[Column] Gbenga Okejimi: With cyber fraud on the rise in Ghana, customer security remains essential
Across Ghana, online financial transactions have become increasingly popular as many Ghanaians have become connected digitally and are using mobile wallets and online banking services are a growing rate. While the ease that digital payments offer is unparalleled, making transactions and receiving payments online has also come with the risk of cybercrime.
According to data from The Cybercrime Unit of the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) of Ghana, Ghanaians lost over USD $19 million to cyber-crime and recorded 1,097 cybercrime cases in 2020, with fraud being the most common type of crime within the cyberspace in the country.
Amidst this trend of cyber risk threats, cyber resilience is needed in Ghana to secure end-to-end points in the financial services ecosystem. Thankfully, to keep Ghanaians' hard-earned money safe, WorldRemit continues to put its customers' security at the core of its business, ensuring they can send and receive money across the country without worry.
"WorldRemit ensures that international remittances are not just convenient and accessible for our customers, but most importantly, safe and secure amidst rising cases of cyber fraud incidents in Ghana," says Gbenga Okejimi, Country Manager, Ghana and Nigeria, WorldRemit. "We take cyber security very seriously and understand many of the tricks and techniques behind some of the most popular scams."
Reducing the risk of financial crime
According to a ranking by Global Cybersecurity Index (GCI) the Republic of Ghana is one of the most cyber secure countries in Africa, behind Mauritius and Tanzania.
However, with increase in digitisation much is still needed to ensure Ghana’s cybersecurity space is protected from cyber threats. The government of Ghana established the Cyber Security Authority (CSA), to ensure proper regulatory measures are put in place to establish a secured and resilient digital ecosystem and create awareness on cyber security matters. Thus, with the unpredictable nature of cyber crime, millions of consumers’ dollars are still at risk. This means that we all need to ensure sure our online details are kept safe and secure.
To ensure its customers' money is protected, WorldRemit has taken a proactive stance toward prevention. For instance, it refuses to work with correspondent partners who lack adequate controls for combatting fraud and financial crime. We implement risk-based controls for customers who need to send to destinations with elevated money laundering or terrorism financing risk. Additionally, WorldRemit collaborates with other industries and companies to share best practices and information to better watch over the financial transactions it processes.
''The international remittance space is exposed to several key risks, including money laundering, fraud, terrorism financing, and sexual exploitation, so working with other leading bodies to combat this is essential,” says Gbenga. “Technology helps us understand and detect the known patterns of suspicious behaviour signalling the misuse of a customer account when sending money is the priority.''