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IT Forum Focuses On Cyber Security & Mobile Banking

CEBU CITY – Transactions are becoming more and more electronic (cashless) and mobile, and co-ops must cope. The transactions landscape is becoming more complex and an arising issue is cyber security.
 
To enable co-ops to cope with increasing threats of cyber fraud and updates on government regulations, the NATCCO Network met with more than 30 co-op leaders from all over the country for the NATCCO ATM Forum at the Sarrosa International Hotel.
 
Guest Speaker was Rey Constantino, Vice-President for Business Operations of Channel Technologies Inc, a partner of the NATCCO Network that provides ATM units.  He briefed the co-op leaders on the latest cyber threats and counter-measures ATM operators and co-op members must do.
 
His presentation came in the wake of the Bank of the Philippine Islands temporarily suspending its ATM transactions on June 6.  In a report in CNN Philippines, “some transactions between April 27 and May 2, were double-posted on June 6, which prompted the bank to temporarily suspend online and mobile banking channels, causing complaints from clients.
 
An Inquirer news item earlier reported that $81 million was stolen by hackers from a bank overseas, and then coursed to an RCBC-Makati City branch through a transaction handled by one of its branch managers with a foreign exchange broker, and finally through a local casino.
 
The Manila Times website reports that the Anti-Money Laundering Council (AMLC) has announced it had launched an investigation into reports that $100 million in illegal funds were coursed through the country’s financial system. 
 
The second issue tackled during the Forum was electronic transactions, a trend in other countries, and is being pushed by the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) through its National Retail Payment System or NRPS.
 
NATCCO IT Head Evangeline Lopez presented the NRPS in a nutshell.  The NRPS will feature mobile transactions that will push Financial Inclusion since it will make available formal financial services in the countryside.  The BSP describes NRPS as a “safe and efficient retail payment system in the country.  The goal is to promote electronic payments and drive its usage to 20% by 2020 from the current level of 1%.
 
The NRPS will be participated in by all direct clearing participants, and will ensure there are “no cartels.”
 
The NRPS will be implemented and overseen by the Payment System Management Body, which will be composed of all the stakeholders in the electronic payment system, and will have the power to “set and implement clearing rules and activities.”
 
The NATCCO IT Group is seeking a seat in the PSMB even though NATCCO Network, being a cooperative, is regulated by the Cooperative Development Authority and not the BSP.
 
A proposed Payment System Act is being pushed by Rep. Gloria Arroyo in Congress, and Senator Bam Aquino in the Senate.
 
As NATCCO Network’s and PFCCO Visayas' part in the NRPS is its Kaya Payment Platform, which allows co-op members to transact through four channels: ATMs, POS, cellphones, and over-the-counter.
 
According to Lopez: “Kaya Payment Platform is the key for coops to be included in the BSP's Financial Inclusion thrust to bring formal financiàl services to the farthest corners of the countryside.  Kaya Payment Platform allows coop members to perform mobile banking transactions anytime anywhere. All they need is internet connection and a smart phone.”
 
Mr. Ricardo Planea, GM of Bonbonan Farmers Agrarian Reform MPC in Negros Oriental, asked Bangge Lopez of NATCCO IT Group the reasons for the shift of ATM cards from Magnetic Stripe to EMV when it will entail some cost.  She said the Bangko Sentral has mandated the switch for security reasons.
 
Debbie Jimenez of the NATCCO ATM Unit updated participants on the latest Bancnet policies.
 
Lorene Murillo-Samaniego of the NATCCO IT's Customer Support Unit discussed the framework of the migration of eKoopBanker accounts to the Kaya Payment Platform.
 
eKoopBanker is the premier financial software for coops.
 

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