MTN Calls for Partnership in Fighting Mobile Money Fraud

Telecommunications giant, MTN has called for an effective collaboration from key stakeholders in tackling mobile money fraud.

The stakeholders who include mobile money agents, merchants, security agencies and customers have been urged to do their bit in ridding the system off criminals, who take advantage of vulnerable subscribers.

According to the Cyber Crime Unit of the Ghana Police Service, about 50 percent of mobile network subscribers were either defrauded or were possible targets in the year 2017.

Various forms of mobile money fraud include scams, anonymous calls from fraudsters, false cash out SMS, false promotion SMS among others.

Addressing an awards ceremony for mobile money agents at the Golden Tulip Kumasi City on Saturday December 15, General Manager for Mobile Financial Services at MTN Ghana, Eli Hini mentioned that fraud affects the promotion of a cashlite economy being championed by the network.

He revealed this however presents a unique opportunity for MTN to invest resources in reducing the numbers if not entirely wiping fraudulent activities out.

“We all know what fraud does; it’s a negative impact on the service and affects the confidence in the system and for some customers, they may decide not to use the service again.”

“What we need to do is to ensure that we can continue to build confidence in our customers to trust the service and trusting the service means that, the system is safe and secure for all”, Mr. Hini added.

“The whole discussion about fraud is not only managing it from the forensics or the police support side, the customer is also involved.”

He continued that: “We’ve said that customers should not give their PINs to anybody, customers should not give out their phones to another person to do transactions on their behalf and customers should not entertain phone calls from people who call to say they want to show them something about their mobile money service.”

Eli Hini mentioned that MTN is ready to partner the police in investigating fraud related cases in the mobile money service space.

“When the customer has done all these, then we can move into the area where we can assist the security agencies and the work we’re actually doing with the police is to help them in their investigation because when they have these tools, they’re able to identify people especially when they go to crime scenes.”

“We’ll start taking details of our agents, fingerprints and other things, just so that the time we set you as agent, we’re sure that you don’t have any criminal records.”

“We’re also working with the Central Bank to try and develop an agent registry so that agents who are on the registry are those who have been fully validated and anyone caught in a malpractice, once we take you off you can’t do that service again.”

The awards ceremony was to appreciate the hardwork, support and loyalty, agents who operate in the Ashanti, Brong Ahafo,Northern, Upper East and Upper West regions have given the platform.

The agents took home certificates of recognition and prizes including LED Tv sets, motorcycles, mobile devices, branded souvenirs and the ultimate being a Hyundai i10 saloon car won by Kwadwo Adu Gyamfi of KAYAD Company Limited in the Ashanti region for being the 2018 Overall Best MTN MoMo agent in the northern sector.

With over 6.2 million active mobile money users, over 26 partner banks and more than 75,000 agents nationwide, MTN says it remains poised to use innovative technology to make transactions much more simple and convenient for its existing and prospective subscribers.

By:Ghana/ Ama Bonsu