Unpacking APAC’s Growing Digital Fraud Problem

Hong Kong

APAC is a collective of 31 countries home to 60% of the world’s population and 50% of its internet users. While unprecedented numbers of people are shopping, banking, and interacting with digital businesses online, fraud has quickly adapted and has never been more prevalent.

This week, Kedar Samant, Senior Director, Risk Platform, PayPal and Vanita Pandey, Senior Director, Product Strategy and Marketing, Simility, a PayPal service, will discuss the trends impacting APAC businesses at MRC Vegas 19. Central to their talk is the key to business success in APAC: protecting the bottom line and driving competitive advantages by investing in a new breed of adaptive machine learning solutions capable of driving faster, more accurate decisions.

APAC On the Rise

With over 4.5 billion people1, APAC is one of the most diverse and fastest-growing regions on the globe. An increasing number of consumers are leveraging the power of digital infrastructure and smart devices to get online, creating endless opportunities for the region’s banks, retailers, and businesses across many verticals. According to the Visual Capitalist, there is a $174 billion opportunity in serving underbanked APAC consumers and small businesses.2 The region’s e-commerce market is predicted to reach a staggering $3.5 trillion in sales by 2021.3

However, if there is money to be made, fraudsters are never far behind. With the explosion in online services, there has been a new focus on targeting victims in the region. Fraudsters are agile, determined and are increasingly using sophisticated cloaking and automated tools — even leveraging advances in data science to make fraud campaigns more successful.

Today, the most common fraud types in APAC are account creation, using stolen or synthetic identities; account takeover; payment; and coupon and policy fraud. Different fraud types vary throughout the region and by country. For example, coupon and policy abuse are especially prevalent in India, while account takeovers and payment fraud are more common in China, South Korea, and Australia

Headaches for Businesses

Growing fraud creates conflicting priorities for businesses. Businesses want to expand rapidly, improve conversions and enhance the customer experience, but at the same time have to reduce fraud and operational costs while meeting regulatory compliance requirements. If not handled effectively, fraud can quickly eat at profits and diminish corporate reputation, increasing operational overheads and customer attrition.

Traditional solutions are no longer fit-for-purpose. The time for linear models, simple rules, point intelligence, and other legacy approaches is over: they only create false positives, high friction, and analyst overload while failing to spot modern fraud techniques.

Accelerating Value

APAC organizations need holistic fraud solutions that can harness large volumes of disparate data and apply a clear box approach to machine learning to generate more valuable analytics and insights. Simility’s Adaptive Detection Tools can address this need.

One large mobile marketplace in APAC was unable to prevent cyber-criminals using scripted bots to create accounts and post fake ads to defraud buyers. Simility’s solution was able to help this business by performing advanced data stitching from user creation, ad posting, and devices, and then training customized machine learning models to score scam posts and account creations. With Simility, this marketplace was able to spot fake posts with a high degree of accuracy in real-time, reduce false positives, and even detect rare anomalies of bot behavior and fake accounts.

At MRC Vegas 19, Simility, a PayPal service, will showcase how the power of machine learning-driven adaptive decisioning in fraud prevention can help businesses around the world – including those in APAC. To find out how such tools could benefit your organization, schedule a demo today.


1. Worldometers, http://www.worldometers.info/world-population/asia-population/
2.Visual Capitalist, July 2017, https://www.visualcapitalist.com/banking-unbanked-emerging-markets
3. Rakuten,September 2018,  https://rakutenmarketing.com/en-uk/the-state-of-e-commerce-asia-pacific
Kedar Samant

Kedar Samant

Kedar Samant is a seasoned technologist and a fraud and risk management expert. Kedar co-founded Simility and crafted the vision for Simility’s disruptive approach to fraud management. He has been key in establishing Similty’s product superiority and driving innovations. Kedar brings a wealth of experience from his prior stint at Google where he built the platform for fighting fraud and abuse across Google’s products. Prior to Google, he held technology leadership positions across industries including banking and online services.
Kedar Samant