The global leader in online payment solutions, PayPal reported that incidents of sophisticated fraud are on the rise at a global scale. Talking to members of the press in Asia and the Pacific, the company said that there has been a 350% increase in the number of reported phishing websites from January to March 2020 (according to the Google Transparency Report of March 2020). While the number of fake COVID-19 websites increased from 1,600 to 39,000 during the first sixteen (16) weeks of the pandemic.
On top of these numbers, there are 33% more ransomware payments made by business entities during the first quarter of this year alone — a true indicator that online criminals are taking advantage of the current health situation. It is also worth mentioning that the types of fraud are fast evolving: from smishing (SMS phishing) to hackers attacking AI while it is learning, to cloud jacking, up to the more sophisticated use of synthetic identities (a combination of fabricated credentials where the implied identity is not associated with a real person).
With all these cyberfraud challenges at bay, PayPal is proud to report that they are processing payments at the rate of US$22,577 per second or around 33.8 million transactions per day while managing risk amid the exponential growth of electronic commerce in the region.
“As a responsible, mature company in the ecosystem, we need to get our customers more educated and help them protect themselves, to be ready of what has to come there way, it will be a win-win for all of us,” according to Guru Bhat, PayPal India’s Vice-President Omni Channel & Customer Success.
As the shift from offline to online has seen a pivotal growth in the Asia-Pacific region, growth is driven by several factors to include the high internet and smartphone penetration rates, globalization, increased consumer affluence, and improved logistics infrastructure. In the Philippines, which is still largely a cash-based economy, consumer distrust is still the major challenge for the adoption of e-commerce even if the government is pushing for cashless payments.
Phoram Mehta, Chief InfoSec Officer, PayPal APAC said, “a collaborative effort is needed to advance digitization to ensure sustainable economic growth. PayPal’s security strategy helps merchants and customers transact securely with the right governance, engagement, and thought leadership.”