Emmanuel Obinne, West Africa Head of Growth and Partnerships at BPC Banking Technologies is advocating for a robust payment system for trade under the African Continental Free Trade Area.
This according to him is crucial in averting any attempt by fraudsters to take advantage of loopholes in the various payment systems.
He was speaking in an interview on the new approach by fraudsters in the wake of the COVID 19 pandemic.
“I am actually excited about the Free Trade Area being set up and here we are talking about multi-country trading and this will lead to an increase in the volume of digital payments obviously,” he said.
Obinne added, “Now because nations are involved in these transactions, I believe that the setting up of business-to-business market places run by the governments among these countries where by those who are trading under the platforms are brought under one eco systems are averted just as Alibaba, … so you can protect the buyer and seller.”
He also cited lack of adequate fraud management solutions as one of three loopholes being explored by fraudsters to perpetrate their crime.
“It is logical that you will ordinarily expect that fraud should be dropping but we need to realise that fraudsters are notoriously innovative and they advance even as technology advances and I don’t believe they go to rest.,” he said.
He added, “They continue to look for loopholes that they can exploit to perpetrate fraud so this innovation that they employ coupled with loopholes, coupled with loopholes wherein we have insiders (employees) who connive with outsiders to perpetrate fraud, the lack of adequate management solutions to detect and prevent fraud in organisations and exploiting of low level of customer educations lead to the continuous incident of fraud.”
According to Lexis Nexis, the global payments market is estimated to be worth $2trillion by 2025, but is also expected to lose up to $200B due to fraud over the next 5 years.
Huge continental market
On 17 August last year, President Akufo-Addo commissioned and handed over a fully furnished African Continental Free Trade Area secretariat headquarters to the chair of the African Union Commission, Moussa Faki Mahamat, and the AfCFTA secretary-general, Wamkele Mene, in Accra.
The Commission will administer the free trade agreement, which has created a single market of 55 members with a combined population of over 1.2 billion and a total gross domestic product of roughly US$2.5 trillion.
All 54 sovereign nation-states of Africa have signed the agreement and 30, including Ghana, have ratified the deal