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Southeast Asia sees growing demand for better electronic finance solutions

By Mitchell Hageman
Tue 8 Feb 2022

One time passwords are becoming an increasingly popular choice for banks and consumers in Southeast Asia.

Not only this but other in-demand security requests have also been revealed in new Kaspersky research, as parties become increasingly aware of the importance of safeguarding their financial data.

More than three in five respondents in SEA were found to want OTP via SMS in every e-payment transaction, and 57% want to see the implementation of two-factor authentication.

In a breakdown of countries in the region, OTPs were the top priority for consumers in most, including Indonesia (67%), Malaysia (66%), The Philippines (75%), Thailand (63%), and Vietnam (74%). On the other hand, those in Singapore prioritised the implementation of two-factor authentication, with 65%.

The rapid demand for change comes as a result of the increased risk of fraud and cybercrime in the region and the need to keep up with new technology to aid further growth. Over three in five (65%) of the respondents said that banks and mobile wallet companies should provide more incentives to maintain security, such as changing passwords regularly. Another 60% noted that providers should educate users more about online threats.

"SEA's sheer market size in terms of digital payment offers a lengthy runway for expansion. In a competitive sector, payment companies should be assessed not just on their innovations, but also on their security posture," says Kaspersky GM for Southeast Asia Yeo Siang Tiong.

"We can draw from our findings that customers are increasingly becoming aware of the value of technology to protect their finances online. In general, these security features are useful preventive measures that can potentially enhance the cybersecurity standards in the digital payments space."

Tiong also believes that companies should think about security solutions in the long term, with more than half of the survey respondents saying they will use an e-wallet with extra security features.

"To develop a long-term and sustainable growth strategy, digital payment companies need to take into account some of the wants and needs of their users."

"While some of the preventive measures are not entirely new and have been around for some time, it is crucial to consider how security features can be integrated in a manner without compromising the user experience."

Machine learning was also a key area of interest when discussing combating social engineering attacks. Forty percent of survey respondents noted that companies should start preventing frauds/scams automatically based on spending behaviour and/or transfer history.

Twenty eight percent also said the process of protecting sensitive data by replacing it with an algorithmically generated number called a token could also augment the security of mobile banking and e-payment applications in the region.

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