Visa Inc. today recognized the contribution of Emirates NBD and Al Rajhi Banking & Investment Corp. at the Visa APCEMEA 2013 Security Summit. The banks were two of only 20 financial institutions to receive a Visa LEADER Award, which recognizes their contributions to effectively manage fraud and risk. The Visa LEADER awards were established to promote best practice in risk management standards across the financial services industry.
The LEADER Award winners are selected based on quantitative and qualitative criteria that included fraud to sales ratios; authentication measures; data security; PCI-DSS compliance; risk initiative and innovation as well as fraud investigation. The LEADER Award is divided into two categories: “Best Issuing Institution” and “Best Acquiring Institution”.
Emirates NBD – UAE received “The Best Issuing Institution in MENA” award for being the largest bank by assets in the United Arab Emirates that has performed consistently. As last year’s Issuing LEADER Awards winner, Emirates NBD has played an active role in sharing operational, risk updates and trends with the rest of the industry.
Al Rajhi Banking & Investment Corp. – KSA received “The Best Acquiring Institution in MENA” award for adopting a proactive and effective risk management approach as well as maintaining fraud levels well-below country average. Al Rajhi Banking & Investment Corp. is also recognized for implementing several changes and enhancements in the acquiring fraud monitoring process to ensure that they have stayed below the stipulated thresholds.
As well, in 2013, the global payments company has introduced the Special Award category to recognize the financial institution which has most significantly contributed to the advancement of risk management standards in APCEMEA. The Special Award was presented to SMCC Japan for lowering regional fraud levels with the implementation of proactive fraud monitoring tools and risk operations on behalf of 50 members of the VJA Group. SMCC was also lauded for playing an active role in driving industry-wide projects – from product innovation to fraud risk management – and leading the building of a secure mobile payment environment in Japan with its “Mobile payWave ECO system” with Japanese mobile carriers and payment vendors, and developing Japan’s mobile point-of-sale (mPOS) risk guidelines.
“We have worked hand-in-hand with the payments community to harden the Visa system against potential attacks, but we must be constantly vigilant and avoid complacency. Even with global fraud rates near historic lows, we must adapt faster than those that might seek to do damage to the stakeholders in the payment ecosystem. With new players, technology and consumers having greater access to the internet, the potential exposure to risk has increased,” said Ihab Ayoub, Visa General Manager for Middle East and North Africa.
Ayoub continued: “We are working closely with our partners and stakeholders to address this changing landscape, and the LEADER Awards aims to recognize the financial institutions that have put in place innovative data security technologies and fraud prevention strategies to keep payments safe for consumers. We hope that the LEADER Awards will encourage the financial services industry to continue the advancement of risk management practices to better secure the future of payments.”
R.Sivaram, SVP, Cards Business Head at Emirates NBD, said: “Emirates NBD has consistently placed strong focus on risk management through use of advanced technologies and processes. We have partnered with Visa to implement industry-best practices and technology in risk management. Additionally, we have initiated a number of steps to build awareness and adoption among our customers of risk, fraud and security enhancements related to usage of payment cards. We are delighted that our efforts in this area have led to our winning the Visa LEADER award for the second year in succession.”
Reacting to the award, Dr. Abdullah Al-Namlah, Retail General Manager, at Al Rajhi Banking & Investment Corp., said: “The LEADER recognition by Visa is reflective of the commitment and dedication that Al Rajhi Banking & Investment Corp. has for our customers in providing innovative and fitting financial solutions. Our mission has always been to provide safe, secure products and services to our customers. This award reinstates our commitment to adopt the best and the most secure technology and services to provide effective risk management practices and protect our account holders against frauds.”