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Digital fraud on the rise in ASEAN
22 Aug 2019
Digital fraud on the rise in ASEAN

Financial institutions are reporting losses in the billions. According to a whitepaper published by Accenture titled ‘Unmask digital fraud today’ on digital fraud, the expected global loss associated with transaction fraud is worth at least US$31.3 billion.

The advances in technology and high-speed internet have transformed the payment market, giving financial institutions unprecedented access to consumers. Unfortunately, it has brought with it new-age hackers who have unleashed new threats, making financial institutions and customers prone to online data fraud. 


Bot attacks 

Southeast Asia is the most vulnerable region to fraud compared to the rest of Asia Pacific (APAC). A 2019 report by AppsFlyer, titled, ‘Fraud rising: How bots and malware are compromising APAC’s Apps’, found that Southeast Asia’s losses accounted for 40 percent of the total estimated fraud losses in APAC which totalled US$650 million. The report revealed that finance apps have the highest rates of fraud in the region, perhaps due to the higher pay-outs they offer and their popularity as the third-largest app category.

Bot attacks is the leading method of fraud in the region with an average of 64.2 percent across six Southeast Asian countries: Vietnam, Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand, the Philippines and Indonesia. The highest prevalence of bot attacks in the region is in Vietnam (87.1 percent), Singapore (66.3 percent) and Indonesia (58.6 percent). Thailand and Malaysia’s finance platforms are more prone to click flooding, while finance apps in the Philippines’ are more susceptible to install hijacking (50.3 percent). 

The report cited Southeast Asia’s significant scale of markets and high mobile internet penetration rates as contributing factors for fraudulent activities online. According to We Are Social and Hootsuite's latest Global Digital 2019 report, there were 391 million mobile internet users in Indonesia, Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore, Philippines, and Vietnam in 2018.

Another reason for the region’s high fraud rates is the share of Android devices in the region which accounts for four times the rate of fraud for iOS devices. The report also says that due to few resources and higher prices, many app developers are forced to buy from media sources with a lower price point, where fraud is more prevalent, thus exposing themselves to heightened risks.


Future adoption of new technologies is expected to grow in finance, and financial institutions must stay alert and treat fraud as an ongoing initiative. Until financial institutions find a way to prevent fraud, there is a real risk of credibility and trust loss. 


Sources: Liyana Hasnan, The ASEAN Post 

Read the full article here 

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