" ITREALMS: Interswitch, banks launch awareness campaign

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Interswitch, banks launch awareness campaign

Electronic transaction switching and payment processing company, InterSwitch Nigeria Limited and some participating banks, have teamed up on e-payment awareness campaign.

Speaking at the press parley to unveil the campaign in Lagos at the weekend, the

Managing Director, Interswitch, Mr. Mitchel Elegbe said that the campaign has become imperative due to recent developments and fraudulent messages through the Short Messaging Service (SMS), and electronic mails making a round.

Tagged Cardholders Awareness Campaign (CAC) is an alliance formed with the participating banks to curtail the activities of the fraudulent messages being sent around even to the cardholders in the country, requesting them to register their debit, credit or cash card details under the guise of participating in non-existing promotions, with the promise of winning bogus prizes.

He pointed out that the current target of CAC is the current and potential cardholders, explaining that the key communication messages for the public campaign would be on “Never reveals your Personal Identification Number (PIN) to anyone.”

Elegbe emphasized that cardholders should realize that their PIN is their signature, “so protect it.”

He advised cardholders to memorize their PIN, because it is safer in the head, insisting that Interswitch and member banks would never ask cardholders to reveal their PINs.

Equally, he said, that despite attempts by fraudsters to penetrate the electronic payment system in Nigeria, they are yet to achieve more than one per cent success.

Mr. Elegbe said that the number of cardholders that have fallen victims to these activities represent far less than 1 per cent of all transactions, stressing that though they have increased fears among cardholders in the country, which has hampered on the security of the cardholder and payments done using cards.

According to him, investigations into some of these isolated incidents, showed lack of awareness about payment cards and the need to protect Personal Identification Numbers at all times.

Interswitch boss said that the campaign would run on the radio, newspapers, magazines and billboards, so as to educate the cardholders based three main objectives.

These he said included to educate the cardholders on the importance of protecting their PINs, which is the only way their money will be protected; to create media awareness on card usage without generating unnecessary panic in the minds of cardholders; and to enlighten cardholders of channels on which their cards can be used other than just cash withdrawals at Automated Teller Machines (ATMs).

InterSwitch is an independent, private sector-led company which focus is on facilitation of value between service provider’s financial, telecommunications and utilities, merchants, their customers and other stakeholders on a timely and continuous basis nationwide.

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