When it comes to online activities such as banking, South Africans, unlike their global counterparts prefer visible security, such as protected connection notifications and secure banking codes when undertaking transactions and related activities.

Reflecting this trend, businesses are looking at ways to detect online security risks earlier without compromising customer experience.

This is according to Experian’s 2018 Global Fraud and Identity Report research, which looked at how confident businesses are in accurately identifying their customers and managing fraud. The report, conducted between June and October 2017 in South Africa, the United States, India, Brazil, Turkey and the UK, among others, outlined consumer and business attitudes towards fraud and security when online banking and shopping.

“This report reveals that South Africans, like those in India, respond well to security measures. These offer a level of comfort for consumers that their details are secure and inaccessible to opportunists. Businesses, in turn, continue to do their best to provide this support to their customers by constantly updating their fraud detection methods and keeping one step ahead of fraudsters,” says Mark Wells, chief customer officer at Experian South Africa.

At 74%, South African respondents are more open to security than responses recorded in most countries globally (e.g. US – 69%; UK – 66%; Brazil – 63%; China – 62%).

“With 95% of South Africans’ online activities used mainly for personal banking services such as savings and investments, and the purchase of goods and services, it comes as no surprise that consumers want to be assured that their personal information and details are safeguarded at all times,” he adds.

However, the Experian findings show there is a growing need for more intuitive styles of security. About 62% of South African business respondents said they would welcome security features that recognise them without being required to manually share a great deal of personal information. This percentage is higher than the other countries surveyed.

Eighty-nine percent of organisations believe there are better ways to reduce fraud without impacting the consumer’s digital experience. Eighty-four percent of South African respondents said their business would be very interested in advanced security measures and authentication processes.

Organisations within the survey said that products they would like to use as future methods for detecting and preventing fraud include device intelligence (35%), transaction history and spending patterns (27%) and machine learning fraud engines (24%).

“Fraud in South Africa – like the rest of the world – remains a growing concern with businesses seeking ways to secure their customers against fast-paced online fraudsters. It is, however, positive that businesses are adopting innovative approaches towards earlier detection, while still meeting their customers’ need for safety and being considerate of the customer experience,” ends Wells.