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Wednesday 29th March, 2023

BANKING

Fraud: Access Bank Launches Self-Service USSD To Safeguard Customers

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Access Bank has introduced Unstructured Supplementary Service Data (USSD) code *901*911# in line with the commitment of the bank to safeguard the investments and savings of its customers.

The code allows customers to deactivate their USSD profile once their mobile devices get lost or stolen.

This self-service enables users to deactivate their accounts using any alternative phone number, giving account holders full autonomy to safeguard their funds before official reports are directed to the bank.

The Executive Director, Retail Banking, Access Bank Plc, Victor Etuokwu, said, “Access Bank is always seeking innovative ways to safeguard the resources of our customers.

“We have listened to customer complaints and have introduced the *901*911# USSD code, a solution that allows customers to act swiftly.

“To deactivate a USSD profile, simply dial *901*911# from any phone, input the registered phone number for the account you want to blacklist and your USSD profile will be deactivated and blacklisted automatically.

“It has also come to our attention that there has been an increase in the number of fraudsters disguising themselves as bank representatives.

“Hence, we will like to once again urge all customers to be wary of this tact and to ignore any message demanding personal or bank details.”

Access Bank has through the years, remained committed to educating its customers, informing and protecting them from fraudsters.

The bank has created dedicated pages on its official website that constantly update customers on the schemes fraudsters employ to defraud them.

To report any suspected fraud case, Access Bank customers are advised to call 01-2701005 or send an email to contactcenter@accessbankplc.com.

ALSO READ  Access Bank Warns Customers To Be Wary Of Fraudsters

 

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BANKING

ICSFS Receives Information Security Management System ISO/IEC 27001 Certification

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ICS Financial Systems Ltd, (ICSFS), the global software and services provider for banks and financial institutions, was awarded the Information Security Management System (ISMS) ISO/IEC 27001 Standard Certification for the Data Centre, IT Department, and ICS BANKS Banking Software Solution Services in February of 2023, recognizing the company’s adherence to the highest standards of information security.

ISO/IEC 27001 is the world’s best known Internationally respected independent information security management standard, focused on providing highly effective and integrated frameworks for the standardization of information security protocols and setting systematic, rigorous, and improved information security policies.

Digital Times Nigeria understands that the Compliance audit covered several areas including data centre security, information security policies, procedures, and controls, as well as Information Security Management Standards, subjecting the protocols and processes carried out by the Data Centre, IT departments, and ICS BANKS integrated solutions and digital platform services to thorough examination and refinement, placing best practice procedures, as well as enhancing the resilience and responsiveness of potential security events.

Ghassan Sarsak, CIO, ICS Financial Systems Ltd said, “Achieving ISO/IEC 27001 demonstrates ICSFS’s commitment to building and delivering secure products and solutions by adopting internationally recognized security standards and best practices throughout the software development lifecycle (SDLC) to address risk and meet compliance and regulatory requirements.

“The phenomenon of the current global digitalization of most banks’ financial services and the collaboration with emerging fintech players make it essential to adopt the best security standards and to constantly maintain vigilant security monitoring to detect and respond to security events.

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“Becoming ISO/IEC 27001 certified is a significant step forward in our capacity to continuously assess the cybersecurity challenges for banks and financial institutions and how vital compliance is to our clients and their businesses.”

Wael Malkawi, Executive Director, ICS Financial Systems Ltd stated: “As a prominent provider of Banking, Financial, and digital platform solutions; cybersecurity is the bedrock of our credibility and solid reputation. The achievement of the ISO/IEC 27001 certification represents a significant milestone for ICSFS and reinforces the company’s commitment to delivering world-class banking software solutions.

“This certification is a testament to our continued commitment to providing secure and reliable banking software solutions for our clients, giving them the confidence to focus on their core business operations, particularly in this disruptive digital era.”

Dr. Samir Abu Tahoun, Co-Founder & CEO of Security Management Technology Group (SMT) noted: “We would like to congratulate ICSFS for successfully completing all the standard requirements and obtaining the ISO 27001 certification for their Information Security Management System (ISMS).

“SMT Group team is grateful to be a part of the successful implementation of the ISO 27001 certification, this couldn’t be accomplished without the cooperation of all ICSFS team members and their management support.

“Businesses nowadays are under intense pressure to adequately protect the information entrusted to them in light of recent Cybersecurity incidents. The ISO 27001 certification confirms that a company has met the international standard for establishing, implementing, maintaining, and constantly improving ISMS.

“Delivering the highest standard of service to our clients is an integral part of our ethos and business operations. This certification is a testament to our commitment to this, and most importantly, to our colleagues and clients.

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“Once again, we would like to express our sincere gratitude and appreciation for all the effort given through this project, it was our pleasure working with your esteemed company, and we look forward to more successful collaboration.”

ICSFS invests in its software suites by utilising modern technology in launching new digital products, constructing a secured and agile integration, and keeping pace with new standards and regulations worldwide.

ICS BANKS software suite future-proofs banking activities by providing a broad range of features and capabilities with more agility and flexibility, to enrich customers’ journey experience, hence improving the trust and confidentiality between the customer and the bank.

The software has always been a pioneer in utilising the latest technology to serve financial institutions. In addition to its embedded Service-Oriented-Architecture (SOA), the system can be deployed on-premises, hybrid, or cloud.

 

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BANKING

FirstBank Dedicates Month Of March To Celebrate Women

-Reinforces Its Commitment To Empowering Women

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First Bank of Nigeria Limited, Nigeria’s premier and leading financial inclusion services provider, has announced its dedication of the month of March to the celebration of women across the world, as it commemorates the globally celebrated International Women’s Day, scheduled for 8 March 2023.

Kicking off the series of internal activities designed to celebrate women is The First Women Network (FWN), Mentoring, Coaching, and Sponsorship Pillar Webinar scheduled to hold on Friday, 3 March 2023.

The event is organized by the Bank’s First Women Network, an initiative that seeks to address the gender gap and increase the participation of women at all levels within the organisation.

On Wednesday, 8 March 2023, the Bank will join the rest of the world to celebrate the 2023 International Women’s Day themed: “Embrace Equity” as it convenes its International Women’s Day 2023 event.

As a member of UN Women, FirstBank employs the relevant women empowerment tools including the Women Empowerment Principles (WEPs) Gender Gap Analysis Tool in the process of assessing its performance and provides progress reports that feed into the WEPs performance indicators.

FirstBank has a ratio of about 39%:61% female to men employees while 32% women in management driving a deliberate policy consistent with the WEPs – Equal Opportunity, Inclusion, and Nondiscrimination.

In line with this commitment, FirstBank is partnering with UN Women on 15 March 2023 and is set to play a key role in a scheduled event driven by UN Women that will showcase young women and men between the ages of 18-35 in Nigeria who are using technological innovations and tools to promote gender equality, women’s empowerment and inclusion.

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This is in line with the UN International Women’s Day theme for 2023 which is “DigitALL: Innovation and technology for gender equality.”

The conversation on ‘’Embrace Equity’’ as well as ‘’DigitALL: Innovation and technology for gender equality’’ will be reinforced on Twitter Spaces with notable speakers including Foluso Gbadamosi, the Executive Director of Junior Achievement Nigeria.

Amongst the activities scheduled to round off the Women’s Month commemoration is the Bank’s support of the Heroism of Erelu Ota – a play that aligns with the Bank’s First@arts goal of supporting the arts and women.

Heroism of Erelu Ota is an untold story of a legendary goddess in Ikorodu Kingdom who travels on the sea with a mat, and her ability to see what the enemies of Ikorodu are planning in their town played a huge role in assisting the people of Ikorodu during the Agbala war.

Speaking ahead of the events, Folake Ani-Mumuney, Group Head, Marketing & Corporate Communications, FirstBank said that “we remain committed to diversity and inclusion as well as women empowerment through digital education and the provision of opportunities for women to access digital tools to bridge the gender digital divide and achieve gender equality.

“Therefore, as in previous years, FirstBank has dedicated March 2023 as a month set aside to celebrate women and all their remarkable achievements over the years which include their leadership roles and pace-setting standards in Science Technology Entrepreneurship, Arts, and Mathematics (STEAM).

“We are deliberate about partnering to ensure more impact – ensuring that we touch as many women as possible in Women’s Month and beyond.”

ALSO READ  FG Extends SIM Card-NIN Linkage Period By 6 Weeks, Affirms Cancellation Of USSD, Verification Fees

 

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BANKING

Umba, Nigeria’s Digital Bank Begins Operations In Kenya

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Pan-African digital bank, Umba which acquired Kenya’s Daraja Microfinance Bank last year, has officially launched its operations in the country.

The financial institution has been operating only in Nigeria but has its eyes set on several African markets.

The move now enables Umba to offer full banking services in Kenya, including current accounts insured by the Kenya Deposit Insurance Corporation (KDIC), interest-bearing savings accounts, fixed deposit accounts, lending, and payments.

Umba was founded in 2018 by Irish entrepreneur Tiernan Kennedy and former Munster rugby player Barry O’Mahony.

The startup aims to make it easier for consumers and SMEs to interact with banks and mobile money networks, providing a transparent, low-fee service that allows users to take control of their financial lives.

Users get a no-fee current account, low-cost payments, bill pay, and loans.

The lender leverages the proprietary data generated by customers to offer credit products and generate revenue where customers can receive and repay credit products through their mobile phones.

Umba CEO Tiernan Kennedy said: “It’s a fantastic opportunity we have been given to bring Umba to the Kenyan market.

“It’s been an extremely challenging and lengthy process to make this acquisition but the ability to stand on our own two feet and grow the bank into a serious player in the market is absolutely worth it.”

The fintech has the backing of leading VC investors, including Lachy Groom, Lux Capital, Palm Drive Capital, and strategic angels such as Monzo founder Tom Blomfield and executives from NuBank.

Chandaria Capital has also invested in the bank and strongly supported the Kenya launch.

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“Kenya needs a great digital bank to offer the services that customers want, without the massive fees they have been paying to the legacy players.

“The winners here will be who provides the best services and we’re confident in our Team’s ability to deliver,” Kennedy said.

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