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CBN limits USSD transactions to N100,000 per day

EFFECTIVE from June this year bank customers will not be able to use Unstructured Supplementary Service Data (USSD) channel to conduct transactions more than N100, 000 per day.

Also they will have to use both their PIN and a soft token to authenticate transactions above N20, 000. The USSD is a technology platform for online payments.

In addition, banks must allow their customers the option to opt out of USSD channel for financial transactions.

These were highlights of the ‘Regulatory Framework for the use of Unstructured Supplementary Service Data (USSD) for Financial Services in Nigeria’, issued by the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, yesterday.

In a circular announcing the framework, Director, Banking System and Payments Department, CBN, stated: “The vast applications of the USSD technology, in terms of available services have raised the issue of the risks inherent in the channel. In this regard, concerns have been expressed on the likely exposure of CBN approved entities to the possible breaching of the USSD accessed financial services in view of likely vulnerabilities in the technology and the ever growing threats.

‘‘Furthermore, the implementation in Nigeria has created multiple USSD channels to customers, thereby increasing their exposure to risk, without a common standard for all. ‘‘This framework therefore, seeks to establish the rules and risk mitigation considerations when implementing USSD for financial services offering in Nigeria.”

Among other things, the framework stated: “USSD based financial transaction requires encryption to protect the integrity of the financial information. To this end, Financial Institutions providing use of the USSD channel shall: Ensure that the customer receives notification on the status of every transaction conducted through the channel; Not use the USSD service to relay details of other electronic banking channels (in case of banks), to their customers, to prevent compromise of other electronic banking channels through the USSD channel; Avail the customers the option to opt in/out of the USSD channel for financial Transactions.’’

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NSCDC secures conviction of 18 persons accused of downloading films

The Nigerian Security and Civil Defense Corps (NSCDC), Kano State Command, has secured the conviction of 18 persons accused of downloading and sending Hausa films in Kano.

The command’s Public Relations officer, Mr Ibrahim Idris, disclosed this in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Kano on Monday.

Idris said the convicts were arraigned before a Magistrate’s Court in Kano on Friday, April 7, after they were arrested around Dakata in Ungoggo Local Government Area of the state. Read more

Global Surveilance: North Korea Hackers Target Nigerian Banks

A new report from a Russian online cyber security firm, Kaspersky, has observed that North Korean hackers are attacking banks in 18 countries, including Nigeria.

The organisation noted in its report that this could be regarded as the biggest bank heists in world history.

Banks and security researchers have previously identified four similar cyber-heists attempted on financial institutions in Bangladesh, Ecuador, the Philippines and Vietnam.

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