Kenyan banks to usher in “the great migration to EMV”

In a campaign launched in Nairobi by stakeholders in the banking industry, the ever growing cases of insecurity affecting the sector are now set to abate following the launch of new modifications seeking to mitigate cybercrime issues and loopholes created in the past and current periods.

ATM machine

Dubbed “The great migration to EMV”, the campaign is all about encouraging the banking sector to elevate from the old magnetic stripe platform mainly used in the Automobile Teller Machines (ATMs), debit and credit cards and instead introduce high security, multifunctional pin and chip cards to their customers. Stakeholders involved include regional card processor Paynet, Mastercard and global security printer De La Rue.

Over the past couple of years, the banking sector has fallen victim to several crimes among them being cybercrime and the ever popular ATM card fraud. With the introduction of the new systems, it would be expected that a recovery would be made from the heavy losses incurred and prevent the menace which has seen perpetrators on several occasions go uncaught. The move has received a warm reception from the government through Kenya’s Central Bank officials who have expressed high hopes that the technology providers would offer effective solution not just to our nation but the entire region at large.

Financial analysts from the region have for the past couple of years pointed out the loopholes created in the sector and highlighted them as possible hindrances to rapid economic development hence turning away potential investors into the region. During the meeting held in a Nairobi Hotel, it was pointed out that going by the global trends; the East African region has been trailing in terms of taking advantage of its opportunities for acquiring the overall continental leadership

Statistics released by the Central Bank of Kenya indicate that the total number of credit cards issued to customers in the market had increased by nearly 15 percent which translated to an estimated 8.1 million cards circulating in the market. This massive growth according to the officials should sound a signal to the banks issuing the cards to take note of tightening the loopholes in the sector so as to increase security to customers and find means and ways on how to outdo the great losses experienced.

It is estimated that more than 4.06 billion was reported to have been incurred as losses attributed to cybercrime in the East African region. This significant amount however went unreported to a great extent as banks would opt not to keep away their customers and consequently portray an awful image to the public. It was pointed out that the amount could surpass the stipulated amount as a lot of cases go unreported.

By adopting the new technology, cyber fraudsters would be outsmarted and to a great extent, the customers would enjoy enhanced security with a wide range of value-added solutions. The cost-effective migration to pin and chip cards would assure banks unprecedented opportunities which would in turn stimulate customer acquisition, revenue actualization among other achievements.

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