TechInAfrica – Fraudulent activities aren’t exactly a new phenomenon, but they’re still happening as we know it. These fraudsters readily adapt to the trends in business, even if it means going digital.
According to Nigeria Electronic Fraud Forum (NeFF), digital fraud activities are increasing while over-the-counter frauds have declined. Financial companies lose as much as N2.21 billion in 2018, with ATMs took the highest incident at 34.87%, mobile channel at 28.21%, and Point of Sale (POS) at 19.55% according to CBN’s financial stability report for 2018.
It’s no surprise that the key industrial sectors are pushing for a solution, like the recently launched Sigma, a unified database for fintech companies detect possible fraudster with its identifier flagging feature. Anyone who has a history of fraud can, therefore, be identified and blocked from accessing the companies’ platform.
The figure behind this innovative solution is Voyance, a Nigerian data science startup based in Lagos. As interviewed by Techpoint, co-founder of Voyance Abdulhamid Hassan said that a unified database is needed since many companies aren’t upfront about their fraud problems, and by having the database shared, these companies can then keep each other updated.
“So the idea is that most of the fintech companies in Nigeria have a list of identifiers — BVNs, phone number, or IP address — flagged by their fraud team but this knowledge is not shared across all companies and that’s why we’ve built sigma,” Hassan says.
“If Fin-tech (A) within the alliance backfills the graph database with a fraudulent user identifier — BVN, phone number, IP address, etc. –.when the fraudster attempts to perform any activity with another fin-tech using the flagged identifier within the alliance, they are automatically blocked.”
Hassan illustrates further how the database works, “As a company in Ghana, you can flag an identifier with sigma, and if the identifier is used with a Nigerian company in the alliance, it’s automatically blocked.”
For security purposes, all the contributed data sent to the database platform are anonymized. For now, the platform is only available in Nigeria, and interested companies will have to join by invitation. Companies will then be charged monthly after the first free 6-months access to the database.
Companies can request access to the platform by filling this online form.