Public and private groups address African mobile money security concerns

Public and private groups address African mobile money security concerns

As mobile and digital money become more widely used across Africa, so public and private bodies are responding to fears of fraud, as recent news from Ghana and Kenya indicates.

Vodafone Ghana says that, in partnership with the Ghana Chamber of Telecommunications, it has been educating Ghanaians about mobile money security and how to avoid being defrauded.

Representatives from Vodafone Ghana, other operators, and the Telecoms Chamber recently engaged members of the public on how to protect themselves from mobile money scammers at the Tema Community 1 Main Station, a site in the city of Tema 25 kilometres east of the capital Accra.

While the engagement was also an opportunity to highlight Vodafone Ghana’s enhanced financial products and services, the Chief Executive Officer of the Ghana Chamber of Telecommunications, Dr Kenneth Ashigbey, was quoted as saying: “We believe we need to come back to the subscribers and customers of our members to bring the service close to them, interact with them, educate them, and create awareness.”

Meanwhile ITWeb Africa says that Kenya's Office of the Data Protection Commissioner (ODPC) intends to audit 40 digital lenders after having received over a thousand complaints, including allegations of data privacy breaches.

Last month, the Central Bank of Kenya released a list of ten digital lenders licensed to operate. Other service providers, whose applications are pending, have been allowed to operate. Those who did not apply have been barred from issuing credit, though some, allegedly, still are.

There has been a surge of applications to provide digital lending services in numerous African countries recently but, the question now is: can the technology involved be used to defraud users or breach the privacy of user data? And, if so, how can this be addressed?

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