Sincerely I never thought I’d be writing this particular post but when I put forth the poll on Twitter, the responses and messages received showed that many people have very wrong notions and misunderstanding about Online payment in Nigeria and they easily flawed it with the individual banking policies and inconsistencies of the financial institutions in the country.
Here are just a few things that are necessary for clarification and this post will be populated as new things necessary are noticed;
- ePayment systems in Nigeria is insecure
while it is normal to exhibit this fear considering the ratings given to our beloved country based on activities of the internet fraudsters (popularly called yahoo boys), e-payment security is usually standard and the same as anywhere else in the world. The fact that it is being offered by a Nigerian company does not reduce the secured state (how to avoid being defrauded online). However, as with all technology products and money, one needs to be very careful with online transactions and be sure of the websites you visit before entering sensitive information.
2. My account will be drained if I put my card details online
This is another thing Nigerians fear when dealing with online transactions especially when it is a Nigerian company like Paystack, Remita, VoguePay etc at the processing end but what many don’t know is that Nigerian e-Payment systems provide even more security than many other international payment systems.
Here is an explanation before someone gets angry.
When you try to make online payment in Nigeria, say you want to buy a product on Jumia or trying to Book a Flight or even paying for Bulk SMS online (which are services many of us do often) using your ATM cards, the transactions don’t just go through after entering your card details even when you have entered the correct PIN and CVV number, instead an SMS (known as One Time Password OTP) is sent to the registered phone or you are asked to enter the code from your TOKEN device. This extra step is called 2nd Factor Authentication and it ensures all transactions are initiated by the right person with all the right information. So only you or someone with all your information including your physical phone can perform transactions like this.
This is one feature that is not enabled by default when you tried to make transactions on say ALIEXPRESS or eBay as the transactions are processed immediately your card details are entered. Some don’t even ask for PIN as long as CVV is entered but Nigerians still feel more comfortable entering their card details on those sites than on Nigerian sites when in the real sense, Nigerian options provide you with even more security.
3. Once I entered my card details, they can keep removing money from my account.
First of all, online safety is a responsibility of us all (not just the system or the financial institutions) and we need to ensure we remain safe but that does not mean we won’t use these technologies again, we only need to have a better understanding and keep ourselves safe always.
When you enter your details for payment on merchant websites, your card details are hardly saved and when they are saved, you are always notified and usually account creation would be required so you can always have access to remove the saved card any time you desire. The issue is that most people by default feel their information is collected and saved immediately and many don’t read these instructions.
For all card transactions/payments you perform online, always read instructions given and understand the content of each checkbox before checking. These little things will make us understand that safety can be guaranteed and it lies more in our hands as end users.
e-Payment technology has come to stay, just like all other technological innovations and the earlier we understand these, the better it is for us. There will come a time when the only means of transacting will be through these online payment gateways, which is why understanding of the systems is necessary and doubts be cleared.
Happy New and Safe Month to you.