Nearly half of Indian consumers are more worried about frauds while making digital transactions amid the coronavirus crisis, shows a study.

About 28% of consumers are now exercising more caution while making payments using various digital modes, according to a study conducted by YouGov and ACI Worldwide, a real-time electronic payment and banking solutions provider.

Vulnerability to fraud remains the biggest consumer concern when it comes to digital transactions (54%), followed by risk of failed transactions (42%).

Efforts to encourage contactless digital payments over cash as a hygiene measure are resonating with consumers one-third (32%) have increased their usage of digital payments (credit and debit card, mobile wallet and other UPI-based payment methods) aimed at helping curb the spread of COVID-19.

Around 75% of consumers are using a digital payment method at least once a week and 44% using one almost daily, the study of 1,006 adults in metro areas such as Mumbai, Delhi NCR, Chennai, Kolkata, Bangalore, Hyderabad showed. The survey was carried out online.

“The disruption caused by the COVID-19 pandemic provides another opportunity for fraudsters to dupe unsuspecting consumers. However, it is encouraging that consumers are showing heightened awareness of digital payments fraud and a willingness to adapt behaviours, ACI Worldwide’s vice president and country leader (South Asia) Kaushik Roy said.

Nearly 31% of the respondents have been a recent victim of card or digital payments fraud or know someone among their immediate family or friends who has. Close to 17% of those occurrences have been within the last month.

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

The study said if impacted by fraud, around 60 per cent 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 defense. 12% would first report fraud activity to police or a cybercrime unit, while a mere 4% would turn to public social media channels first, it showed.

Nearly 75% recognize one-time password (OTP) as a key anti-fraud mechanism deployed by their bank, according to the study.


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