Despite 80% AI adoption, APAC banks grapple with confidence in scam prevention


Despite 80% AI adoption, APAC banks grapple with confidence in scam prevention

The Asia-Pacific (APAC) region, a dynamic hub of banking and payment services, is facing a dual challenge: making notable advancements in fraud prevention while grappling with the evolving sophistication of financial scams.

A recent report by Feedzai and Chartis Research, “Scam Prevention in Asia-Pacific: A Survey of Banking and Payment Provider Professionals,” offers an insightful look into this ongoing battle.

The Persistent Challenge of Fraud

Banks and payment service providers in APAC have made significant strides in fraud prevention, yet the challenge remains formidable. Artificial Intelligence (AI) use in fraud detection has seen widespread adoption, with over 80% of organizations employing AI to some extent. This technological integration symbolizes a paradigm shift in combating financial crimes. AI’s machine learning algorithms are becoming pivotal in analyzing historical fraud data to detect emerging patterns and anomalies.

However, the complexity of fraud and scams continues to escalate. The report reveals a concerning trend: only 6% of respondents are fully confident in adapting to these changing scam typologies, highlighting a gap between technological advancement and operational agility. This disparity is particularly pronounced in countries like Australia and Singapore, where the impact of fraud is acutely felt in terms of increased operating costs.

Preparing for Regulatory Changes

The anticipation of new scam reimbursement regulations looms large over the sector. Nearly 90% of the surveyed professionals believe such regulations will be introduced within the next year, underscoring the urgency for banks and payment service providers to bolster their fraud mitigation strategies.

Tom Clifford, Strategic Accounts Director at Feedzai, emphasizes the need for continuous adaptation to the changing landscape of fraud, stating,

“Banks and payment service providers have clearly made progress with fraud prevention, but it still remains a challenge.”

He notes that while comprehensive controls are in place, leveraging enterprise data to stay ahead of emerging threats remains a significant challenge. Nick Vitchev, Research Director at Chartis, echoes this sentiment, pointing out the criticality of understanding and responding to the diverse challenges across APAC’s dynamic markets.

Broader Economic and Societal Impacts

The issue of fraud in APAC extends beyond financial institutions, affecting the broader economic and societal fabric, according to Grant Thornton, one of the world’s largest professional services networks of independent accounting and consulting firms.

The post-pandemic business landscape, characterized by new operating models and increased regulatory scrutiny, has heightened the risk of fraud, bribery, and corruption. Companies struggle to manage these risks amid evolving business models and fragmented supply chains, which often operate with minimal governance and compliance controls​​.

This complex scenario is further compounded by volatility in supply chain costs and processes, leading to increased sanctions and customs corruption risks. The lack of transparency in these processes sets a risky precedent that might be hard to break, as observed by Dr. Tim Klatte, Head of Grant Thornton Shanghai’s Forensic Advisory Services.

The fight against fraud and scams in the APAC region is a testament to the resilience and adaptability of its financial institutions. However, it also serves as a reminder of the continuous need for vigilance and innovation in this ever-changing landscape, with emerging tech factoring on both sides of the battle.


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