With cyber fraud on the rise in Zimbabwe, customer security remains essential

Image sourced from the Digital Frontiers Institute.

As online financial transactions are becoming increasingly popular, many Zimbabweans are adopting the use of mobile wallets and online banking services across the country. While the ease that digital payments offer is unparalleled, making transactions and receiving payments online also comes with the risk of cybercrime.

With the growing trend of cyber risk threats across the country, cyber resilience is needed, and securing end-to-endpoints in the financial services ecosystem cannot be over-emphasized.1 To keep Zimbabweans’ hard-earned money safe, WorldRemit continues to put its customers’ security at the core of its business, ensuring they can receive money from the diaspora without worry.

“WorldRemit ensures that international remittances are not just convenient and accessible for our customers, but most importantly, safe and secure amidst rising cases of cyber fraud incidents in Zimbabwe,” said Susan Sitemere, Country Manager, Zimbabwe, and South Africa, WorldRemit. “We take cyber security very seriously and understand many of the tricks and techniques behind some of the most popular scams.”

Reducing the risk of financial crime

In Zimbabwe, the upsurge in the use of mobile money, online banking and shopping during the COVID-19 lockdown came with a greater need for cybersecurity. The country experienced an increase in cybercrime and computer-related crime from money-related fraud, card cloning and identity fraud cyber incidents.2

Additionally, according to the National Risk Assessment (NRA) Report of 2020, cyber risks, mainly through digital financial channels, contributed to an estimated US $900 million of illicit proceeds generated from criminal activity annually in Zimbabwe.3

To counter cyber-attacks and provide better data protection, the government of Zimbabwe passed the Cyber Security and Data Protection Bill in 2021 which aims to punish the people who misuse and abuse the internet, social media, and communication network. In addition to that, it aims to support the financial digital system of Zimbabwe for better protection and efficiency.4

To make sure its customers’ money is protected, WorldRemit has taken a proactive stance toward prevention. For instance, the company refuses to work with correspondent partners who lack effective controls for combatting fraud and financial crime and have implemented additional risk-based controls for customers who need to send to destinations where there is an elevated money laundering or terrorism financing risk.

Additionally, WorldRemit collaborates with other industries and companies to share best practices and information in order to better watch over the financial transactions it processes.

“The international remittance space is exposed to several key risks, including money laundering, fraud, terrorism financing, and sexual exploitation, so working with other leading bodies to combat this is essential,” said Susan Sitemere.

“Technology helps us understand and detect the known patterns of suspicious behavior signaling the misuse of a customer account when sending money is the priority,” she said.

Susan Sitemere Country Manager Zimbabwe & South Africa WorldRemit.