Online retail fraud from PH slows – study

Published December 8, 2020, 6:00 AM

by Bernie Cahiles-Magkilat

Suspected online retail fraud coming from the Philippines at the start of the 2020 holiday shopping season showed a 33.41 percent decrease to 4.82 percent from 7.23 percent during the shopping holiday weekend in 2019,   according to a report. 

                Still, Global information and insights provider TransUnion urged businesses to remain vigilant against digital fraud.

The findings are based on the online retail transactions TransUnion analyzed for its e-commerce customers during the traditional start of the holiday shopping season globally, from the US Thanksgiving Holiday (Nov. 26) to Cyber Monday (Nov. 30).

The decline in suspected fraud from the Philippines also mirrors the global rate which also slightly decreased from 15.70 percent during the 2019 early holiday shopping season to 15.54 percent during the same period in 2020.

              “The likely explanation for this decline is that fraudsters recognized that e-commerce providers are doing a good job stopping fraud and have moved elsewhere for the time being,” said Pia Arellano, TransUnion Philippines president and CEO.

Pia Arellano, TransUnion Philippines president and CEO

            Heading into the holiday shopping season, the TransUnion Financial Hardship Study conducted from Oct. 28 to Nov. 5, 2020 found 37% of 9,515 consumers surveyed globally said they had been targeted by digital fraud related to COVID-19, a 28% increase from the same survey the week of April 13, 2020.

             “Our survey shows fraudsters are increasingly utilizing the pandemic to prey on consumers facing mounting financial pressures. With the COVID-19 pandemic accelerating the move from offline to online transactions, detecting digital fraud attempts has become paramount for e-commerce providers,” said Arellano. “In order to avoid cart abandonment with all of these new sales opportunities, it is equally if not more important to ensure consumers are able to makefriction-right or hassle-free digital transactions.”

            In addition to the above findings, TransUnion released the following fraud trends to help businesses be more aware of which days and times of year to increase their fraud controls.

The percentage of suspected fraudulent e-commerce transactions coming from the Philippines during the start of the holiday shopping season and entire year from 2018 to 2020

was   4.82% from Nov. 26 to Nov. 30, 2020; 4.61% so far in 2020;  7.23% from Nov. 28 to Dec. 2, 2019; 6.05% all of 2019;  and 3.55% from Nov. 22 to Nov. 26, 2018; 3.04% all of 2018.

                  The days with the highest percentage of suspected fraudulent e-commerce transactions coming from the Philippines during the start of the 2020 holiday shopping season showed that Cyber Monday, Nov. 30: 5.16%;  Saturday, Nov. 28: 5.09%;  Sunday, Nov. 29: 5.01%; Thanksgiving, Nov. 26: 4.49%; and Black Friday, Nov. 27: 4.47%.

            “The pandemic has caused global economies to decline but fraud has remained constant. Despite the economic downturn, digital transactions remain strong and we expect that fraudsters will follow this trend by targeting e-commerce companies and their customers. Businesses must provide friction-right identity verification solutions and consumers must do their part by keeping their personal information secure to combat this threat,” Arellano said.

            Meanwhile, the Philippine House of Representatives has advanced House Bill 7805 (Internet Transactions Act), which aims to protect consumers and merchants engaged in internet transactions that include retail, online travel services, digital media providers, ride hailing services and digital financial services.

            As a leading provider of information and insights in over 30 countries, TransUnion uses its Global Fraud Solutions to unite both consumer and device identities to detect threats across markets while ensuring friction-right user experiences. The solutions fuse traditional data science with machine learning to provide businesses unique insights about consumer transactions, thereby safeguarding tens of millions of transactions each day.