Banks have heightened efforts to sensitize customers on secure banking following increased cybercrime as customers continue to migrate from mortar and brick transactions to digital space due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
To sensitize customers on the risk of online banking, the Kenya Bankers Association (KBA) has launched a campaign awareness dubbed ‘Kaa Chonjo’ which seeks to enlighten the masses on online safety.
Since the onset of the pandemic, there have been increased cases of cybercrimes such as phishing, identity theft, and data breaches due to the increased use of online transactions.
As businesses and individuals become increasingly dependent on technology and digital connectivity, and with Covid-19 exacerbating the situation any disruption in the digital progress could be crippling if proper measures are not set.
The government regulators, security agents, and the banking industry need to continue working together to ensure secure and trusted digital connectivity in a data-driven world, to protect individuals, businesses, and the economy.
A recent report indicates that there were 21.75 million internet users in Kenya in January 2021 while the Internet penetration in Kenya stood at 40 percent in January 2021. This number shows how internet penetration has been key in customers’ uptake of internet and mobile banking. Thus, the need to ensure that the banking systems and securities are uptight to curb the vice.
According to the KBA Customer Satisfaction Survey of 2020, bank customers’ preferences for digital services stood at 43 percent.
With most transactions happening through online channels, Banks have devised a crucial mechanism to inform and educate the masses on cybersecurity.
For instance, Equity bank’s Q1 2021 results, digitization enabled at least 98 percent of all Group transactions to happen outside the branches with 86.8 percent of the transactions being on self-service mobile and Internet banking.
While 1.6 percent of the transactions happened on Agency and Merchant banking third party variable cost infrastructure.
Only 1.8 percent of transactions happened on fixed-cost brick and mortar branches and ATM infrastructure, while 89 percent of the loan transactions were conducted on mobile channels.
According to Equity, the number one enabler for mobile and online transactions was the waiver by the bank of charges amounting to Kshs. 1.5 billion to enhance households’ disposable incomes.
During the pandemic the bank sensitized clients to adopt mobile, digital, and online banking, in compliance with health protocols of reduced mobility, minimized interactions, promoting hygiene, and maintaining social distancing.
For instance, Equity transactions through the Pay with Equity solutions grew by 31 percent, and the value rising by 58 percent to reach Kshs.1.07 trillion.
The bank has been continuously informing and educating the masses around online safety ensuring that cybersecurity is the top-notch priority.
The bank has also been partnering with like-minded institutions such as Safaricom to share technical knowledge and build a common approach to risks such as fraud and cyber-security.
The bank set up a universal customer care number 0763 000 000, which customers are contacted through. This is to ensure that customers are protected from scammers, as they know the bank only calls them using that universal number.
Some of the ways in which customers can protect themselves include understanding how the bank interacts with you, as the institution does not ask for your credentials – Pin or Password.
The bank cautions its customers to avoid clicking on any link requesting to share personal information or to verify account details.
It also advised customers to avoid using public computers or Wi-Fi connections and report fraud cases immediately to the Bank or the police.