Philippines’ Fast-Growing Apps on Fighting Fraud

On May 19th, we invited senior risk and product executives from some of the Philippines’ fast-growing mobile apps to a virtual roundtable. Participants had a discussion on the key fraud challenges they face and the ways in which their fraud strategies have evolved. Guests included executives from Edamama, Growsari, Globe Telecommunications, and more. 

The key fraud challenges for Filipino mobile apps today 

To start off the conversation, executives discussed the main challenges they faced when it came to fighting fraud. One executive voiced their main concern to be account sharing. They found that fraudsters were creating a single account and selling it to thousands of others around the world, making it difficult to differentiate between families using a single account and fraudsters using a single account.

Another participant pointed out that identifying fraud was their main concern. They found that the lack of a robust citizen database hindered their ability to fight fraud. Participants were quick to agree, with many highlighting the data deficit in the Philippines. 

An executive from an e-commerce app then spoke of the challenge in balancing user experience and security. They reasoned that while it was important for users to trust businesses, it was just as important for businesses to be able to trust users. 

Participants also shared their views on the implications of social media. One participant talked about their experience with fraud that was initiated using Facebook groups. They found that fraudsters were colluding on these groups to take advantage of loyalty points and exchanging ideas on how to game the system. Since fraud was taking place outside of the platform, it was difficult for the business to track and stop fraudulent activity. 

The changes in fraud strategy

Conversation then moved towards how fraud strategies have evolved. An executive from a telecommunications company said that they are now focused on proactively implementing fraud prevention strategies compared to the past where they were more reactive. Another participant shared that they now focus on preparing for negative scenarios rather than solely paying attention to the positive ones. 

The challenge in knowing which users to trust 

Towards the end of the roundtable discussion, participants spoke about how they identified which users to trust and which users to keep out of their platform. One participant said they do this using KYC measures such as document verification. 

Another executive found that it was quite easy to know which users are trustworthy. The way in which they did this was by looking at inconsistencies in customer information. 

The conversation concluded with participants agreeing that a proactive stance was necessary in the fight against fraud. As more businesses go digital and the threat landscape expands, it’s vital for businesses to leverage risk intelligence to strengthen their existing fraud prevention solutions. 

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