Recent research by international mobile technology solutions specialist Myriad Connect revealed that the majority of the Kenyans polled use banking apps and mobile money accounts. However, as fintech innovations have taken off in the Kenyan market, the levels of fraud directed at digital transactions has grown.
“As these transformative technologies take off globally, they are also exposing vulnerabilities that criminals are exploiting,” says Fabien Delanaud, GM of Myriad Connect. “In the Kenyan market, which is aligned with global fintech trends, fraudsters are targeting digital and mobile financial service transactions, as well as the actual mobile SIMs.”
SIM swap fraud is one of the most prolific forms of financial service fraud in Kenya, with over 90% of Kenyan banking leaders identifying it as an issue for their organisations. When a customer lets their operator know that their SIM card is damaged, lost or stolen, the current SIM is deactivated and a new one is issued. With SIM swap fraud criminal groups gather personal data and then pose as contract owners to secure a new SIM. Once activated by the fraudster, they are able to access bank accounts and other sensitive data authenticated through the SIM.
Myriad Connect’s research has found that over 70% of Kenyans have been – or know someone who has been – a victim of some form of financial service transaction fraud.
“Myriad Connect is now launching into the Kenyan market to help address digital transaction fraud with out of band authentication and SIM Swap services that secure digital and mobile transactions and protect consumers and financial services alike. As the Kenyan market is a leader in Africa in terms of financial technologies, this market is an ideal launchpad for our innovative solutions into the region,” says Delanaud.
Combating digital transaction fraud demands an omni-channel fraud prevention strategy, says Delanaud, it provides ubiquitous authentication to any mobile device, regardless of data connectivity.
Myriad Connect’s market-leading authentication service delivers a separate, third party authentication channel on any mobile device. Using Unstructured Supplementary Service Data (USSD) provides an entirely out of band channel for authentication, with all interactions transmitted over the mobile network, which is separate to the browser or online channel being used by the customer to initiate the transaction. Myriad Connect’s session-based service sends an advanced push notification to open up a conversation between the enterprise and its customer.
In addition, Myriad’s SIM Swap detection service provides a real time check on the SIM, while no persistent data is held with any third party, providing a more secure service than current two factor authentication services. A clear audit trail is also established, where the user’s identity is verified by a party external to the transaction. This results in a technology that greatly enhances the security of transactions vulnerable to SIM swap fraud.
“In the UK, fraud prevention technologies have helped stop 67% of fraud attempts, and with our out of band authentication and SIM swap detection service, we hope to replicate this level of success in Kenya,” says Delanaud.