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Matt Cox, Managing Director and General Manager, EMEA, FICO, answers questions on fraud from Finance Derivative

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What are the biggest fraud concerns for FICO’s customers?

Scams are definitely high on the list. There is a continued surge in Authorised Push Payment (APP) scams, advanced social engineering, and pandemic-related fraud.

The level of sophistication present in scams seems to grow at a daily rate and that is always one of our biggest concerns – staying ahead of the criminals. A coordinated approach to managing the authentication of customers will be a strong starting point for any organization, so that they can adapt and adjust as the market changes. To address current fraud concerns, banks need to take this into consideration. There are specific machine learning models designed to detect scam-related activity, and banks should explore those.

How have scams changed since the pandemic started?

Investment and crypto scams saw a big spike and there was a swift rise in vaccine-related scams with an emergence of a black market for the sale of fake vaccine passports. There is certainly a good level of public awareness of scams, but according to our consumer fraud survey, only 6% of customers said they were most concerned about being tricked into sending payments to a fraudster — as compared with 26% who were most concerned with having their stolen identity used to open an account, which is much less likely. This relaxed attitude in combination with increasingly realistic and creative social engineering and impersonation schemes, is part of the reason why fraudsters continue to succeed in scamming customers.

Authorised push payment fraud is one of the biggest concerns in the digital payments industry. According to UK Finance, APP fraud has, for the first time, surpassed card fraud with £355 million in losses attributed to APP fraud in the first half of 2021.

What is the challenge for banks right now in dealing with APP scams?

APP scams present a unique challenge as they involve tricking the victim into sending money to the fraudster. Despite measures like Confirmation of Payee (CoP) being put in place to stop these fraudulent transactions, the victim will have the final say and can override warnings put in their way. A layered approach is needed to prevent it, multiple tiers of armor are always most effective.

Some improvements in payment technology are actually making it easier for criminals to commit APP fraud. As more consumers and businesses adopt simple ways to send money in real time the pool of potential victims increases, a trend accelerated by the COVID crisis pushing more people to use online banking. Real-time payments also lower the risk for fraudsters, as money is transferred instantly, fraudsters can move payments through multiple accounts in a process of layering to launder the proceeds of the fraud and make tracing them more difficult.

Criminals are devious and clever, and victims cannot simply be written off as gullible exceptions. As real-time payment schemes can be used to transfer large sums of money, there is a need to employ layered fraud protection across all products and channels used to manage real-time payments.

Maintaining good customer experience by not impacting too many genuine transactions is a growing concern. As banks get better at detecting scams, there is still a very high false positive rate with many genuine customers needing to be disrupted in order to find a single fraud. This is where advanced analytics and particularly a consortium approach are critical aids.

What has your research told you about how different generations think about fraud and scams and the actions they take to avoid them?

We frequently survey consumers across the world to get a sense of their attitudes towards fraud and the security measures implemented to catch it. The results are always interesting and often flag the differences in how age groups approach financial security.

For example, in our most recent survey of 1,000 UK consumers, 55% said they would switch banks if theirs was reported to be involved in a money laundering scandal. The younger age groups would be most eager to swap their financial service provider after a money laundering scandal: 64% of 18 to 24 year-olds would switch, as would 68% of 25 to 34 year-olds.

Those in the Millennials generation – aged 25-34 – appear to be the least impressed with banks’ current approaches to fraud. When asked about account takeover, 19% thought banks were not fair with customers in terms of how they resolved this. And when considering cases of customers being tricked into sending money to fraudsters, 21% of them thought measures were not fair.

How much of an issue is social engineering?

Social engineering is a vital component of a fraudster’s playbook. It is not a new approach for them but is one that can cause devasting results. Fraudsters buy compromised data (credentials, ID documents, personally identifiable information or payment details) and ultimately, they use it to manipulate victims and commit fraud. Sometimes, fraudsters don’t have all of the pieces of the puzzle together, so they often further manipulate systems and customers in order to get the full suite of assets they need to steal.

The complexity of scams and social engineering means that financial institutions have to take a layered approach to prevention and detection. For example, checking device characteristics is useful, but when combined with Confirmation of Payee, transactions analytics, customer profiling and instant messaging services for verification, this is where the layers play extremely well together. When and how fraud prevention solutions are deployed must be balanced with other factors such as customer experience and operational costs. Being dynamic and flexible is key to both creating the necessary balance and evolving at least as fast as the fraudsters can.

Identity authentication isn’t as strong in a scam event as it is in other fraud types. Nearly all fraud events start with a data compromise and with scams it’s no exception. Identifying compromised and vulnerable customers is still very inconsistent across banks, so there is a big opportunity to be more proactive in stopping the scam before it is initiated.

Many banks have incorporated consumer protection into their marketing plans but I would like to see more do it across the industry.

What are the latest scams you are seeing emerging?

Before Open Banking, criminals applied for low-risk accounts using a fake identity in order to start building up their credit file. Over time, they would move into commerce and then onto higher-value targets, hitting them hard.

We believe this approach is finding its way into the Open Banking ecosystem as a faster route to higher-value credit. Having secured low-risk bank accounts and passed the Know Your Customer requirements, criminals are attempting to access new services through Open Banking third-party providers, who offer loan approvals and various other financial and investment services.

We’ve also seen a steady rise in fake videos and audio with targeted content that manipulates and gains access to personal and finance data. As the technology becomes more sophisticated, it’s becoming the new favorite tool in financial crime. For instance, bank manager in the United Arab Emirates fell victim to a threat actor’s scam, when hackers used AI voice cloning to trick the bank manager into transferring $35 million.

We believe this will become a big challenge for banks in Europe and across the globe as they find themselves increasingly targeted in this way. As those deep fake technologies develop, we will see more innovation and use of a wider variety of biometric technology thrown into the mix.

Interviews

Finance Derivative Talks to Tianjin Port Development Holdings Limited

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1. How do you look back on 2022, being one of the 10 best largest container ports in the world?
In 2021, the container throughput of Tianjin Port exceeded 20 million twenty-foot equivalent units (TEUs) and ranked eighth on the list of world largest ports in terms of total container handling capacity, and growing the fastest among the world’s top 10 ports. Tianjin Port will strive to achieve 25 million TEUs by 2025 and continue to open a new chapter in the story of prosperity of Tianjin Port’s world-class port.
The market environment in 2022 was more difficult than that in 2021. Other than the conflict between Russia and Ukraine, and financial policies tightening in Europe and the United States, China’s economic growth was slower-than-expected due to the resurgence of the COVID 19 pandemic and related strict control measures. In this challenging market environment as at Q3 2022, Tianjin Port as a whole handled accumulatively cargo throughput of 363 million tonnes, 3.3% more year-on-year, and container throughput of 16.54 million TEUs, 4.7% more year-on-year, via enhancing efficiency and various flexible measures. Tianjin Port Co., Ltd., the major controlling subsidiary of Tianjin Port Development Holdings Limited (“Tianjin Port Development” or the “Company”) still managed to achieve profit growth of 11.9% in the first three quarters of 2022.
In mid-October 2021, Tianjin Port Group (the controlling shareholder of Tianjin Port Development, which holds 53.5% stake in the company) unveiled what it says is the world’s first zero carbon emissions smart terminal in Beigang area of Tianjin Port. This smart and ‘zero-carbon’ smart terminal can serve as an example of intelligent upgrading and low-carbon development of ports all over the world. As at Oct 13 2022, this zero-carbon smart terminal in Beijiang port area had handled 1 million TEUs since it started operation in October last year.

2. How are you able to manage and improve the sustainability strategies with the stakeholders? Tell us about your visions and key factors to success.
Tianjin Port Development has been investing resources in promoting its sustainable development and its sustainability strategies emphasize five principles, namely “Environmental Commitment”, “People Focus”, “Quality First”, “Customer Oriented” and “Community Care”, which are incorporated into its daily management and operations. The Company has kept strengthening communication and cooperation with various stakeholders so as to continuously improve sustainability management.
Building a smart port is a major undertaking of the Company. We aim high and strive to build a world-class smart port and a green port, to better serve the coordinated development of the Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei region and construct the “Belt and Road” initiative.
We continue to propel port automation with advanced smart, automatic and communication technologies, aiming to improve service efficiency while reducing service costs and offering customers with better experience. The Company continues to make use of artificial intelligence algorithms and big data to develop new smart projects, implement innovative business operation and analytics systems to enhance operating intelligence and customer service efficiency. In addition, we keep hastening automatic transformation of traditional terminals, and designing our own fully-automated facilities and equipment.
The Company has dedicated much effort to implementing sustainable development concepts and paying more attention to topics such as green development, smart and safe production. All these efforts have laid a solid foundation for the Company’s success.

3. How did the market change post covid-19 and where do you see it going?
Since the outbreak of COVID-19 pandemic in 2020, ports around the world, those in overseas countries in particular, have seen containers stacked up and even halt service. The pandemic has brought to the foreground the need to develop smart ports. In recent years, Tianjin Port Development has actively used innovative technologies to build smart ports. It currently owns more than a dozen world-first technologies that have helped it improve operational efficiency. For example, a single driver can take remote control of six automated facilities simultaneously. In the future, Tianjin Port Development will continue to pursue automation and intelligent reforms plus upgrade its facilities.
Furthermore, during the pandemic, sea freight was adversely affected by land transportation restrictions in mainland China. In light of that, Tianjin Port Development enhanced the function of its feeder network and optimized the linkage between main services and feeder services within the port in Tianjin-Hebei area, built a collaborative operation platform for feeder services covering the Bohai Rim, and promoted vigorous development of “daily shift” services. An alliance was forged and the “Maritime Expressway – FAST” service brand was created, enabling coordination and link up of all processes, from delivery from factories, loading and unloading at the ports and piers, sea transportation and on-shore storage and logistics to receipt of goods by end customers, thus forming a “door-to-door” standardized transportation system. We have been able to make better use of our marine channel advantage to improve overall freight efficiency and bring more business opportunities to Tianjin Port Development. At the same time, Tianjin Port Development is also starting to actively take part in multi-operational partnership covering road, rail and sea transportation, which will become a new business model serving the “Belt and Road Market”.

4. Do you see your company expanding its offerings in future? FY2023
In the future, Tianjin Port Development will hasten transforming its transportation mode. For inbound operations, under the “Maritime Expressway Express—FAST” service brand, it will speed up expanding coverage of its ports and land logistics network in the Tianjin-Hebei region. And, for supporting outbound logistics, it will extend the sea-rail shipping channel. Moreover, it will continue to upgrade automation of its piers, so as to achieve complete digital transformation. Furthermore, it will press on with using green energy, step up “zero-carbon port” construction, implement its “dual-carbon” goals, and take to greater depth the work of building an international shipping hub in northern China.

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Exclusive Interview With AsiaPay CEO -Joseph Chan

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  1. It’s a pleasure to have you. Tell me a bit about your journey and about heading AsiaPay.
  • As the founder and CEO of AsiaPay Group, Joseph started up the first high-quality third-party digital payment service and technology firm in 2000 in Hong Kong, spearheaded the company’s business strategies and product development together with his management team, and leads AsiaPay becoming one of the most successful world-class digital payment companies in Asia.
  • In regard to business growth and market recognition, Joseph presents his long-term vision which is to operate a successful and socially responsible company that continually provides individuals and corporate entities with the newest digital payment values, readily enhances one’s quality of life, and maximizes business opportunities, efficiency and productivity.

 

  1. On that note of innovation, what are your views, on things like blockchain, Artificial intelligence, and robotics?
  • AsiaPay works closely with our partners in the AI, metaverse, crypto, and NFT-related businesses. With the capabilities of the web3 payment, we aim to strengthen the sales scene, use virtual social space as attraction, product display, and sales as a reality, and enhance the interest and purchase intention of potential buyers, coupled with cryptocurrency-led payment.

Decentralizing blockchain can guarantee the fidelity and security of transactions and digital payments. While combining digital record authenticity in blockchain technologies and the automation of artificial intelligence can enhance data security to prevent fraud in the fintech and digital commerce industries.

Along digital transformation, there has been successful applications of robotics in F&B n hotel industries in Asia and more digital payment solution adoption follows to provide more seamless and valued payment experience to customers.

  • AsiaPay continues to work closely with partners and startups in these technology areas and also web3 area like metaverse, crypto to well capitalise on these technologies to provide more advanced payment solution to address coming business and market needs

 

  1. How do you manage the making in the area of diversity and inclusion in terms of gender and cultural background?

Joseph Chan

AsiaPay always aims to remain a balanced and fair working environment with diversity and inclusion over its 15 country operations in Asia. As we serve merchants covering wide range of industries and operating across borders with close interaction with our teams in Asia, we respect the unique background, needs, perspectives, and potential of all team members. We:

  1. Identify diversity and inclusion as key strategic priorities
  2. Recruit and hire openly across Asia
  3. Establish snd enforce cross-country mentorship
  4. Promote team work and foster relationship by overseas team training, yearly executive meeting…etc …
  5. Acknowledge holidays of all cultures and celebrate
  6. Be aware of any unconscious bias.
  7. Ensure benefits and programs are inclusive

And, we set up a variety of staff performance and long-service awards to appreciate our team member’s contributions regardless of their genders, races, religion, nationalities, and sexual orientations. Every team member is equally involved in and supported in all areas of the workplace.

Even under this highly competitive Fintech market, we have enjoyed relatively high retention over the years.

 

  1. AsiaPay continues its business expansion in Asia with 16 operation offices as of date. What are the strategies for the Indonesian market?

Indonesia is one of the key emerging markets in Asia, according to a YStats.com report points that Indonesia mostly used “online wallet” (69%) alternatively to traditional payments in 2020. “Online wallet” was commonly used as an alternative payment method after the onset of COVID-19;

BimoPay is a payment gateway platform service offered by AsiaPayto address the Indonesian digital payment needs, as Indonesia is one of the fastest-growing economies in the world. Our key strategies shall emcompass,

  • Sales strategies and programs targeting key merchant segments;
  • Bank and payment and channel partnership;
  • Digital marketing campaigns enhancing brand and service awareness;
  • Localised product and service innovation and development;

 

  1. Do you see AsiaPay expanding its offering in the future? How do you see 2023 coming?
  • With digitalization and technological innovations taking over the economic sector of the world, AsiaPay will continually bring advanced, secured, integrated, and cost-effective digital payment processing solutions and services to banks and eBusiness globally.
  • We will continually embrace change and innovate capitalizing on the technological trends and strength especially addressing the coming evolution of digital commerce, smart retail, web 3.0 payment, payment data analytics, crypto/CBDC and blockchain technologies.

Apart from our existing 16-country operations in Asia, we will continue to expand our footprint in the world to expand our payment solution and service coverage, and further sca

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