Thailand awarded a gold star for e-transaction safety

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Thailand awarded a gold star for e-transaction safety

In what may come as a surprise to some, Thailand was recently lauded as an example of a low-risk country when it comes to electronic payment transactions.

The giant US-based financial services corporation Visa Inc. said Thailand’s financial payments system was one of the strongest and most secure, on a par with Singapore, the island-state often ASEAN’s perennial leader in almost anything.

According to Visa’s figures, it processes an incredible 80 billion transactions annually worth a massive seven trillion US dollars. Global fraud amounts to six percent of this figure.

In simple terms this equates to six cents per $100 in transactions. Visa notes that electronic credit card fraud in Thailand is under this figure.

Thailand has also seen a significant rise in the number of e-commerce transactions. In 2012 e-commerce activity amounted to nine percent of all credit card transactions, but this has risen to 15 percent this year. Part of the reason for this quite significant surge is the increased number of smartphones and tablets in the marketplace.

Visa announced they had upgraded their Visa Advanced Authentication global credit card fraud protection system and they planned to introduce a consumer authentication service into Thailand in a bid to further minimise e-commerce fraud.

This authentication service is designed to analyse behavioural patterns and flag anything that is deemed suspicious.

Smartphones can double as payment devices, by way of what is called near-field communication (NFC), which involves the phone or a similar device establishing radio communication with another smartphone or device within close proximity. That is, there is no need for one device to physically connect with the other to make an e-commerce transaction. In some ways it is similar to Bluetooth technology for mobile phones and computers.

A leading local Visa manager said this year Thailand will adopt a contactless debit and credit card that will be able to process payments very quickly.

Four leading Thai banks are planning on introducing mobile point-of-sale payments which will enable credit card transactions to be made by customers with smartphones.

This is expected to especially be a boon for small business operators as many are unable to offer credit card facilities because of the relatively expensive costs of purchasing a credit card reader. With the introduction of a contactless system many small businesses will now be able to offer credit card services and this should enhance their bottom line.

Visa intends to heavily promote the use of online debit and credit card transactions.