Half of Indian consumers more wary of payment fraud amid pandemic

Photo by Rahul Sawant

Almost half (47%) of Indian consumers are more concerned about digital payments fraud now than when the novel coronavirus first emerged, according to a new study conducted by YouGov and ACI Worldwide.

The study surveyed 1,006 adults in Mumbai, Delhi NCR, Chennai, Kolkata, Bangalore, Hyderabad — reached online between April 21-27, 2020.

Findings show that when using digital payment methods, 28% of respondents are also now exercising greater caution. 

If impacted by fraud, the majority (60%) of respondents would first call their bank to block their account, indicating that — during this time of heightened awareness — consumers consider their bank the first line of defence.

One-third (32%) have increased their usage of digital payments (credit and debit card, mobile wallet and other UPI-based payment methods) due to the push from the government, aimed at helping curb the spread of COVID-19. However, one-tenth of respondents reported using cash more frequently now. 

“The disruption caused by the COVID-19 pandemic provides another opportunity for fraudsters to dupe unsuspecting consumers,” said Kaushik Roy, VP and country leader for South Asia at ACI Worldwide.

“(But) it appears that anti-fraud and security measures implemented by banks are also widely acknowledged and understood, and that banks are still seen as the trusted source of support against fraud,” said Roy.

Respondents expressed a high level of familiarity with assorted anti-fraud and security measures deployed by their bank or financial institution. Among them, 75% recognise one-time password (OTP) as a key anti-fraud mechanism deployed by their bank, 66% use SMS/email notifications on their phone, and 55% are aware of two-factor authentication as a security measure.

The study also fund that adoption of digital payments is widespread, with 75% using a digital payment method at least once a week and 44% using one almost daily.

Nearly one-third (31%) have been a recent victim of card or digital payments fraud or know someone among their immediate family or friends who has.

When asked about digital payment fraud risks, fake apps and websites are the biggest, according to 52 percent of respondents, followed by compromised password/credential information (43%) and spyware/malware (39%).