NIGERIAN FG URGED TO ESTABLISH POSITION 2011 FOR E-PAYMENT DEVELOPMENT

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Stakeholders in the e-payment industry in the country have advised the Federal Government to establish a five year vision for the industry, tagged "Vision 2011" to chart a comprehensive developmental roadmap for the industry.

Local and foreign experts who spoke at the just concluded 6th Edition of West Africa Card Expo 2006, which took place at the Muson centre, Lagos asked players in the industry to convene all stakeholders' sessions in order to discuss and determine key components of the overall vision.

According to these experts, the e-Payments framework should be geared towards stimulating the adoption and usage of electronic payments products and services especially among the masses, as well as establish and enforce cybercrime laws to alleviate the fears of the public; and constantly promote e-payments through various communication media using dedicated funds mobilized from banks, akin to the SME funds.

Mr. Mac Atasie, the Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of Netzon Limited said the proposed National e-Payments Stakeholders' forums activities should be guided by the framework, and it should in turn recommend improvements to the framework.

He said that the group should be empowered to continually recommend e-payments initiatives to the regulator. "Membership should be drawn from stakeholders, participants, regulators and an honest broker should be appointed as facilitator. And I sincerely think Mr. Dotun Sulaiman, the Chairman of Interswitch Limited in this area would be required".

He also charged the CBN to revamp e-Payments regulatory framework by establishing a skilled e-Payments department/unit in the apex bank to provide regulatory role for the industry and adopt a regulator-induced market-driven e-payments framework to jump start growth.

On consumer protection issues, Atasie urged CBN to organize fora between) merchants, card operators and regulator to dialogue on issues and arrive at resolutions affecting cards acceptance supervise loyalty schemes to ensure compliance to framework and make sure all cards issued in the country are insured to provide some comfort for online merchants.

On fraud and risk management in ATM and card payment systems, Mr. Ayo Arise, the Managing Director of Cards Technology Limited, the third party processor for MasterCard transaction in Nigeria said card issuers, merchants and card holders have roles to play in managing possible fraud in the industry.

He particularly advised the card holders to aware of their security when using an ATM and should always follow the following general tips: never disclosed your personal identification, never use an ATM with blank screen, do not force your card into the card slot, stand close to the ATM and use your body and hand as a shield to make sure nobody sees you keying in your PIN.

He also advised the card holders to keep their hand over the card slot to make sure nobody can swap or take your card, follow the instructions on the ATM screen carefully, not to insert card until asked to do so by the display screen, only put in PIN when the ATM says to do so, avoid drawing cash late at night or when alone and never hurry when using an ATM.

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