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Enlisting Customers in the Fight Against APAC Fraud

Two weeks ago I participated in the FICO Fraud Forum in Singapore, where more than 40 leaders in banking fraud management across the Asia Pacific region met to  discuss how to adapt and evolve defenses to stay ahead of the criminals.

For many, a surprising outcome was the need to make anti-fraud policies and techniques more public. This felt counter-intuitive at first for many participants, but they came to appreciate that one of the best lines of defense against third-party fraud is customer vigilance. Customers who are informed about likely fraud scams are more alert to the risks, and feel more empowered and in control.

Ovum research has shown that uneducated customers often put the responsibility for preventing and detecting fraud squarely with their banks. Those with a better grasp of fraud — what constitutes it, how it manifests itself, what is being done to protect against it by the banks, how they can help, what to expect if fraud is suspected, and what to do in the event the worst happens — are strong allies in the banks' fight against the criminals.

Helping to thwart the bad guys is obviously a good thing for all of us but, the attendees learned, it also has a surprisingly positive effect on how a customer feels about their bank. Customers who are informed about anti-fraud techniques and know what to expect will, when a potential fraud case arises and is managed well and on a timely basis, actually become stronger advocates for the bank than those who have never encountered a potential fraud risk. I have blogged about this phenomenon before, the “moment of truth” that a fraud incident represents.

I have, of course, long been an advocate of involving the customer more in the fraud defense armory and have blogged about the benefits of customer education many times, but it was refreshing to witness so many clients across Asia Pacific enthused by and looking to embrace what one might call the Informed Consumer Era (ICE).

After all, in the balmy heat of Singapore, it is good to see the criminals put on ICE and frozen out!

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