Technological solutions and customer awareness can reduce financial crimes

Technological solutions and customer awareness can reduce financial crimes

Pakistan (Muhammad Yasir)

Technological solutions and customer awareness are two crucial aspects
of combating the rising incidents of financial crimes across the
country, said Federal Banking Ombudsman Sirajuddin Aziz.

Speaking as a guest of honour at the conference” Financial Crimes in
the Digital Age” organized by Eastnets and managed by Dellsons
Associates recently, he said the banks should continue to upgrade
their systems towards strengthening the data security of their
customers, besides bringing reforms to plug the loopholes in the
practices and mechanisms that made the data of customers accessible to
white collar criminals.

He mentioned that victims of financial crimes in Pakistan are highly
qualified, ironically, as against fraudsters who are less educated but
tactical in deceiving the public into getting their credentials to
steal money from bank accounts; therefore, the need for awareness
among bankers and customers of banks is high and ongoing.

Asaan Bank Accounts are frequently reported to be used for fraudulent
activities as organized criminals are exploiting this facility for
their ease, unfortunately, due to the negligence of banks in
compliance with KYC of customers, Federal Banking Ombudsman said.

Nadeem Hussain, Chairman Pakistan Fintech Network, said the banks
should have a prime responsibility to build a culture of awareness on
data privacy within the system and then among customers on a priority
basis with investment in technology and education.

He pointed out that the personal details of customers, including OTPs,
are easily compromised in this digital age being available on the dark
web, which could be protected as banks must adopt new software and
applications and customers should build habits to change their
passwords again and again.

Hazem Mulhim, Founder and CEO Eastnets said the fourth industrial
revolution is emerging in the world, with Artificial Intelligence is
transforming every industry including the financial sector.

The financial institutions need Rs. 400 billion worldwide to revamp
its system through the acquisition of cybersecurity technology and
capacity building of the workforce. Organized financial crimes are
increasing worldwide constituting 2% of the global GDP.

The banking regulator imposed huge penalties on financial institutions
for failure to comply with regulations to prevent the loss of money at
the hands of criminals, but regulatory measures are not enough to stop
the menace.

Pakistan is an emerging and important market for the financial sector,
which keeps its system updated with advanced technological solutions
to maintain its position on the whitelist of the Financial Action Task
Force (FATF), Eastnets CEO said.

The conference also hosted various panel discussions on the topic of
challenges in digital banking, banking compliance, and anti-money
laundering. Moderators of the sessions were Salim Thobani, EVP/ Head
Foreign Exchange Monitoring Unit-Meezan Bank Limited and Syed Faraz
Anwer, Partner Business & Risk Consulting- A.F.Ferguson & Co. The
event was also addressed by Lubna Farooq Malik, Director
General-Financial Monitoring Unit (FMU), Atala Nijmeh, Principal
Product Manager- Eastnets, Hassan Zebdeh Financial Crime Advisor & Sr.
Product Development Manager- Eastnets.

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