One In Four Consumers In India Falling Victim To Online Frauds?

Digital consumption in India is on a rise with Indian consumers actively engaging on digital platforms – however, there is a heightened risk of Online Frauds, with approximately one in four customers’ being victims to online deceit accordingly to Experian’s Digital Consumer Insights report.

Experian’s Digital Consumer Insights 2018 report, co-authored with advisory firm IDC, delves into how well businesses mitigate fraud risk through the eyes of their most important stakeholders, the customers.

The report is based on a response from a consumer survey across ten APAC markets namely Australia, China, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Japan, New Zealand, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam. The study found that as brands and consumers are looking for easier ways to buy and sell products online via mobile devices –the opportunity for online fraud is escalating simultaneously.

The report categorizes the consumer behavior into two prominent categories –

The Digital Voyagers, digitally savvy, with a high willingness to share data for a better experience and a low tendency to switch providers in an event of fraud; and The Digital Pragmatists, digitally conservative, cautious about fraud with a low willingness to share data. India has been classified as the Digital Voyager, who is more convenience-driven and less risk-averse.

Talking about the insights from the report, Vaishali Kasture, Managing Director Experian Credit Bureau and Country Head, Experian India said “Through the study, we observed that consumers from India, are driven by convenience and are less aware of online frauds when compared to other APAC countries like Singapore and Hong Kong. Prevalent customer practice to bear the cost of the fraud is not a solution to mitigating digital frauds, more needs to be done to build awareness and collectively fight fraud”. 

Technology transformation

While the report suggests that greater digital convenience is linked to higher fraud exposure – presenting a problem for both consumers and businesses – it has also revealed a silver lining for companies. The report found that as consumers became aware of the risk of fraud, they were more likely to adopt security measures like biometrics, including fingerprint scan, facial and voice recognition.

India at 21% is the highest among APAC nations and also the first movers in embracing this technology. Other APAC countries like Vietnam and China (both at 18%) lead the charge as early adopters. Australia (9%), Japan and New Zealand (both at 8%) are the least willing to do so.

Data dilemma

Today, by potentially leveraging high-quality consumer data to effectively verify transactions, companies can protect customers. However, the report suggests that this was easier said than done. The findings revealed that consumers were often selective in the type of information they were willing to share with companies, whilst being clear on how they would want the data to be used.

Interestingly it was seen that consumers are willing to have their personal data shared with businesses specifically to ensure better fraud detection over convenience and customer experience.

Talking further about the solution for fraud Ms. Kasture says “Businesses are exposed to higher risks and fraud incidences without effective fraud mitigation solutions, thereby causing a great value of losses. Consumers sharing incorrect data due to lack of trust is an additional challenge for business to combat.  As 53% of Indians have suggested their openness to share data in order to create appropriate fraud detection measures, it signals a positive step towards curbing online frauds. This also provides a good opportunity for firms to partner with the most important stakeholder, the consumer, to build a robust online ecosystem.”

Furthermore, the report mentions that consumers have also actively shared inaccurate data in order to protect their personal data. Data input errors were highest in Thailand (~85%), followed by Vietnam, Indonesia, and India, while Japan (~21%) has the lowest erroneous submissions.

It is certainly a model solution for businesses to educate consumers and also proactively develop a virtuous cycle of trust, data sharing, and increased convenience, thereby tackling fraud effectively.

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