Real-time payment risks grow
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Real-time payment risks grow

45% of Thais most concerned about being tricked into making payment to a criminal, Fico survey finds

The study found that concerns about identity theft persist, with 25% of Thais citing it as their top financial crime concern.
The study found that concerns about identity theft persist, with 25% of Thais citing it as their top financial crime concern.

The growing adoption of new, convenient and fast payment channels has come with growing apprehension about real-time payment scams, according to a global consumer fraud research study by Fico, the US-based data analytics and credit scoring company.

For Thai consumers, the primary worry is the risk of being tricked into sending money to criminals (45% of responses), which exposes individuals to instant, irrevocable losses rarely eligible for reimbursement, the study found.

Additionally, concerns about identity theft persist, with 25% of Thais citing it as their top financial crime concern. This type of fraud carries additional risks beyond financial loss, such as compromised credit scores and the challenging process of restoring financial integrity.

"The rapid adoption of real-time payment in Thailand has made the country a key target for scammers in the region," said CK Leo, lead for fraud, security and financial crime with Fico in Asia-Pacific.

"Amid Thais' growing concerns about payment scams and as the adoption of real-time payments surges, we're witnessing a transformative shift in financial behaviour. Yet, with rapid digitisation comes an urgent need for heightened vigilance against fraudsters lurking in the digital realm."

IDENTITY THEFT AWARENESS

Concerningly, the rate of respondents who reported their stolen identity being used to open a financial account was considerably higher in Thailand than in the other countries surveyed.

Twelve percent of Thais said that their identity had been stolen and used to open an account by a fraudster, compared with only 5% of Filipinos and 3% of Indonesians. Given Thailand's adult population, this 12% translates to over 8.6 million individuals.

However, despite widespread concern about identity theft, there remains a dissonance between perception and reality among Thais. About 17% believe it unlikely they've been a victim, while 31% see it as possible, and 14% are confident their identity remains untouched.

"While some may downplay the risk of identity theft in Thailand, millions remain vulnerable," said Mr Leo. "This underscores the need for heightened awareness and proactive measures.

"By breaking down silos and integrating identity verification and fraud detection processes, we can streamline applications and bolster trust in legitimate customers."

When selecting a new provider for a financial account, respondents identified robust fraud protection and ease of use as their top priorities. Notably, good fraud protection was far ahead, ranked as the most important quality by 36% of Thai consumers, while ease of use was also prioritised by 36%.

Other factors, such as good customer service, strong anti-money laundering policies, sound environmental practices, ethical use of customer data, fair treatment, and good value for money, were considered significantly less important.

"Fraud protection is increasingly seen as a selling point rather than just a cost centre for banks," said Mr Leo. "Consumers are highly aware that most theft threats are now online, making robust fraud protection a critical factor in their decision-making process."

The survey was conducted in November 2023 by an independent research company. 1,002 Thai adults were surveyed, along with approximately 12,000 other consumers in Canada, the US, Brazil, Colombia, Mexico, India, Malaysia, Indonesia, the Philippines, Singapore, the UK and Spain.

To download a copy of the full report, visit https://tinyurl.com/2s4vbenp

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