Asia Australasia Editor's Choice Fintech Paytech

APAC’s Massive Digital Payments Shift Fuels Featurespace’s Growth in Singapore

Covid-19 lockdowns have intensified the existing significant growth in digital banking and faster payments. As a result, card-not-present (CNP) transactions and payments activity has exploded across the Asia Pacific within a few months, rather than years. And this growth trajectory is projected to continue.

By 2025, the Nilson Report estimates that consumers using global branded cards issued in the region will account for 44.86% of the world’s total purchases. Further, a report published by PPRO, a UK-based payments company, revealed the recent explosion in non-cash activity:

  • Southeast Asia’s e-commerce market is expected to grow by 5.5% in 2021.
  • Last year, online sales of healthcare products increased by 1,000% or more in Indonesia.
  • Malaysia’s e-commerce volumes grew 149% in the pandemic’s early months and 48% of shoppers reported purchasing from a cross-border website at least once.
  • From January-June 2020, the volume of Filipino e-commerce grew by 376% and during the pandemic, the average consumer spent three hours per day online shopping during the lockdown.
  • In Singapore, the five largest e-commerce platforms saw visitor numbers increase 72% during lockdown, with the average basket value increasing 51%. Notably, 76% of Singaporeans say they do not plan to revert to pre-pandemic shopping habits.
  • Prior to the pandemic, Vietnamese e-commerce was growing at an annual rate of 26% and in 2021, its economy is projected to grow 6.3%.

Across APAC, the shift to digital payment behaviours is ubiquitous, simultaneously bringing significant opportunities and revealing critical weaknesses. The fraud detection and prevention technologies currently used by financial institutions aren’t optimised to safeguard the proliferation of digital banking and payments activity from the accompanying and increasingly sophisticated fraud attacks and scams. In Singapore, scams increased 65%, costing victims a total of S$200 million, while Australia has reported $8.4 million in losses since the outbreak of Coronavirus.

Featurespace APAC Expansion

In response, Featurespace is accelerating the expansion of its presence in APAC. Since October, it has added skilled experts to provide financial institutions with the market’s most advanced Enterprise Financial Crime prevention software.

To enhance its solution consultancy and service on the front lines to customers, the company added Sebastian Aldeco as Senior Business and Technical Consultant with 13 years of fraud experience. Complimenting this is the emphasis on establishing a robust delivery function, which is critical to Featurespace’s mission to meet and exceed clients’ expectations. Today, efficiently expediting deliveries to provide financial institutions with much-needed protection – especially in a complicated environment – is essential. To lead the regional delivery team, the company appointed Lee Ball, who brings notable experience in successfully establishing large scale financial crime platform delivery operations in APAC. Joining Ball is Chengfeng Hong as Senior Implementation Engineer, who has delivered complex fraud systems to tier-1 banks across multiple regions. Finally, Tuck Keong Yap has joined as Senior Customer Technical Support Engineer, where he pioneers the organisation’s diversification efforts to broaden its reach and continues improving its world-class service.

At a tumultuous time for financial institutions across APAC, this expansion provides greater accessibility to two Featurespace inventions:  Adaptive Behavioral Analytics and the newly launched Automated Deep Behavioral Networks. Both are available through the ARIC Risk Hub, an innovative platform that uses advanced, explainable anomaly detection to enable financial institutions to automatically identify risk, catch new fraud attacks and identify suspicious activity in real-time.

Introduced in 2008, Adaptive Behavioral Analytics revolutionised fraud detection by introducing a method for computers to understand human behaviour, detect anomalies and spot risk as it happens – all in real-time – so that fraud and financial crime are detected and prevented before they even occur. In the time since, Featurespace has established itself as the world leader for fraud prevention and anti-money laundering, protecting over 500 million consumers globally and reducing the number of genuine customers whose transactions are incorrectly declined.

Launched in February 2021 for the card and payments industry, Automated Deep Behavioral Networks provides a deeper layer of defence to protect consumers from scams, account takeover, card and payments fraud. Developed by Featurespace Research, this breakthrough invention uses an entirely new architecture based on Recurrent Neural Networks to automate feature discovery and introduce memory cells with native understanding of the significance of time in transaction flows. In addition to allowing financial institutions to detect fraud before the victim’s money leaves the account (the best line of defence against scams, account takeover, card and payment fraud attacks), Automated Deep Behavioral Networks improves upon the market-leading performance of Adaptive Behavioral Analytics.

With a commitment to protecting financial institutions in APAC’s evolving digital banking and payments ecosystem from criminals, Featurespace is poised for continued expansion and is currently hiring. For more information, please click here.


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