Middle East businesses among high risk targets, warn experts
Network International, the leading payment solutions provider in the Middle East and Africa (MEA), gathered industry experts in fraud prevention and security at the company’s inaugural Fraud User Group conference held recently in Dubai.
As businesses continue to digitise and as operations and payment technologies evolve, the frequency and complexity of fraud has grown exponentially. The 2016 Nilson Report notes that losses from card fraud alone reached more than $22.8 billion worldwide and this number continues to grow. Moreover, according to The Kroll Annual Global Fraud and Risk Report 2016/17, the incidence of fraud in the GCC was 6% above the global average of 82%, based on respondents surveyed.
Participants at the conference included panel representatives from two leading banks, Emirates NBD and Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank (ADCB); merchant partner, Emirates airline; FICO, the world’s leading fraud analytics solutions provider, and Network International. At the event, speakers identified the UAE’s dynamic economy and the population’s propensity for frequent travel as factors that contribute to the country being among the most exposed to fraud in the EMEA region. This results in the need for the Government, banks and financial institutions to take proactive and innovative steps to protect businesses and consumers. Participants highlighted that thriving and highly active economies such as the UAE with significant consumer credit limits, and digital lifestyles were particularly vulnerable targets for fraudsters. Participants also discussed data indicating that around one in 10 residents in the UAE has been a victim of online credit card fraud wherein 27% of residents reported being victimised by credit card fraud in the past five years.
At the event, Network International also used the opportunity to announce the availability of FICO’s Falcon® Fraud Manager solution to its issuer client base in the Middle East & Africa, following the establishment of a strategic partnership between Network International and FICO earlier in 2017. Falcon® Fraud Manager is the industry benchmark in fraud management solutions, driven by advanced data analytics and machine learning technologies and protects close to 70% of the global credit card accounts across 9,000 card issuers worldwide.
Samer Soliman, Managing Director – Middle East, Network International,commented, “As businesses and individuals in the region face an increasing threat of sophisticated, syndicated fraud, there is an urgent need to invest in world-class tools that keep businesses a step ahead of fraudsters. As the largest issuer processor in the region, we recognise that fraud can have a dramatic effect on our clients’ operations and revenues, in addition to damaging their reputation, impacting the trust and confidence of their cardholders.”
Soliman added that Network International will continue to make strategic investments to help clients run their businesses more efficiently and profitably.
Matt Cox, Senior Director, EMEA, FICOadded, “The rise of digital payments is making fraud more attractive to criminals. In a scenario where everyone is vulnerable, how a business anticipates, manages and recovers from an attack can enhance its competitive advantage. We advise businesses to adopt a collaborative and holistic approach to fraud prevention and management. We are also excited by this partnership with Network International as this is strategic and long term in nature for us. We have been working closely with the Network team over the last several months to make the Falcon® Fraud Manager solution available to its issuers.”