From June to August 2019, an average of approximately $160,000 in successful monthly fraudulent transactions was recorded by retail, eCommerce, and financial service businesses in APAC, according to the LexisNexis Risk Solutions 2019 True Cost of Fraud APACstudy.
In a survey of 360 businesses across Singapore, Indonesia, Malaysia, and the Philippines, the study found that there was an average of almost 400 successful monthly fraudulent transactions in the region, with each fraudulent transaction costing businesses nearly three and a half times the amount of the lost transaction value.
Costs incurred by businesses for fraudulent transactions include, but are not limited to, the lost transaction value for which firms are held liable, costs for replacing or redistributing lost or stolen merchandise, fees and interest paid to financial institutions, labour costs for investigation, and external costs for expense recovery.
"Fraud is a significant issue for APAC businesses, especially for the financial services industry and for businesses that engage in mobile commerce," says LexisNexis Risk Solutions business services chief identity officer Alisdair Faulkner.
"The digital space is where the battle against fraud is heating up, with our report highlighting identity verification as a key challenge for digital businesses and businesses selling digital goods, which accounts for nearly half of all retail and eCommerce fraud losses."
The study provides a snapshot of current trends in fraud in the retail, eCommerce and financial services markets in each country.
It also highlights key pain points related to adding new payment mechanisms, transacting through online and mobile channels and expanding internationally.
Key findings of the study:
Cost of fraud: The LexisNexis Fraud Multiplier measures how many times more a fraudulent transaction costs over the amount of the lost transaction value. The Fraud Multiplier is greatest for businesses in Malaysia (3.57), compared to those in the three other countries. Indonesian businesses come second at 3.52, followed by Philippines and Singapore at 3.46 and 3.45 respectively.
Impact on revenues: Regionally, the average overall costs of fraud is 1.75% of revenues. By country, fraud cost is highest as a percentage of revenue for Philippine businesses (2.03%), followed by Malaysia (1.93%), Indonesia (1.66%), and Singapore (1.57%). Fraud costs are biggest as a percentage of revenues for eCommerce businesses (2.50%), followed by retail businesses (1.64%) and financial services firms (1.56%).
Growing mobile commerce enhances the risk of fraud: Mobile commerce, or m-commerce, is growing quickly throughout all four countries surveyed. Mobile web browsers have historically been considered less secure, and fraudsters are now increasingly targeting mobile apps at a global level through click flooding and botnet attacks. Managing risk in mobile commerce, however, remains secondary to providing a streamlined user experience.
Businesses are not optimally fighting fraud: Few businesses in the region track fraudulent transactions by both channel and payment method in an effort to understand weak points within their anti-fraud strategy.
Verification of customer identity is a challenge: Verifying customer identities emerged as the top challenge in all countries for businesses serving customers through online and mobile channels. Factors differ among countries and between channels, including the volume of malicious botnet orders placed simultaneously, the rise of synthetic identities, the need for balancing speed of approval against customer friction, and the accessibility (or the lack thereof) of tracking tools.