Five tips to stay safe when transferring money online
By Sharon Kinyanjui,(Director for Europe Middle East & Africa Receive Markets, World Remit)
Remittance inflows – money sent back home by Kenyans abroad –
continue to provide a stable source of foreign exchange for Kenya
while supporting many households. Data from the Central Bank of
Kenya indicates that remittances rose to a record high of $290
million (sh31.3 billion) in the first quarter of 2021, 27 per cent
higher than the $229.8 million (sh24.8 billion) recorded in the first
quarter of 2020.
An interesting trend is that an increasing number of the 3 million
Kenyans living abroad are opting for digital payment services as
opposed to the traditional money remittance agents. This is also the
case for recipients, who increasingly prefer digital checkout
methods like mobile money and bank transfer.
While the convenience that digital payments brings is unparalleled,
if not vigilant, making and receiving payments online also comes
with the risk of cybercrime. From impersonation to unlicensed
outlets taking advantage of customers, users of digital payment
services need to stay vigilant when online.
Data from the Communications Authority of Kenya (CA), the ICT
industry regulator there were 110 million cases recorded
Security is a top priority at WorldRemit, and we aim to put safety
for customers at the heart of our processes as an increasing number
of people opt for digital payments to Kenya.
Here are five tips from digital payments experts WorldRemit to keep
you safe when transacting through digital channels.
- If it sounds too good to be true, avoid it
There are many reasons why people use digital payments services –
receiving money from friends and relatives abroad is just one of
them. Sometimes you may use digital payments service to process
payments for online work or online investments. When looking for
a service to use, be wary of persons or companies that approach you
purporting to save you huge transaction or foreign exchange fees as
long as they handle the transaction for you. The rule is: if it’s too
good to be true, avoid it.
- Make sure you are using a licensed provider
Use only reputable and licensed payment providers such as
WorldRemit. Go online to the relevant financial regulator website to
determine if the payment provider is licensed. WorldRemit is a fully
licensed international money transfer service and Authorised
Electronic Money Institution.
- Check availability of customer support and user reviews
Even if you are using a digital service that is simple and easy to use,
it is always reassuring to know that you can turn to a customer
support team in case you encounter any challenges. WorldRemit has
24/7 customer support, meaning you can get help or questions
answered at any time in any place around the world. The best
source of information on the safety, security and general user
experience of a service is other users. Visit a reputable website like
TrustPilot to get users’ feedback on a service. WorldRemit
currently has a 4.1 rating on TrustPilot out of 47,820 reviews. A
majority of users have ranked WorldRemit as excellent (5 star).
- Stay vigilant and up to date on latest trends
Be alert for scams that target consumers after the completion of a
transaction. It’s not uncommon for scammers posing as tech support
to inform you that there is something wrong with your transaction
or account. To avoid becoming a target of such scams, do not
provide sensitive data such as your password, your date of birth
and other personal information. Familiarize yourself with the
official communication channels of your service providers and
avoid communicating through unofficial lines – it’s mostly always a
scam. Also stay updated on the latest information security trends,
including ensuring you use a service with the latest encryption
features and with clear disclosures about how they store and utilize
users’ personal information.
- Beware of people impersonating brands
A common trick involves someone creating a fake social media
account in an attempt to convince you that they are someone they
are not to gain your trust. Hooks such as ‘invest and we’ll give you a
10x return‘ are used, but once you have parted with your money you
are unlikely to speak to anyone again. Make sure you check out who
you are talking to and verify it is actually the brand you think it is.
Contact your intended company directly via their website to be on
the safe side.
Keeping these simple tips in mind can save you, your business,
friends and loved ones from financial losses arising from online