Director Sharon Kinyanjui give tips on safe ways to send money online. PHOTO /DOUGLAS MURIITHI

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

of cybercrime in 2019.






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.




  1. 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.




  1. 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.




  1. 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).




  1. 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.



  1. 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

payment scams.



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