Vice President Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia has launched joint platform between telecom industry players, financial technology service providers, the Bank of Ghana and the police to fight against fraud in the digital finance ecosystem.
The platform dubbed Fraud Control Dashboard (FCD), has become necessary because, as Ghana marches towards a cash-lite, society, characterized by the wide usage of digital financial service, sophisticated fraud is also fast emerging.
As the Vice President put it, “As digital financial services expand, new partnerships will emerge and so will new opportunities. But, one major challenge confronting the financial industry today is the proliferation of fraudulent activities.”
He was speaking at the second Mobile Technology for Development (MT4D21) virtual conference organized by the Ghana Chamber of Telecommunications and several partners to find ways to successfully get Ghana to cash-lite society with less security issues.
The two-day virtual forum is under the theme “The Rise of Africa: Promoting Africa’s Sustainable Digital Ecosystem”.
Digital fraudsters in Ghana are mainly on the mobile money platforms. They often use pre-registered SIM cards in the names of untraceable persons to target mobile money customers rather than the networks, using social engineering to defrauding people.
Market leader MTN, for instance, is currently building a US$2 million robotics platform to be able to predict and trace mobile money fraudsters and get them arrested. They have also recently introduced a “No ID, No mobile money cash out” policy all in the bid to stem fraud on the platform
The Vice President said the emerging fraud is a huge worry for Government, service providers and consumers, because “the soundness of a good digital ecosystem must guarantee all users reliability, security, confidentiality, and completeness of all transactions.”
He said the FCD platform will therefore harmonize the individual fraud control mechanisms of mobile money operators to strengthen the national resolve in tackling and mitigating fraud on the various networks.
“It will help in blocking SIM cards, mobile devices and blacklisting ID numbers that connect to any fraud or general crime-related cases in the country,” he said.
But he challenged industry players at the virtual forum to continue working to find innovative digital solutions that will promote a sustainable society through providing universal access to financial services, healthcare, food security, and education to Ghanaians, as measures are put in place to deal with the fraudsters.
He expressed confident in the ingenuity and determination of Ghanaians to find solutions to complex problems “for our common good.”
“I entreat you to use this conference as a platform to discuss industry-related issues that are critical to enhancing our digital ecosystem, promoting innovation, and protecting consumers,” he told participants.
Meanwhile, Communications and Digitization Minister, Ursula Owusu-Ekuful, who also spoke at the opening of the virtual conference, lauded the Ghana Chamber of Telecommunications for its roles in the setting up of the FCD to help fight fraud.
She said “I must commend the Ghana Chamber of Telecommunications for complementing the effort of NCA which is establishing a Central Equipment Identity Management System by setting up the Fraud Control Dashboard to help eradicate fraud.”
The Minister also noted that as much as digitization provide vast opportunities for financial inclusion and national development, it also creates the platform for fraud such as identity theft, cybercrime, mobile money fraud and others.
She said the Minister is therefore in the process of enacting the Cybersecurity Act to provide the legal framework for stemming the tide of digital fraud.
“We are also going to start SIM card re-registration, which is long overdue, particular now that SIM-enabled devices have assumed a critical role in the whole digital finance ecosystem,” she system.
Indeed, government is in the process of integrating National ID number with tax identification numbers (TIN) and the next layer would be to synch phone numbers with the two to ensure that people can easily be traced with their phone numbers.
The forum is being attended by stakeholders from the banking, fintech, telecoms, postal service and industry regulatory sectors.
They are expected to emerge with recommendation to take Ghana to the cash-lite society smoother and faster.