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Ghana News

MTN MoMo Set to Deploy AI Infrastructure to Combat Mobile Money Fraud in Ghana

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MTN Ghana is set to launch a $2.5 million AI infrastructure in the fight against mobile money fraud. The infrastructure is expected to be jointly owned by the Central Bank and the Ghana Police Service to ensure that the necessary mechanisms are in place to curb fraud effectively.

The AI tool, which is being designed to detect and prevent social engineering tactics employed by MoMo fraudsters, will pick up specific signals based on predictive information and mechanisms fed into it. It will provide early warning to customers being targeted by fraudsters to help them avoid being defrauded.

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MTN Ghana has some internal mechanisms to protect customers from being defrauded, but these mechanisms lose their essence once the customer divulges their PIN to the fraudster. Sylvia Otuo-Acheampong, Head of Products and Services at MTN MoMo, cautioned customers never to mention their PINs to anyone, not even when the person claims to be calling from MTN.

SIM swap fraud, a new form of fraud where people gain access to a victim’s phone number to steal their money, has also become a concern for MTN. Otuo-Acheampong noted that SIM swap requires the involvement of telco staff and that sanctioning the swap without following the due process to the letter could be a genuine mistake on the staff’s part and not necessarily a sign of collusion with the fraudster.

MTN MoMo currently has over 13 million customers, with over 400,000 using digital channels like MyMTN and the MTN MoMo apps to transact on the platform, while over 12.6 million use USSD channels.

The company is working towards driving the usage of the digital channel more as it moves towards becoming a complete digital operator. MTN also has about 140,000 merchants (physical and online) who receive MTN mobile money payments from customers either face-to-face or remotely, about 15,000 PoS (point of sale) machines that accept MTN mobile money payments, and about 250,000 agents who support digital payments across the country.

For the most part, MTN Ghana is making efforts to protect its customers from fraud and has earmarked $2.5 million to build an AI infrastructure to detect and prevent MoMo fraud. However, it is crucial for customers to be vigilant and never disclose their PINs to anyone, even if they claim to be calling from MTN.

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