May 22, 2024

Why we use technology to manage risk – Visa boss

Irene Auma

Irene Auma

Head of Risk, Visa Sub-Saharan Africa, Irene Auma, in this interview, speaks on how Visa manages risks in the evolving digital payments landscape and how it is securing the future of payments in Sub-Saharan Africa. Excerpts:

Leveraging technology to manage risks

The rapid advancements in technology and changing consumer behaviour have led to the emergence of new payment platforms and methods. While these developments offer increased convenience and speed, they also present new types of risks. To secure the future of payments, we are proactively leveraging technology to manage these risks. We use advanced technologies like AI and machine learning to monitor transactions in real-time and detect any suspicious activities. We also use encryption and tokenization to protect sensitive payment information.


Visa has a robust risk management framework in place. We engage in continuous monitoring of the payments landscape and conduct regular risk assessments to identify potential threats. We also collaborate closely with all stakeholders in the payment ecosystem, from financial institutions to merchants and consumers, to share information and tackle risks collectively.

Could you tell us about the recently concluded industry workshop in Nigeria that brought key stakeholders in risk and compliance together?

Of course, the industry workshop was a significant event. It was an opportunity for key stakeholders to come together and share thoughts, experiences, and ideas on how to secure payments in the region. The workshop facilitated open dialogue on current trends, challenges, and potential solutions in risk management. It also underscored the importance of collaboration in ensuring the safety and security of digital payments. The insights and learning from this workshop will undoubtedly help us further enhance our risk management strategies and secure the future of payments.

Challenges in securing digital payments in Sub-Saharan Africa

One unique challenge in our region is the diversity and complexity of the market. We have advanced urban areas with high tech adoption and remote rural areas with limited access to technology. This requires a comprehensive and tailored approach to securing digital payments. At Visa, we are committed to ensuring that our digital payment solutions are accessible, secure, and easy to use for everyone, regardless of their location or level of technological literacy.


Engagement with stakeholders is a continuous process, and we consider it integral to our risk management strategy. We plan to conduct more industry workshops, training sessions, and forums that bring together key stakeholders. These platforms allow us to share knowledge, discuss emerging trends and threats, and collectively devise strategies to secure our payments ecosystem. It’s through this consistent engagement and collaboration that we can continue to ensure the security of digital payments.