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Tips to help you stay safe online when transferring funds to & from Nigeria

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By Gbenga Okejimi

TUE 15 JUNE, 2021-theGBJournal- Nigeria remains the largest recipient of diaspora remittance in Sub-Saharan Africa – in 2019, it received nearly half of the remittances sent to the region at $23.8 billion . Money transfers sent from Nigerians living and working in the diaspora have always been an important source of income for families and the Nigerian economy. According to  PWC  report titled “Strength from Abroad”, remittances can have a strong impact on development because of the ripple effect on consumption, investment and economic growth.

Technological innovations continue to ease the process of sending and receiving money, thus facilitating growth. Digital money transfer methods have made cross border financial transactions, and now, a process that could otherwise take days has been reduced to just a few minutes. The uptake of digital financial services at home means that more Nigerians can send and receive money from across the world. The process has been supported by favourable regulations from the Central Bank of Nigeria to boost remittances inflow.

As online payments continue to get faster and more convenient, and as Nigerians pivot to digital channels for remittance transfer, service providers must deliver secure connections for these digital transactions and reduce the risk of cybercrime.

At WorldRemit, we take very seriously the privacy and security of our customers. Our website and apps are designed to prevent accounts from unauthorised login attempts; we have strict verification processes to ensure that we correctly identify all of our customers and have a team of dedicated analysts who monitor transactions for signs of unusual activity.

We have provided a secure platform and developed a robust verification model but as a company that goes the extra mile we want our customers to stay aware of the following tips to avoid wahala:

1-Beware of fake brands and businesses. A common trick involves impersonation, a user behind a fake social media account may attempt to convince you that they’re someone they’re not to gain your trust. Look out for catchphrases like ‘invest and reap 10x return’, once you’ve parted with your money you’re unlikely to be able to contact the fake account again. Verify users, brands and businesses before transacting with them. Where possible contact the brand directly via their website and ask for recommendations from trusted parties before making transactions or investments.

2-Download apps only from reliable sources. Make sure that you only download apps from reliable sources, make use of verified links from the organizations’ websites and official social media accounts. Use your app store on Apple devices, or the google play store on Android devices, etc. Take extra care before downloading an app, confirm that it provides a service that is recognized by local and international financial services authorities.

3-Never share your passwords and token codes. Legitimate financial services providers will never ask you to share your passwords, token codes or any other private information. While your credit or debit card pin can be used to complete payments online, and your Bank verification Number (BVN) might need to be submitted within an app or website, to digital financial services providers, in the process of setting up your personal account, you must never share these details via message requests from supposed providers. Go the extra mile and make sure the money transfer service is committed to protecting your personal data. At WorldRemit, our payment partners in recipient countries will verify your identity, while ensuring your data is protected at all times. We also respect privacy policies in line with the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) requirements and will never share data with any third party.

4-Confirm the recipient’s identity and channel. Always confirm the identity of your recipient, this is anyone seeking financial assistance from you or offering unsolicited investment opportunities. If you suspect that your emails have been hacked, confirm the transaction directly, or through a regulatory authority before completing the process. For transactions via WorldRemit, confirm the recipient’s identity and how they will receive the money, whether it is cash pickup, mobile money, or bank transfer. Make sure you are using the beneficiary’s full legal name, as the bank in the receiving country will match their identification with the transfer information.

5-Speed is of the essence. Pick a service that ensures your money reaches its intended destination quickly and securely. 90% of transfers made with WorldRemit are authorized within minutes. Also, check if the platform has a 24-hour customer care service that is operational.  At WorldRemit, our customer service is available 24/7.

6- Track your money transfer. The part of the operation where most safety is required is in the monitoring of the transaction. When sending money, WorldRemit enables users to monitor the status of their transactions, providing senders as well as recipients with status updates along the way for peace of mind. Last year, WorldRemit launched a Transfer Tracker App which allows recipients of money transfers to track their funds. The app is free to download through the Google app store in a number of countries including Nigeria.

Okejimi is Country Manager for Nigeria and Ghana, WorldRemit

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Nigeria, Ghana, WorldRemit