By Marcus Leach

Sudan’s Banking Union is turning to UK fraud experts for advice on how to protect banks from the risk of payment card fraud as the country prepares itself for entry into the international card schemes.

Until now international card use has not been possible due to US OFAC regulations, but this may change rapidly after the country’s recent North South partition.

Peter Parke of Alaric International and Bill Trueman of have been in Khartoum advising Sudanese bankers on typical vulnerabilities of international financial systems and how to overcome these.

Sudan is seeking to exploit the dividends of the country’s recent peace
accord with the introduction of new international financial structures for
its banking and financial services industries in both the north of the
country and the newly independent Republic of South Sudan. With the natural
oil and other commercial reserves in the area, there is expected to be
rigorous demand for payment services as international trade starts to grow.

It was against this backdrop that concerns were raised about how such new
payment systems might be exposed to the risks of fraud and it was decided
that preparations to counter these should be in place at an early stage.
With this in mind, the Sudan Banks Union called upon UK expertise to advise
on the organisation, systems and procedures required to combat organised
card fraud.

“It is both reassuring and impressive that the Sudanese are taking such a highly professional approach to the introduction of international payment systems," Parke said.

"Acting independently, banks in other developing markets have discovered the risks of international card issuance and acceptance the hard way. This collective approach by the Sudan Banks Union shows a determination to get things right first time when it comes to deterring fraud.

"Putting in place a coordinated plan to introduce sophisticated systems such as Alaric’s Fractals, with its potential to detect up to 90% of fraud, is essential to ward off the attacks that will inevitably come. However, systems need to be supplemented with organisational, procedural and investigative measures to enable a bank to respond effectively to the challenges that the fraudsters pose.

"For this Alaric is working with fraud guru Bill Trueman. Bill has been advising
Sudanese bankers on what has worked well in Europe, and how to stop
fraudsters exploiting the country’s banks as they evolve new payment
systems and international market penetration.”

For his part Trueman welcomed Parke’s comments, adding that the system would offer the highest possible standards.

“The European model offers a straightforward way for the Sudanese to maintain the highest standards from the get go. In real terms there has been and indeed is only a limited amount of time to introduce these safeguards. Thus working with proven techniques makes a considerable amount of sense,” Trueman said.

Mostafa Elyaman, on behalf of the Sudan Banks Union, echoed these comments.

”This period represents a major transition in Sudan’s banking and financial history. As so much of what happening is entirely new to the country we needed to enlist the support of those who possess the experience of more sophisticated and established financial regimes. Alaric has an international reputation as a provider of payment fraud solutions and Bill Trueman has wide experience that is invaluable to us. We look forward to working closely with Alaric and Bill Trueman as the Sudanese banks prepare themselves for the challenges ahead,” Mr Elyaman said.

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