The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) is to follow up on its directive to banks on the use of Payment Card Industry-Data Security Standard (PCI-DSS).
The scheme was designed to protect cardholders’ debit, and cash card transactions; it is also meant to protect personal information of the cardholder embedded, which will pave way for a successful and fraud free cashless economy.
The PCI-DSS is a process used by the United States authorities to protect cardholders’ accounts, privacy and security, which is set by the United States-based Payment Card Industry Standard Security Council (PCI-SSC), a body, saddled with the responsibility of ensuring safe and secure payment card data.
Last year, CBN instructed banks to comply with the PCI-SSC standards to improve cardholders’ security and privacy, in line with international standards.
According to the Head, Shared Office Department, CBN, Mr Chidi Umeano, a December 2011 deadline was issued to banks to comply but some few banks failed to comply.
Umeano did not mention the names of the banks but disclosed, “A lot of banks have complied with the directive on PCI-DSS. There has been appreciable progress on this issue. However, some banks have not complied, prompting CBN to be monitoring them. We are watching the activities of such banks to ensure they comply. However, they have expressed commitment to enhancing the security of their payment channels. They have not fully complied. The banks are at various stages of compliance.”
He said that with the introduction of the cashless policy, which will go round the country soon, Nigeria needs the PCI-DSS now more than ever.
He said when a bank is PCI-DSS certified; the customers are covered and secured too.
Umeano said electronic fraud was the reason for the lack of trust and confidence customers have in the banking system in Nigeria, and if electronic payment fraud is curbed, customers will have confidence and the cashless policy will operate freely.
Speaking on the Fraud Forum Committee, he said the committee has done very well, having reduced bank fraud to a minimal level in the country. He named chief executive officers of banks, Visa Card, MasterCard etc, as part of the committee.
“To some extent, the committee has achieved some laudable goals in the country. The committee has a mandate that is not time-bound. We will continue to work together to curb card payment fraud and related activities.
“We organised our annual meeting last December where we delivered a report on the activities of the committee. At the meeting, we review our activities. Some strategies were mapped for 2013 for the committee. We resolved to continue to do what we are doing in the New Year, by ensuring that all fraudulent cases were reported and checked,” he added.
Umeano promised that the cashless initiative will kick off soon and will largely strengthen the economy, adding that all issues pertaining to the cashless economy policy are been handled well.