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1 in 4 Singaporeans concerned about payment fraud: study

Consumers want robust fraud protection when choosing their financial provider.

A survey by FICO revealed that the primary concern for 26% of Singaporeans was the risk of being tricked into sending money to criminals 

The “Consumer Survey 2023” report also said that 25% of the respondents cited identity theft as their top concern.

However, FICO noted that there is a dissonance between perception and reality amongst consumers. About 36% believe it unlikely they've been a victim, whilst 15% see it as possible, and 17% are confident their identity remains untouched, the report said.

Only 6% said their stolen identity was used to open a financial account. This rate was higher in other countries, such as India (13%) and Thailand (12%). 

“The rapid adoption of real-time payment in Singapore has made the country a key target for scammers in the region,” said C K Leo, FICO’s lead for fraud, security and financial crime in Asia Pacific. “With rapid digitisation comes an urgent need for heightened vigilance against fraudsters lurking in the digital realm.”

The FICO survey said 34% of Singaporeans consider strong fraud protection as a primary factor when selecting a new financial account provider. Other qualities that consumers look into are ease of use, good customer service, strong anti-money laundering policies, sound environmental practices, ethical use of customer data, fair treatment, and good value for money.

Given the financial losses identity theft can cause, Leo said financial institutions should boost fraud awareness and implement proactive measures. 

“A key first step is to break down silos and integrate identity verification and fraud detection processes. This will allow financial institutions to streamline applications and bolster trust in legitimate customers,” he noted.

In improving their security, financial institutions should consider how this will impact user experience. The FICO poll noted that 19% of Singaporeans stopped or reduced the use of their existing bank account because identity checks were too difficult or time-consuming. 

Of the authentication methods, respondents prefer the use of fingerprint scan and face scan as these were also perceived as the most secure, the survey said. 

ALSO READ: MAS and Mastercard signs deal to bolster financial sector’s cyber resilience

The survey was conducted in November 2023 involving 1,000 Singaporean adults, along with around 12,000 other consumers in Canada, the U.S., Brazil, Colombia, Mexico, India, Malaysia, Indonesia, the Philippines, Thailand, the U.K. and Spain.

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