Visa Inc., the world’s leading global payments Technology Company, hosted earlier this week, the region’s Risk Executive Council [REC] for the Middle East and North Africa [MENA] in Dubai. The two-day meeting involved senior management from the risk and business functions at Visa and financial institutions from across the region.
The Visa REC meeting represents an opportunity for those involved in the risk business to discuss, provide inputs, and exchange ideas on risk-related challenges facing the payment industry. The risk executive councils play an important role in shaping Visa’s strategies on fraud risks and payment security issues and provide guidance on the development, implementation, enhancements and execution of existing and contemplated risk management policies and programs.
“Fighting fraud and protecting cardholders is a top priority for Visa – and securing electronic payments is fundamental to Visa’s success. We invest heavily in advanced fraud-fighting technologies and develop and deploy innovative programs that protect cardholders and merchants,” said Ihab Ayoub, General Manager Middle East & North Africa at Visa.
“Based on years of experience working with merchants as well as issuing banks, Visa has taken care to ensure that our roadmap supports a variety of cardholder verification methods, including signature, PIN and no cardholder verification for low value, low risk transactions. In order to accomplish the transition to EMV in the most cost-effective and expeditious way, we want to provide customers, merchants and financial institutions with options that minimize the disruption to the current payments environment,” added Ayoub.
The forum included an overview of the payment ecosystem landscape, and the current risks and challenges the industry faces.
The council discussed the current state of the payment landscape in MENA, and the vision for a modern, innovative and secure Payment System that can support the growing economies of the region. Visa introduced initiatives that are helping to minimize fraud rates in the region, including: data security compliance programs, data compromises investigation protocols, Cloud Based Mobile Payments (Host Card Emulation) and cyber security improvements.
“The Visa Risk Executive Council in MENA, together with similar councils around the world, provides a platform for cooperation and information exchange to address the challenge of a growing sophistication and internationalization of criminal attacks on payment systems. By continually anticipating, analysing and addressing the threat of fraud in real-time, we are helping financial institutions, merchants and cardholders protect themselves. Visa equips the payment system participants with the necessary information, consultancy and fraud control tools, that enables them to identify and address their own vulnerabilities,” said Regional Head of Risk Services for Central Europe, Middle East & Africa at Visa Inc., Ingo Noka.
“To maintain confidence and trust in the international payment systems, Visa and the payment industry have made enormous investments in data security and fraud prevention. With technological innovations and advances in risk management we have reduced fraud to near historic-lows, with less than six cents per $100 transacted, during a time when Visa’s card transaction volume has grown dramatically. In fact, for the Middle East and North Africa region, it sits lower at three cents per $100 transacted.
“This achievement is due to a combination of advancements implemented at both the ‘edges’ of the payment network, where cardholders interact with merchants, and at the center, where powerful technologies detect fraud within our processing platform,” added Ingo Noka.