Fraud: IT expert, others reiterate need for banks to strength POS security  

Mr Castro Nyang, an Information Technology (IT) expert has urged banks to strengthen their security architecture in line with Point of Sales (POS) operation in Nigeria.

Nyang said this in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja on Thursday.

He said strengthening POS security would go a long way in tackling the problem of fraud sometimes experienced by customers.

“The fraudulent activities associated with the use of POS have been worrisome.

“I have friends who have complained that their private businesses have suffered due to fraudulent activities carried out by their members of staff using POS.

“They said whenever customers make payments, such monies go into the staff accounts instead of the company’s account.

“This is one out many other forms of fraudulent activities carried out using POS and there is an urgent need for banks to find lasting solution to them.’’

On other challenges associated with the use of POS, the expert said the issue of dispense error was a major issue.

According to him, customers are made to visit banks to correct errors experienced while using POS.

He said “people have been having issues using the POS, particularly with regard to dispense error.

“This is a situation where a customer’s account is debited but he or she is not credited probably due to network problem.

“When this happens, customers are made to go through the stress of getting the problem rectified.

“I have had such experience, where I lost some money.”

Nyang called on banks to give POS operators access to software that could fix such problem rather than referring customers to the bank.

He said such would go a long way in lessening the burden of customers having to queue up at the banks.

On benefits of using POS, Nyang said the loss associated with it was less than the value it had added.

He said the system had helped to de-centralise banking, while lessening the cumbersome nature of banking in the country.

“The use of POS has eased banking activities in Nigeria because before the advent of POS, once it is 4:00 p.m., one cannot carry out banking services.

“Today, people have access to funds when needed and besides, it has given many people jobs as more people are making a living from it.

“Also, it has driven technology to another level as there are various vendors of the machine coming into the country.

“This is bringing a lot of entrepreneurships to the banking and IT sector, called Fintech.

Mrs Lauretta John, a businesswoman, said while there were no doubt that some people had fallen victim of POS fraud, it could not be compared to the benefits.

“There is nothing in this world that does not have risk attached to it?

“I am not saying POS is hundred per cent effective but as far as I am concerned, it has made banking a lot easier.

“Unlike those days that you cannot carry out banking activities once it is weekend, today you can carry out bank transactions throughout the week including weekend.’’

John said that when ATM was introduced, many people heaved a sigh of relief as they were no longer compelled to go to banking halls to queue.

She, however, said the joy of using ATM was short-lived as it became herculean to use it due to unending queues, adding that POS did the magic.

“For me, POS is an answered prayer because it has reduced the stress I go through on a regular basis queuing at ATM or banking halls for transaction.

“As I speak with you, there are about five POS outlets close to my house.

“All I need to do is take a walk to any of them, carry out my transaction and off I go for my business,’’ she said.

Mr Lanre Olawale, a farmer, called for stringent measures to track POS fraud.

He also urged Nigerians to guard against revealing their passwords to people, “to avoid being victims of fraud.”

He said the challenge notwithstanding, the advent of POS was the best thing that happened to Nigerians.

According to him, it affords low-income earners the opportunity to avoid queuing for hours to withdraw as little as N2,000 from ATM.

Mr Kelvin Ojone, a taxi driver, called for proper profiling of POS vendors to cut down on fraudulent activities such as scanning of customers ATM cards and using their details to defraud them.

NAN reports that POS, a banking process often carried out outside the banking hall, was introduced in Nigeria to promote the cashless policy of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).

The number of POS terminals in Nigeria according to Statista, has risen from about 115,000 terminals in 2017 to about 1.1 million in 2022.

Statista also said that as of April 2021, POS payments in Nigeria were worth more than N663 billion.

The POS machine can carry out a lot of activities such as funds withdrawal, opening of bank accounts, payment of utility bills like airtime, water bill, and electricity. (NAN)