The evolution of payment systems in Nigeria is something to reckon with, completely innovative from my viewpoint.

In line with Nigeria’s vision of 2020, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) in 2011 launched a cash policy to revolutionize Nigeria’s payment system, to reduce the cost of banking, nurture economic growth and improve the effectiveness of monetary policy.

Consequently, the policy paved the way for Nigerian banks to start designing ATMs, where consumers or Nigerians slot in their ATM cards, also known as debit cards to withdraw cash.

Most Nigerians now rely on their ATM cards to buy anything either offline or through the web. The effect of this is that you no longer carry cash, as usual, a style which was increasing the rate of armed robbery in Nigeria, one decade ago.

Apart from withdrawing money from the ATMs, your debit card can also be used at the Point of Sales (POS) terminal to make payments, as well as online transactions.

According to a report from Nigeria Inter-Bank Settlement System (NIBSS), between 2012 and 2014, the volume of the operations conducted via PoS increased by 183% CAGR suggesting significant adoption and usage of PoS

Apparently, we have managed to escape the torments of armed robbery, how about the online theft which comes in different formats. The emergences of ATM cards, POS and other innovations have triggered vulnerabilities.

Have you ever experienced card skimming before? You sit down in your bedroom, sudden; you get an email or a notification from your bank that your money has been withdrawn or account debited.

You check your ATM card, and you discover that the card is in your possession.

Indeed, you have been holding your card, and you keep wondering how your bank account got debited when there was no transaction at all. My brother, you have fallen a victim of card skimming.

“Skimmers are devices that capture the data from the magnetic stripe on your card. Criminals target ATMs because if they can get a card and a PIN, then they can get cash,” says Mike Urban, senior director of fraud management solutions at FICO, the company that created the FICO credit score.

How Does this Work

These criminals set up an undetectable camera that captures the details you entered when carrying out a transaction. They get your details and work on it. It is either they clone a debit card and start withdrawing money from your account, or they sell your details to other cybercriminals.

They can also place the skimmers at gas stations, or any point that you carry out physical transaction like the POS, it’s not just at ATMs.

Watch the ATM Carefully

If you want to withdraw cash from the bank, look at the ATM keyboard where you type your PIN carefully before inputting your details. This is because, cyber criminals go as far as cloning a keyboard, place it on top of the original keyboard. This fake keyboard captures your information when you type on them.

Another tip that helps is when you use your hands to cover the keyboard while typing your PIN. By doing so, the skimmer would probably have difficulty in detecting the PIN you typed.

Don’t fall a victim of “credit card cleaning” scams

Sometimes, when you try to withdraw money from the ATM, and it fails to dispense cash, a security person might decide to assist by cleaning your card. You have experienced that probably in a positive manner.

Sadly, some of these thieves clean the magnetic strip on your credit card to help it work better. They use the credit card skimmer to steal your information by just swiping your credit card.

Be Careful about Strange Assistance

This sometimes happens when you see someone asking you if your card got stuck. Just know that, it’s possible that a criminal may be trying to watch as you enter your PIN code. However, it may be a scam; if someone approaches to help you when your card gets stuck in the machine.

Know where you Shop

The reality is that shops, restaurants, and bar seem to be the places that record the highest number of online theft. Skimmers are found at these locations. Sometimes, the waiters you see at the bars and retail stores belong to the cyber criminals’ clique. They use the skimmers to detect your information.


Hackers and online criminals are very innovative, devising complex strategies that are difficult to understand. It is important, you start implementing the online security tips that have been revealed to you.