CAIRO: An Egyptian Fraud Forum Constitution was unilaterally signed by the financial institutions represented at the National Fraud Forum of Egypt in conjunction with Visa International on Jan. 22, 2007.
Designed to facilitate the work of the Forum, the Constitution aims to help banks cooperate to collectively fight economic crime. It was authenticated by all member banks participating in the Forum as part of the proactive measures taken to keep Egypt a low-risk market for payment card transactions.
“This is a landmark agreement and Visa is proud to support local efforts that promote safe payments. Along with using world-leading technologies and promoting consumer education and awareness, collaborative efforts across the industry and with law enforcement are pillars of Visa’s unwavering commitment to security, said Tarek Elhousseiny, Visa CEMEA’s Vice President and General Manager for Egypt and Libya.
“Unlike cash which opens the door to high volumes of counterfeit crime, electronic payments reduce fraud and are a far more secure and transparent way to pay, he added.
Egypt is the only country in Africa to unilaterally implement a Constitution empowering representatives in the Forum to share fraud-related information openly. The Forum provides a platform where industry experts can exchange the latest knowledge and information on fraud affecting the industry as well as the means to fight it.
The Forum’s annual elections were held during this meeting to which Visa was invited at the Arab African International Bank (AAIB) premises. A fundamental part of the Constitution is the continuous re-evaluation of the elected parties’ effectiveness to ensure progress is maintained.
Attendees from member banks voted through a ballot system to elect candidates for the Forum’s top positions.
“The members were genuinely enthusiastic and the elections were carried out in a transparent and cooperative atmosphere reflecting the spirit of the Forum, said Neil Hawkey, Visa CEMEA’s vice president for risk management in Africa.
“Economic crime prevention is gaining momentum in Egypt to help maintain its low card fraud rate. The banks have freely chosen to unite to prevent fraud and are fully committed to cooperating with each other and with the proper authorities to ensure that people have access to secure banking services, he added.
The fraud rate for payment cards issued in Egypt remains lower than both the global and regional averages. “Fraud remains very low in Egypt and the Forum ensures we have a strong defense mechanism in place to keep fraud at bay. In fact, Visa plans to use the Egyptian model as a template to help create other fraud-fighting organizations across the region, said Hawkey.
“Banks are proactively working to prevent economic crime in Egypt by staying abreast of global risk compliance programs, fraud control trends and the industry’s best practices. With its extensive world-leading expertise in risk management and fraud control, Visa is proud to be actively involved, he added.
The implications of preventing card fraud reach beyond the banking system. The benefits of a healthy, safe and efficient electronic payment system are increasingly known: greater economic growth, new jobs, more tourism and bringing more people into the banking system.