First Bank Renews its Payment Card Standards

Fri, Jan 23, 2015
By publisher

Banking Briefs


THE First Bank of Nigeria Plc has recertified its Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard, PCI-DSS, in 2014. The certification is renewable annually as demanded by the standard and regulators following a rigorous audit of the bank’s payment card security processes environment.

The PCI-DSS is a set of requirements designed to ensure companies that process, store or transmit credit/debit card information, maintain a secure environment thereby guaranteeing the protection of cardholder data throughout the transaction process. The standard also facilitates the broad adoption of consistent data security measures globally.

A statement by the bank explained that it met the six different security pillars required to achieve the PCI-DSS compliance which led to the award of a level one (1) PCI certificate and the subsequent re-award after extensive audit by a leading Qualified Security Assessor, QSA, Control Case, from the United States of America, in partnership with its local partners Digital Encode, an information security management firm.

The level one (1) PCI certification is the highest rank available from the major credit card providers (Visa, MasterCard, American Express, Discover and JCB) and this is only given to third-party providers who meet the Council’s stringent – and audited – credit/debit card transaction security protocols to protect customers’ personal transaction data.

It stated that the award of the certificate was a strong indicator that it consistently has its customers’ interest at the core of its business operations and is committed to securing customer information as well as maintaining a safe and secure environment for customer transactions. The bank said it would continue to drive initiatives that stimulate innovation in banking as part of its promise to always put customers at the heart of its business.

According to Bisi Onasanya, group managing director, First Bank, the bank would strive to continually maintain leading best practice and secure customers’ information despite the challenges posed by rapid changes in technology and the operating environment. “First Bank has attained the highest level in the PCI certification for the major credit card providers and is poised to uphold the standard to abate card data theft and the resulting fraud,” he said.

Access Bank to Support Entrepreneurs

Herbert Wigwe, MD Access Bank
Herbert Wigwe, MD Access Bank

ACCESS Bank Plc has expressed its readiness to support entrepreneurs in Africa. Victor Etuokwu, executive director, Access Bank Plc, stated this while speaking at a forum organised by the United Nations Global Impact, in conjunction with the Nigerian Economic Summit Group, NESG, and Network Nigeria in Lagos.

Etuokwu noted that there were a lot of opportunities for entrepreneurs in the continent. He, however, pointed out that the barriers to entrepreneurship in Africa were mostly access to finance which hasn’t changed because of the structure of the society and the structure of the Nigerian system. “Apart from that, there is the issue of lack of knowledge of the market place and that is still a problem. Of course, the environment has it effects and also we have the effects of policy inconsistency. We found out that those who wrote the policies don’t have an idea of what it takes to be an entrepreneur,” he said.

He said Access Bank was collaborating with reputable global multilateral institutions to ensure that the right support is given to entrepreneurs. Stating that “providing finance is not the major issue, the major policy is to understand what it takes to succeed as an SME. So, we have alliances together. We are working with International Finance Corporation, IFC, to train entrepreneurs on book keeping, and management.”

Also, as part of the bank’s support for female entrepreneurs, he said the bank had unveiled a special all-purpose product targeted at young professional women in business across the country. The product, called “Access W”, according to him, came into being as a result of the neglect women in business have suffered in terms of accessing funds for their businesses.

— Feb. 2, 2015 @ 01:00 GMT