Nigeria: Wema Bank Enhances Security with Facial Recognition Technology After ₦685 Million Fraud Loss

Wema Bank Enhances Security with Facial Recognition Technology After ₦685 Million Fraud Loss
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Wema Bank, a leading Nigerian financial institution, has partnered with Daon, a global digital identity trust company, to implement advanced facial recognition technology aimed at bolstering platform security. This initiative follows a series of efforts to curb fraud on the bank’s digital platforms.

According to a statement, Wema Bank has integrated Daon’s xProof and xAuth/xFace applications on the Daon IdentityX® platform, enhancing digital identity verification and authentication within the banking app. This collaboration, facilitated by Daon and its regional partner Ouranos Technologies, enables customers to complete everyday banking transactions by simply taking a selfie. This not only saves time but also ensures top-tier security through advanced liveness detection and other protective measures against presentation attacks.

By leveraging Daon’s innovative Identity Continuity solutions, Wema Bank can now streamline both onboarding and authentication processes across multiple channels from a single platform.

In recent years, Wema Bank, like many other Nigerian banks, has faced significant challenges with fraudulent activities. In April 2024, Techpoint Africa reported that the bank incurred a loss of ₦685 million ($594,943) due to fraud and forgery in 2023 across its digital and payment channels, including third-party platforms.

To address these issues, the bank expanded its fraud monitoring team within its digital compliance department and launched an anti-fraud campaign to better protect its customers. Additionally, Wema Bank removed and suspended up to seven fintech partners from its payment gateway platform due to fraudulent activities.

Clive Bourke, President of EMEA and APAC at Daon, commented on the partnership: “Implementing Daon’s suite of identity verification and authentication solutions in the Wema Bank app will provide their customers with a more efficient and reliable user experience, all while increasing the security of their data.” He emphasized that identity fraud is a significant source of financial loss in the banking sector, making robust defenses critical.

Olusegun Adeniyi, Chief Digital Officer at Wema Bank, added that this development aligns with the bank’s mission to offer seamless access to a broader portfolio of financial services. The introduction of these advanced security measures underscores Wema Bank’s commitment to safeguarding its customers and enhancing trust in its digital platforms.

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