Losses due to online fraud are not to be taken lightly; globally, they account for 3% of revenue. The numbers are equally concerning in the Philippines where PHP 155M was lost in the first eight months of 2023. And these are just the financial losses. The impact on trust and reputation, which are hard to build but easy to lose, can be even more devastating.
Unlike opportunistic crimes, large-scale fraud in the Philippines is conducted by well-organized, tech-savvy criminals. Businesses (more so than individuals) are better positioned to take them on. The fight against fraud is focused on three main pillars: analytics, alerts and consortiums.
In response to prevalent fraud types in the Philippines, such as smishing, vishing, phishing and identity theft, fraud analytics come into play. Leveraging big data and AI, these solutions scan billions of transactions to detect suspicious activities specific to these types of fraud — in addition to bot attacks.
But, it’s not just about preventing fraud; it's also about ensuring a smooth customer experience. Fraud analytics help businesses spot abnormalities like unusually frequent transactions from a single source or inconsistencies in customer’s basic information — both of which are red flags.
Online businesses in the Philippines have a pressing need for real-time alerts, especially during customer onboarding or when transactions trigger fraud indicators. However, the system must be calibrated to avoid "false positives" which can alienate genuine customers.
Local credit bureaus employ advanced technology to scan and evaluate a plethora of data in real time. We utilize trended credit data and robust trust mechanisms to identify behaviors that deviate from the norm. These include sudden changes in contact details, variations in identity information, duplicate identities and confirmed fraudulent behavior.
These analyses offer Filipino businesses valuable predictive insights. For example, understanding shifts in customers' risk profiles can reveal who’s likely to default on payments, allowing for tailor-made risk management strategies.
Customer-initiated fraud alerts are another layer of security. Given the rise in identity theft and account hacking in the Philippines, customers can request credit bureaus to add extra identity verification steps before authorizing new transactions. These alerts can be particularly useful for Filipinos working or traveling abroad for extended periods, better ensuring their financial identities remain secure while away from home. Importantly, activating or canceling such an alert won’t affect one's credit score.
A fraud consortium serves as a hub for businesses in the Philippines to receive, analyze and disseminate valuable information about fraud risks across various sectors.
Filipino fraudsters are relentless and technologically advanced. They're continually evolving their methods and exploring new weaknesses. If they hit a wall in one business, they pivot to the next, often using the same resources to perpetrate diverse types of fraud across multiple industries.
The solution? Collective vigilance. Filipino businesses must work together to share fraud-related data. This collaborative approach is key to creating alerts for specific devices, personalities or even emerging fraud trends, such as "budol-budol" scams, and various types of online syndicated estafa and pyramid schemes common in the Philippines.
Credit bureaus in the country offer secure platforms for sharing this sensitive data without endangering any business's competitive edge. They use this collective intelligence to compile reliable fraud information — spanning multiple levels of customer and business interactions.
Data aggregated in this way can include indicators of risk linked to specific devices, email addresses or phone numbers — especially mobile numbers frequently tied to scams. It also includes identity-related risks.
The Philippine business landscape faces unique challenges when it comes to online fraud. However, with cutting-edge tools like AI and machine learning, along with the collective strength of fraud consortiums, businesses have a powerful arsenal with which to fight back. This allows them to not just identify fraud in real time — but also transact securely with genuine clients, providing a safe digital trading space.
For businesses in the Philippines looking to optimize the entire customer lifecycle — from acquisition to onboarding to account management — our tailored solutions and hands-on expertise provide the competitive advantage you need. To discover how we can help your business flourish in our dynamic, local digital economy, visit TransUnion Philippines or email DigitalSuite@transunion.ph.
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