Agnes Gathaiya
Association of Kenya
Communications Authority
Kenya Bankers Association
VISA East Africa

KBA Launches the Annual Kaa Chonjo Awareness Campaign to Boost Security of Payments Platforms

The Kenya Bankers Association (KBA), in partnership with VISA, Safaricom, Retail Trade Association of Kenya (retrak), and Pesalink, has today launched the annual Kaa Chonjo Card, Mobile, and Online Safety awareness campaign.

The Kaa Chonjo campaign is a month-long event that has been taking place every year since 2012 with the aim of addressing the safety and security challenges faced by consumers and institutions in the financial sector.

Speaking during the launch, KBA’s CEO Dr Habil Olaka acknowledged the milestones the campaign has made in reducing fraud. He noted that ATM card fraud, which was prevalent, has now reduced significantly thanks to the introduction of the EMV global standard for debit and credit cards.

“Unfortunately, as we sealed the card exposure with chip and pin security, fraud trends have shifted to new areas. In the past year, for instance, identity theft cases in mobile and online platforms have scaled up, creating new challenges for financial service providers and consumers,” he said.

According to Nita Omanga, the Director of risk at VISA East Africa, the main issues with regards to cybercrime are data breaches and social engineering fraud. In addition, a survey by the Communications Authority of Kenya (CA) shows that financial institutions are exposed to malware and impersonation fraud with over four thousand reported cases in 2017.

“There is need to increase awareness on a larger scale about the dangers of giving out personal information,” she said adding that Kenyans should begin regarding their phones as financial instruments as opposed to a social tool which can be shared with other individuals including children thereby increasing the risk of identity theft.

The event also saw the panel discussion agree that increasing awareness is key in increasing safety and security while making transactions.

On the other hand, Agnes Gathaiya, the CEO of Pesalink said there is need to address the fact that 90 percent of transactions are still handled with cash. “Cash has no value until it is banked,” she stated adding that financial institutions should consider that customers want instant payments, affordable, and safe transactions when providing payments solutions.

Moreover, The CEO of retrak, Wambui Mbarire said during the panel discussion that bankers should increase awareness that ATM cards are more than just tools for withdrawing money and instead highlight their role of paying for purchases. She also said that although mobile money transactions are popular among Kenyans, card transactions would be more effective if the factors of cost and time were improved.

Some of the recommendations given during the launch include avoiding storing passwords and PINs on phones and the implementation of safety and security tools by financial institutions.

“We believe one of the strongest defenses against cyber crime is an informed and aware consumer base. Which is why this Kaa Chonjo campaign is critical now more than ever,” Dr Olaka asserted.

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