Banks In Kenya Asked To Drop Old ATM Cards For High Security Chip & Pin Card Technology

Mastercard Global

Plastic money  leaders have launched the “great migration to EMV”, a move for  banks in East Africa to  adopt chip and pin cards to curb on card fraud.

Led by MasterCard, Paynet, a card processor and De La Rue, a global security printer the campaign aims at encouraging banks to move to the new and secure chip and pin cards instead of the current  magnetic stripe ATM, credit and debit cards used.

The initiative is spearheaded by Charlton Goredema-MasterCard Vice President & Maketing Manager for SubSahara Africa Division, Bernard Matthewman- group CEO Paynet, Stephen Mwaura- Central Bank of Kenya’s Head of National payment systems.

According to a recent report by Deloitte, East African banks have lost over Ksh 4.06 billion since 2011. However, there could much more unreported over purposes of customer and investor confidence s

According to Bernard Matthewman, Paynet group CEO:“The risk of loss through card fraud is growing every day, more so because of the rising preference for plastic money payments by the banked in the region. Moving this kind of money on cards is attractive to cyber fraudsters, especially when magnetic stripe cards are used, which is why we are urging banks to move to the chip and pin platform to outsmart them.”

The Central Bank of Kenya data shows that debit cards issued had grown by 15 per cent to 8.1 million cards while card payments rose by 83 per cent to Ksh386.6 billion from Ksh211.2 billion in the first half of 2012.

According to Mathewman there is need for more secure transactions due to this increase.

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He said:“This growth should serve to remind senior bankers of the urgency to migrate to chip and pin to ensure a secure card commerce environment.”

The three assured banks migration to chip and pin cards is possible even if the technology is new in the region.

To show capacity, Paynet said it has a fully functional Visa and MasterCard chip and pin card issuing and processing platform that can be accessed by banks at an affordable cost. Security printer De La Rue has the capacity too and they have joined global card payment association Europay, MasterCard and Visa or  EMV, to make sure the banks join the new secure platform.

According to MasterCard Kenya as a regional leader in innovation is able to lead the way in adopting higher card security technologies for secure payment systems.

MasterCard East Africa’s James Wainaina said:“From an analysis of global trends, the region is lagging behind and along the way missing on an opportunity for continental leadership,” and added, “Chip and pin technology enhances the security of payment systems and provides better protection to issuers and acquirers against fraud as compared with traditional magnetic stripe cards and devices. It also enables a wider range of value-added solutions to bring about unprecedented opportunities to strengthen customer acquisition, drive revenue through increased card usage and new card acceptance opportunities.”

The old magnetic cards used  for over 20 years in the region can be copied and duplicated hence susceptible to be used for fraud. But the new ones will cut fraud drastically.

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De La Rue Head of Sales Scott Atkins said: “The new cards use a microprocessor installed in a chip embedded on the cards. This contains coded information needed to authorize payment through a multitude of protection features that makes it significantly more secure than a traditional magnetic stripe card.”

And bankers have been promised help from the stakeholders with even help from Visa and MasterCard ensuring that right measures ate put in place to help banks migrate to reduce fraud.