Kenyan Businesses Need to Adapt to Fast-Changing Online Fraud Landscape Featured

Written by  Aug 25, 2019

The increased sophistication of online fraudsters is a growing risk to Kenyan businesses and the customers they serve – and businesses that fail to protect their consumers from fraud will ultimately disappear.

That’s the warning from Billy Owino, CEO of TransUnion Kenya, who says that with more than 9.5 million e-commerce users in Kenya, Kenyan businesses increasingly need to combine top-notch security with a great customer experience if they are to protect their customers and thrive in an increasingly digital world.

“As more consumers move online, data compromises and fraud threats continue to rise. This has magnified the need for robust identity verification and fraud detection tools that do not hinder the customer experience. You need to know exactly who you are dealing with, and how to protect your genuine customers from fraudulent activities,” said Owino.

Underscoring the need for a comprehensive approach to identity management and fraud prevention, PwC’s Global Economic Crime and Fraud Survey 2018 ranked Kenya second behind South Africa on its list of Top 10 countries reporting the most economic crime. Furthermore, data from iovation, a TransUnion company, reveals that since 2009 online transactions from Africa were more likely to be fraudulent than any other continent.

At the same time, increasing numbers of customers are interacting with financial services institutions through digital channels instead of face-to-face, according to a recent global study conducted by Forrester Consulting on behalf of TransUnion. Fully 62% of financial institutions indicated that the growth of online interactions has increased fraud and identity theft risk.

To counter this, a growing number of Kenyan businesses are deploying solutions like TransUnion’s fraud prevention and identity management suite, IDVision with iovation. This enhanced fraud prevention suite unifies personal and digital identities by combining TransUnion’s collection of over 58 million African consumer records, with the global device intelligence of iovation and its experience with over six billion devices worldwide since 2004 and nearly half a billion transactions coming from Africa over the past decade.

“Identity verification is no longer limited to a set of core documents and a few pieces of personal information. It is about understanding someone’s digital footprint, the devices they use and how they use them. Only by combining personal and digital data, can businesses truly protect their most valuable asset – their customers,” said Owino.

Jon Karl, co-founder and EVP of corporate development at iovation, said while the continent of Africa is a global hot spot for the origination of online fraud, its digital economies are also advancing in leaps and bounds, and require innovative solutions to unique challenges.

“iovation's insights about more than 45 billion online transactions and the associated devices allows companies in Kenya to get an upper hand on fraudsters, while streamlining access for their genuine customers," said Karl. “Making global online business simultaneously easier and more secure has been our specialty for more than 15 years.”

IDVision with iovation both fights and detects fraud while optimising customer convenience and security by:

  • Establishing Identity: Identity is verified against a broad set of personal and digital data for greater identity confidence.
  • Authenticating Customers: IDVision with iovation validates the customer’s claimed identity to confirm they are who they say they are. It employs methods that match the risk level by utilising authentication at specific touchpoints.
  • Preventing Fraud: Fraud risk of online transactions or identities is assessed to identify potentially fraudulent actions or behaviours. Suspicious behaviour is investigated to identify inconsistent data elements.

Ensuring a secure, seamless customer experience is fundamental for businesses to effectively grow and thrive in a digital world. As more consumers move online, data compromises and fraud threats continue to rise. This has magnified the need for robust identity verification and fraud detection tools that do not hinder the customer experience. IDVision with iovation enables genuine customers to have a secure, seamless experience whilst preventing fraudulent actions.

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