Transactions On Interswitch Network Rise To N4trn In Nigeria

The value of annual transactions on Nigeria’s electronic payments company, Interswitch network, has hit N4 trillion yearly. Divisional Chief Executive officer, Switching and Processing Unit, Interswitch, Mr. Akeem Lawal, disclosed in an exclusive interview in Lagos.

Speaking on the sidelines of the 6th annual electronic fraud conference organised by the EPayment Providers of Nigeria (E-PPAN) in Lagos, Lawal said that transactions on the platform had been growing year-on-year.

He explained that the Verve brand of Automated Teller Machine (ATM) cards issued so far by Interswitch had reached about 20 million with monthly transactions volume in excess of 270 million.

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He said: “On the Interswitch platform today, you know we process Verve card, which is a domestic pan-African product. We also process MasterCard and Visa card. “On the network today, we are processing over 270 million transactions monthly across all channels and schemes.

But Verve card is still one of the flagship products we have on our network and we have close to 20 million physical cards, almost six million virtual cards and all of those are processed on our network today.”

Lawal noted that virtual cards were an initiative of Interswitch, providing people with the opportunity to process their payments virtually as against the physical ATM card transaction.

He said: “You can use your card, but stored on your phone as a virtual card to do your payment. For instance, Quick- Recharge is one of our virtual card solutions that we offer to the to dial a USSD code and you can top up your phone with airtime.

“QuickBills is another one. Very soon, we would be introducing Quick Transfers. All of these are virtual card services. “Last year, with the physical cards and virtual cards used on Interswitch network, we processed in excess of N4 trillion in the whole year for all card schemes and all payment products.”

Meanwhile, Lawal has called for concerted efforts on the part of all stakeholders in the industry as a way to effectively tackle the issue of e-frauds. “I want to believe that there is no alternative to industry collaboration on e-fraud.

For a number of reasons because one, nobody can do it alone; two, the cost associated with managing Information Technology (IT) infrastructure that would be put in place to tackle e-fraud is huge, therefore, it is better to be shared by the industry.

“Also, the cost of not doing anything is also damaging to the industry because if consumers get defrauded, they lose confidence in the banking industry, which we have used 15 years in building.

We believe that it is in the interest of the industry as a whole to collaborate to eliminate e-fraud in Nigeria.” Lawal noted that though the country already had in place the Nigerian e-Fraud Forum (NeFF) but that the focus of the body hitherto has been basically on information-sharing, discussing trends and opportunities for improvements that banks can leverage to secure their platforms.

He explained: “But I think the discussion at the E-PPAN e-fraud forum this year has taken a step further by trying to see who players can share information about fraud that has actually happened in the banks and learn from it.”

Lawal said that Interswitch had developed a new anti-fraud solution for merchants following on an earlier solution for banks called ScoreBridge. He added: “In our fight against fraud, over the years, we have provided solutions to various stakeholders to help them combat fraud.

Two years ago, we introduced Scorebridge, a solution that allows banks to reduce fraud both locally and internationally. “But this year, we partnered with ACI, an international player, to introduce a solution for the merchants. The solutions christened RedShed allows merchants to be able secure their platforms and control fraud.”