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Cyber Fears: Digitally Active, But Not Digitally Secure

Digital consumption in India is on a rise with Indian consumers actively engaging on digital platforms—however there is a heightened risk of fraud, with approximately one in four customers falling prey to online deceit, says an Experian’s Digital Consumer Insights report. The 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. It is based on a response from a consumer survey across ten Asia-Pacific (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 categorises consumer behaviour into two prominent categories—Digital Voyagers who are digitally savvy, with a high willingness to share data for better experience and a low tendency to switch providers in an event of fraud; and Digital Pragmatists who are digitally conservative and cautious about fraud with a low willingness to share data. India has been classified as a Digital Voyager consumer who is more convenience-driven and less risk-averse.

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 about online frauds when compared to other Apac countries such as 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.”

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. 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%, tops Apac nations and is also the first mover in embracing this technology. Vietnam and China (both at 18%) lead the charge as early adopters. Australia (9%), Japan and New Zealand (both at 8%) are least willing to do so. Says Kasture, “Businesses are exposed to higher risks and fraud incidences without effective fraud mitigation solutions, thereby causing great value of losses. Consumers sharing incorrect data due to lack of trust is an additional challenge for businesses.
As 53% 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. – Financial Express

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