reporting suspected fraud cases promptly. Cross-border collaboration with international partners was also highlighted as essential in combating the evolving tactics of digital fraudsters.

As stakeholders continue to navigate the challenges posed by rapid digitalisation, maintaining vigilance and proactive measures are paramount to safeguarding Ghana’s financial ecosystem.

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