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WASPA partners with Evina for secure mobile payments

Staff Writer
By Staff Writer, ITWeb
Johannesburg, 02 Mar 2022

The Wireless Application Service Providers Association (WASPA) has partnered with international cyber security company, Evina.

Founded in Paris over 15 years ago, Evina provides MNOs, merchants, ad networks and payment gateways with advanced cyber security solutions for mobile payments and advertising.

In the short term, Evina has enabled WASPA to identify the most significant vulnerabilities in the SA value chain and to act as a whistleblower and mediator with the relevant players.

In addition, the company’s BrandProtect technology will help WASPA identify bad traffic sources that create unwanted subscriptions, which will enable the association to talk to the relevant players about cleaning up their ad spending to improve their brand image and reputation, while also saving money.

In short, it will enable WASPA to coordinate the response of all the players facing fraud in the DCB market  merchants, payment aggregators and operators.

Direct carrier billing

David Lotfi, CEO of Evina, says SA is a major economy at the forefront of the latest developments in mobile payments.

One of the advantages of a young and dynamic economy is that it can benefit from cutting-edge technologies such as direct carrier billing (DCB), which is an online mobile payment method, that enables users to buy stuff by charging payments to their mobile phone carrier bill.

However, he says being at the cutting edge comes with a slew of new threats. “In 2020, we estimated that almost one in three subscriptions made via DCB payments in SA were fraudulent.”

He says Evina also found that old frauds such as clickjacking, which could have been fought, had not been. “This situation was unacceptable for the end consumer and for players in the DCB sector.”

Only part of the problem

Misleading ads and bad traffic sources are only one part of the problem, says Lofti. “A lot of fraud is technical, meaning coming from bad programs subscribing users without their consent. Payment pages must also be protected with real-time transaction validation solutions capable of blocking any fraudulent payment attempt.”

Ilonka Badenhorst, managing executive for WASPA, says DCB technology offers frictionless payment paths, unique conversion rates far superior to those of the credit card and is able to pay to unbanked or underbanked people.

“Protecting it effectively means allowing it to fully deploy its strengths and take advantage of the growth it offers,” she adds.

The weakest link

According to Badenhorst, it is important for all in the industry to understand that as the number of protected players increases, so does the overall security and trust in the DCB technology. “After all, a chain is only as strong as its weakest link.”

She says there is a competitive issue at play here too, as operators, payment aggregators and merchants who protect themselves by installing real-time transaction validation solutions, will gain privileged partnerships that allow them to increase their flows.

On the other hand, unprotected players find themselves alone to be affected by fraud. The fraudsters, in turn, redouble their efforts on them, which further degrades their brand image and deprives them of key partnerships, says Badenhorst.