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HOW TO PROTECT YOUR BANK ACCOUNT FROM FRAUDSTERS

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HOW TO PROTECT YOUR BANK ACCOUNT FROM FRAUDSTERS

Introduction

Have you ever been scammed before? If yes, you’ll relate to this article as you’ll want to know how to protect your bank account from fraudsters. Sadly, fraudsters are everywhere, and one has to be conscious and stay alert or stand the risk of getting scammed.  

We often get customer complaints about how their accounts have been compromised in one way or the others. Sometimes, it could be their fault as they were careless with their bank account details. But understandably, there were times when it was beyond their control.

The goal is to try as best as possible to ensure that your bank account is safe from fraudsters, and we will share some tips in this article. We have seen that most people are aware of these tips but often pay careless attention to them. Therefore, comprising their bank account and being at the risk of getting scammed and swindled.

They say that to be forewarned is to be forearmed, which is this article’s goal. As we encourage people to open bank accounts to keep their money safe and perform other banking activities with ease, we also want your bank accounts to be secure.

 

10 Ways to Protect Your Bank Account Against Scammers

Below are ten tips you can use to make your bank account stronger against scammers. We are not saying that it eliminates fraudsters. However, it reduces their chances significantly and leaves the account well-protected.

In no particular order, the tips are:

  • Use unique pins and passwords

It should be a no-brainer that your bank account’s pins and passwords should be unique. But unfortunately, we see people using common and guessable passwords and pins like 0000 or 1111. These are pins that almost anyone can guess, and it leaves your bank account protected.

When setting up pins and passwords for your bank account, it would be best to use things that even those around you would not guess easily. For example, the password or pin for your bank account shouldn’t be your birthdate, as that would also be easy to guess.

We are not saying that you should use something complicated or a pin or password that you wouldn’t remember. But ensure that it is unique.

  • Don’t share your pin or password with anyone

We often hear some customers say that they had to tell a family member their pin or password in situations where they might forget it. It is usually expected of the older generation. However, sharing your pin or password with anyone, including family, puts your bank account at risk.

Now, what if your trusted family member mistakenly shared that information with someone else, and it gets to the ears of fraudsters? Of course, you know that your bank account is now compromised, and they could swindle all your money.

So, we do not advise that you share your pin or password with anyone. Even if you must write down your password or pin somewhere, it would be best to use a password manager.

  • Be careful of using public Wi-Fi

It should be common knowledge that one would need an internet connection to carry out specific banking actions from mobile devices. The world has gone digital, and so has the banking sector. Undoubtedly, it has given ease and convenience to everyone.

However, we see some cases where people need to carry out some transactions urgently, and they do not have an internet connection or run out of data. In such a case, they try to connect with any public Wi-Fi to carry out their transaction.

But, allow us to tell you that you cannot trust any public Wi-Fi as you are not sure of the source. Moreover, some of them may infringe on your privacy and get your private banking information. It thereby puts your bank at risk.  

  • Be conscious of your balance

How much is your bank balance? No, we are not saying that you should tell us the amount. However, you should know to ensure your bank account is safe from fraudsters.

We’ve encountered a lady who didn’t like to check her account balance as she gets nervous and anxious once her balance has gone below a certain amount. But we advised her that it is always best to know her bank account balance.

Some of these fraudsters are not out to clear your bank account at once. Instead, they take money out in bits over a long period. And you cannot notice this if you are unaware of your bank account balance.

  • Check any machine before use

Recall how we mentioned earlier that the world has gone digital and the banking sector. It also applies in this case to using ATMs and other banking devices.

We advise that people are conscious of any machine they want to use for any banking transaction as fraudsters have also developed a means of defrauding people through these machines.

If you use bank agents, it is best to stick to a particular person so that you’ll know who to hold if you notice mischievous changes with your bank account.

  • Be wary of suspicious sites

Transactions are now a regular part of any human’s life, and you will make transactions daily, including online transactions. The issue with online transactions is that you will need to input certain private information about your bank account. Therefore, you need to be sure of the website before you put in your details.

There is a saying that if it is too good to be true, it is probably false. Now, we know that spotting a fake website isn’t always easy. However, once it begins to seem suspicious, you should discontinue any transaction you are doing.

Also, ensure that you do not save any of your banking details on any website to ensure your safety from fraudsters.

  • Block cards immediately they go missing

Has your ATM card suddenly gone missing? Now, you cannot say if it got missing or if it was stolen. But what you can do is block the card immediately.

We often see people want to keep checking in hopes that they will find the card. However, the period of waiting is enough for any fraudster to drain your bank account if the card falls into the wrong hands.

So, to avoid stories touching the heart, it is always best to block the card immediately after they go missing. After all, you can easily replace the card, but you may not quickly get back any funds that go missing.

  • Utilize your bank features

How familiar are you with all the features of your bank account? Most people use their bank apps, but they do not utilize their features.

For example, some bank apps go the extra mile to ensure a two-step authentication process for their users. This way, they are protecting your bank account from fraudsters and ensuring to maximize security. But you have to set it up to enjoy this protection service.

In addition, some bank apps also have the option of using a fingerprint to log in. So, if someone with malicious intent gets hold of the card, they wouldn’t gain access to your app.

We advise that everyone needs to get familiar with all the features of their bank apps.  

  • Change your pins and passwords regularly

When last did you change your banking password or pin? People often set a password or pin for their bank account and leave it forever. They get comfortable with this password or pin and believe they will forget any other pin or password if they make changes.

However, not changing your password or pin could leave your bank account open to scammers and fraudsters. It is best to note that people who want to defraud you will keep tabs on you for some time. Once they get the hang of your pin or password, they begin to use it against you.

But it is harder for them to know your password or pin if you change it regularly.

  • Stay inquisitive

People say that a person who always asks questions will not miss their way, and we agree with this claim. It is always best to stay inquisitive when doing anything banking related.

For example, you may get a suspicious call saying that they are from your bank and need to rectify some issues, so they will need your banking details. If you are inquisitive, you will ask them questions that will throw them off balance and make them slip.

Being inquisitive is always helpful in staying ahead of scammers and dubious people. And it helps to protect your bank account against them.

FAQs

Below are some common questions people ask about protecting their bank accounts from fraudsters.

Will my bank refund me if I get scammed?

We cannot say that your bank will refund you if you get scammed as it depends on the exact situation. After all, if banks were to refund everyone who gets scammed, people would take advantage of the situation.

Once you get scammed, ensure to report to your bank. Then, your bank will try to stop the transfer. But if it has gone through, the bank will place a hold on the other person’s account.

How can you identify a scammer?

Scammers usually do not have such an identity on their foreheads are they are also regular people. However, their behaviour usually gives them away. For example, they tend to be intrusive and ask personal questions that do not concern them.

Can I block someone from taking money from my bank account?

Yes, you can. Recall we said that you should block your card immediately if you notice that it is missing. This way, no one can withdraw money from your bank account.

 

Summary

Your bank account details are for only you, and you should not share them with anybody. However, once you begin sharing them with ‘trusted’ people, you increase the chances of your bank account facing invasion from fraudsters.

Aside from the tips, we have above, another way to protect your bank account from fraudsters is by banking with a trusted banking platform like Mintyn bank. Here, the employees and everyone involved are trustworthy, and you will have peace of mind carrying out banking transactions.

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BANKING

Rand Merchant Bank (RMB) works with World Bank in closing first to market MIGA guaranteed short-term sovereign loan

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Rand Merchant Bank (RMB) works with World Bank in closing first to market MIGA guaranteed short-term sovereign loan

Through collaboration with MIGA and the Minister of Economy and Finance for Côte d’Ivoire, RMB facilitated a short-term loan to support crucial trade related initiatives

Rand Merchant Bank (RMB) (www.RMB.co.za), a division of FirstRand Bank Limited, has achieved a significant milestone in Africa by partnering with the Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency (MIGA), a member of the World Bank, to extend short-term funding support on a trade-backed facility for the Republic of Côte d’Ivoire.

Through collaboration with  MIGA and the Minister of Economy and Finance for Côte d’Ivoire, RMB facilitated a short-term loan to support crucial trade related initiatives.

Said Ben Bechet from RMB’s Trade and Working Capital, Structured Solutions team: “While RMB has a proud history of supporting sovereigns on the continent with their funding and capital markets requirements, this is a first of its kind facility for an African sovereign. This transaction will pave the way for further MIGA guaranteed short-term facilities across the continent to assist with developmental initiatives, critical projects and the importation of crucial goods such as food, fertilizer and medicines alongside other resources.”

Clarine Stenfert, Global Trade Finance Head and Head of UK for MIGA, said: “Through deep collaboration with RMB and MIGA, the teams were able to successfully structure and execute a process we hope to scale and introduce to other African countries. MIGA’s Trade Finance Guarantee Framework seeks to support sovereigns or sub-sovereigns across emerging markets with their trade financing requirements, alleviating the current liquidity constraints imposed by the current high inflationary environment and the retreat from markets by private sector players.”

MIGA provides political risk insurance guarantees to private sectors and investors in a broad range of sectors in developing  economies. MIGA promotes foreign direct investment into developing countries to support economic growth, reduce poverty, and improve people’s lives. MIGA fulfills this mandate by offering political risk insurance guarantees and credit enhancement to private sector investors and lenders.

“RMB’s strategy entails forging partnerships with insurance, guarantee and export credit agency providers to extend meaningful funding support to our clients across Africa. Collaboration with development financial institutions and multilaterals remains key to truly unlocking new opportunities to support our clients, concluded Bechet.”

Distributed by APO Group on behalf of Rand Merchant Bank.

About RMB:
Rand Merchant Bank (RMB) is a leading African corporate and investment bank (CIB) and part of the largest financial services group (by market capitalisation) in Africa – FirstRand Bank Limited (which is wholly owned by FirstRand Limited). We offer our clients innovative, value-added advisory, funding, trading, corporate banking, and principal investing solutions.
With a presence in 10 African countries, we have a significant footprint on the continent. We also have access to a network of retail banks, representative offices and branches across Africa, the UK, India and the US.

At RMB we are passionate about solving problems for our clients by asking the hard questions. We challenge accepted thinking. We analyse and seek solutions beyond the obvious. We are innovative in our thinking and turn challenges into opportunities, while delivering on Traditional values. Innovative ideas. Our ability to think differently, our collaborative spirit, our client-centric solutions and our belief that great minds don’t always have to think alike, is what sets us apart.

For more information visit: www.RMB.co.za

About MIGA:
MIGA was created in 1988 as a member of the World Bank to promote foreign direct investment in emerging economies by helping to mitigate the risks of restrictions on currency conversion and transfer, breach of contract by governments, expropriation, and war and civil disturbance; and offering credit enhancement to private investors and lenders. Since its creation, MIGA has issued over $76 billion in guarantees across 123 developing countries, supporting more than 1,000 projects. Over the past decade, MIGA’s guarantees have generated more than 156,000 jobs in developing countries.

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BANKING

Equatorial Guinea and Ghana Accede to the Establishment Agreement for Afreximbank’s Fund for Export Development in Africa (FEDA)

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The Fund for Export Development in Africa (FEDA), the development impact-focused subsidiary of the African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank) (www.Afreximbank.com), has announced that the Republic of Equatorial Guinea and the Republic of Ghana have recently signed the FEDA Establishment Agreement.

This important milestone is the result of several months of cooperation between Afreximbank, FEDA and government officials in Equatorial Guinea and Ghana.

As Afreximbank member states, Equatorial Guinea and Ghana have taken another step towards closer collaborations with FEDA by signing the FEDA Establishment Agreement. This milestone marks the countries’ support for Afreximbank’s efforts to extend FEDA’s impact investing objectives across the continent.

New memberships are crucial to broaden the scope of FEDA’s interventions and its mission of delivering long-term capital to African economies with a focus on industrialization, intra-African trade and value-added exports.

Professor Benedict Oramah, President of Afreximbank and Chairman of the Boards of both Afreximbank and FEDA, said: “We heartily welcome the signing of the FEDA Establishment Agreement by the Republic of Equatorial Guinea and the Republic of Ghana. The signing of the FEDA Establishment Agreement lays the groundwork for an enhanced and more effective cooperation with better access to the full range of interventions offered by Afreximbank and FEDA. This milestone builds on the solid partnership already established with both Equatorial Guinea and Ghana. The aim is to support transformative investments in these countries in the near future.”

About FEDA:
The Fund for Export Development in Africa (“FEDA”) is the impact investment subsidiary of Afreximbank set up to provide equity, quasi-equity, and debt capital to finance the multi-billion-dollar funding gap (particularly in equity) needed to transform the Trade sector in Africa. FEDA pursues a multi-sector investment strategy along the intra-African trade, value-added export development, and manufacturing value chain which includes financial services, technology, consumer and retail goods, manufacturing, transport & logistics, agribusiness, as well as ancillary trade enabling infrastructure such as industrial parks.

About Afreximbank:
African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank) is a Pan-African multilateral financial institution mandated to finance and promote intra-and extra-African trade. For 30 years, the Bank has been deploying innovative structures to deliver financing solutions that support the transformation of the structure of Africa’s trade, accelerating industrialization and intra-regional trade, thereby boosting economic expansion in Africa. A stalwart supporter of the African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA), Afreximbank has launched a Pan-African Payment and Settlement System (PAPSS) that was adopted by the African Union (AU) as the payment and settlement platform to underpin the implementation of the AfCFTA. Working with the AfCFTA Secretariat and the AU, the Bank is setting up a US$10 billion Adjustment Fund to support countries to effectively participate in the AfCFTA. At the end of September 2023, Afreximbank’s total assets and guarantees stood at over US$33.4 billion, and its shareholder funds amounted to US$5.8 billion. The Bank disbursed more than US$104 billion between 2016 and 2023. Afreximbank has investment grade ratings assigned by GCR (international scale) (A), Moody’s (Baa1), Japan Credit Rating Agency (JCR) (A-) and Fitch (BBB). Afreximbank has evolved into a group entity comprising the Bank, its impact fund subsidiary called the Fund for Export Development Africa (FEDA), and its insurance management subsidiary, AfrexInsure, (together, “the Group”). The Bank is headquartered in Cairo, Egypt.

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Financial Analysis: A Comprehensive Study of The Well-Being of A Country 

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Financial Analysis: A Comprehensive Study of The Well-Being of A Country

Understanding the financial stability of a country requires a thorough understanding of financial analysis. In order to offer insights into the overall financial stability and overall wellness of the country, it entails evaluating a range of economic indicators, financial performance, and market movements.

In this article, we will delve into the fundamentals and importance of financial analysis in evaluating a country’s economic situation.

THE HISTORY ABOUT FINANCIAL ANALYSIS

Ancient Beginnings:

The roots of financial analysis can be traced back thousands of years. The ancient Mesopotamians, Egyptians, and Greeks were among the pioneers of documenting financial transactions, creating basic records of assets and liabilities. These early attempts laid the groundwork for the concept of financial analysis through the study of financial statements and ledgers.

Medieval Europe:

During the Middle Ages, Europe witnessed the rise of merchant guilds and the emergence of double-entry bookkeeping. Italian mathematician and Franciscan friar, Luca Pacioli, is often credited with formalizing double-entry bookkeeping, publishing his seminal work “Summa de arithmetica, geometria, proportioni et proportionalita” in 1494. The concept of balancing debits and credits within financial records formed the basis for modern financial analysis techniques.

Industrial Revolution:

The Industrial Revolution in the 18th and 19th centuries revolutionized business and the need for financial analysis grew rapidly. As companies expanded and diversified, investors began demanding more comprehensive financial reports to assess the potential risks and returns of their investments. The birth of limited liability companies further accelerated the need for financial analysis, as shareholders sought transparency in the performance of their investments.

Modern Era:

The 20th century witnessed significant advancements in financial analysis techniques. The advent of electronic computing in the mid-1900s enabled the processing and analysis of vast amounts of financial data, leading to the development of sophisticated financial models and ratios.

The Great Depression of the 1930s laid the groundwork for modern financial analysis as regulators sought effective ways to prevent future economic crises. The establishment of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) in 1934 brought about standardized reporting requirements, including the filing of audited financial statements. This increased transparency and standardized financial reporting provided analysts with a more accurate and consistent basis for their analysis.

The Rise of Quantitative Analysis:

In the latter half of the 20th century, the growth of computing power and the availability of large data sets propelled financial analysis into new territory. Quantitative analysis, utilizing statistical models and mathematical algorithms, started gaining prominence. Financial analysts began incorporating complex mathematical methods to assess investment opportunities, risk management, and portfolio optimization.

Modern Financial Tools:

With the advent of the internet and the digital age, financial analysis has become even more accessible and data-driven. Sophisticated software programs, data analytics tools, and artificial intelligence have revolutionized the way financial data is analyzed and interpreted. In recent years, technologies like machine learning have been leveraged to develop predictive models that can assess future trends and make accurate financial forecasts.

MEANING

Financial analysis is the process of evaluating businesses, projects, budgets, and other finance-related transactions to determine their performance and suitability. Typically, financial analysis is used to analyze whether an entity is stable, solvent, liquid, or profitable enough to warrant a monetary investment.

Financial analysis is a fundamental tool that allows organizations and individuals to assess the past, present, and future financial health of a business or investment. Through a systematic examination and interpretation of financial statements, ratios, and other key indicators, financial analysis helps in making informed decisions, optimizing resources, and improving overall financial performance. In this article, we will delve into the meaning of financial analysis, its prominent components, and its significance across various sectors.

Financial analysis involves scrutinizing financial data to evaluate the performance and profitability of an entity. It assists in quantifying the effectiveness of financial decisions, identifying trends, predicting future outcomes, and benchmarking against industry standards. By analyzing financial statements, investors, analysts, and other stakeholders gain valuable insights into the financial position, liquidity, solvency, and operational efficiency of an organization.

FUNDAMENTALS OF FINANCIAL ANALYSIS IN A COUNTRY

  1. Gross Domestic Product (GDP): GDP is a primary indicator used to gauge the economic performance of a nation. Financial analysts analyze GDP growth rates and its components, such as consumer spending, government expenditure, investments, and net exports. This analysis helps in determining the overall strength of the economy and identifying areas of potential growth.
  2. Trade and Balance of Payments: Trade analysis focuses on a country’s imports, exports, and balance of payments. Evaluating trade patterns helps identify sectors driving the country’s economic growth, trade imbalances, and potential risks to the economy from external factors such as changes in global demand or disruptions in supply chains.
  3. Inflation and Interest Rates: Analyzing inflation rates and interest rates provides insights into the stability of a country’s economy. High inflation erodes purchasing power, while high-interest rates can impact borrowing costs, affect consumer spending, and investment behavior. Financial analysts assess the impact of inflation and interest rates on an economy’s overall competitiveness and economic growth potential.
  4. Government Debt and Fiscal Policy: Analyzing a country’s government debt levels and fiscal policy is crucial in understanding its financial sustainability. A high level of government debt may lead to increased borrowing costs, reduced investor confidence, and potential risks to economic stability. Evaluating fiscal policies helps determine whether a country is managing its finances effectively and implementing sustainable economic growth strategies.
  5. Stock Market Performance: The stock market reflects investor sentiment and provides valuable insights into a country’s economic outlook. Analysts evaluate key stock market indices, such as the country’s primary exchange, sector-specific indices, and market capitalization trends. Monitoring stock market performance allows for an understanding of investor confidence, economic growth expectations, and potential risks to the financial system.
  6. Banking Sector and Financial Institutions: A robust banking sector is essential for economic stability. Financial analysts assess the health of the banking system by evaluating indicators such as non-performing loans, capital adequacy ratios, and the overall stability and soundness of financial institutions. Understanding the well-being of financial institutions helps gauge the potential risks to the overall economy, including credit availability, liquidity, and financial contagion.
  7. Regulatory Environment and Governance: The regulatory environment and governance play a critical role in attracting investment and fostering economic growth. Financial analysts assess the effectiveness of regulatory frameworks, transparency in financial transactions, and the overall credibility and efficiency of institutions responsible for enforcing regulations. Evaluating the regulatory environment aids in understanding potential risks and opportunities for sustainable economic development.

SIGNIFICANCE OF FINANCIAL ANALYSIS IN A COUNTRY

Financial analysis plays a vital role across various sectors, serving the following purposes:

  1. Evaluating Financial Performance: By conducting a comprehensive financial analysis, companies can assess their performance, profitability, and financial stability. This, in turn, helps in identifying areas for improvement, developing strategic plans, and making sound financial decisions.
  2. Assessing Investment Viability: Investors rely on financial analysis to evaluate the profitability and risks associated with potential investments. Through detailed scrutiny of financial data, investors can determine the financial health and growth prospects of a company, aiding in making informed investment decisions.
  3. Facilitating Lending Decisions: Financial institutions utilize financial analysis to assess the creditworthiness of loan applicants. By analyzing financial statements, evaluating ratios, and assessing the risk profile, lenders can ascertain the borrower’s ability to repay loans and make sound lending decisions.
  4. Supporting Strategic Decision-Making: Financial analysis aids in strategic decision-making, such as expansion, diversification, or mergers and acquisitions. Understanding a company’s financial position and performance provides a foundation for evaluating the feasibility and potential outcomes of such decisions.

CONCLUSION

Conducting a comprehensive financial analysis provides valuable insights into the economic landscape of a country. By evaluating indicators such as GDP, trade patterns, inflation rates, government debt, stock market performance, banking sector health, and regulatory environment, financial analysts can gauge the overall financial health, identify potential risks, and recommend strategies for sustainable economic growth. Accurate and timely financial analysis acts as a compass, guiding policymakers, investors, and businesses to make informed decisions and contribute to the overall prosperity of the nation.

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