Singapore has launched a rating system that assesses e-commerce marketplaces based on their anti-fraud measures. Its technical guidelines for online transactions have also been updated to provide more information on fraud protection.
E-commerce Marketplace Transaction Safety Ratings (TSR) aimed to evaluate the extent to which these platforms had implemented anti-fraud measures that, among other things, ensured the user’s authenticity, transaction security and the availability of loss relief channels for consumers.
For example, e-commerce marketplaces would be judged on whether they had in place measures in place to verify sellers’ identities and were continuously monitored for fraudulent sales behavior. The platforms would also be assessed against the use of secure payment tools for transactions as well as the availability of dispute reporting and resolution mechanisms.
The information served to warn users about the security of transactions with these online sites, the Interior Ministry and the Singapore Standards Council said in a joint statement on Saturday. The grades included “large e-commerce marketplaces” that facilitated transactions between multiple sellers and buyers, with “significant” local reach or a significant number of reported e-commerce frauds.
The lowest rating clocks at one buck, while the scale tips at four bucks. E-commerce marketplaces with all the critical anti-fraud measures in place were awarded the highest rating with four bucks, according to the ministry.
TSR ratings are reviewed every year. The current list has given the Facebook Marketplace the lowest rating on one tick, while Carousell has two ticks, Shopee has three and Qoo10 has four ticks along with Amazon and Lazada.
To further improve fraud protection, the national standard for e-commerce transactions has also been updated to include additional guidelines for online retailers and marketplaces.
The latest technical reference 76, first released in June 2020, covered best practices for securing various areas of online transactions, including pre-, during- and post-purchase activities, customer support and vendor verification.
For example, e-marketplaces should look at implementing preventive protection against fraudulent merchants on their platforms, such as enabling early warning mechanisms when unverified devices were used to access the account. Salespeople who are judged to be at risk of fraud should also be blacklisted in the marketplace, restricting their activities on the platform or increasing the customer’s awareness of the risks.
“The [TR76] the intention is to better enable merchant authenticity, improve transaction security and help perpetuate e-commerce fraud, “said the Home Office and Singapore Standards Council, adding that the additional guidelines were part of the security features classified in the TSR.” General, e-commerce marketplaces using TR76 guidelines would have better results on TSR. “
In recent years, Singapore has intensified its efforts to improve underlying infrastructures that are believed to pave the way for the country to become a global and regional e-commerce hub. The country’s “five-part” strategy to do so includes expanding local 5G networks, supply chain capacity and payment platforms.
The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) said in February that it was working on a framework of responsibility that describes how losses from online fraud would be shared between key parties in the ecosystem, stressing that victims of such fraud should not assume they could recover their losses. This framework would work on the basis that all parties were responsible for being vigilant and taking precautionary measures against fraud, MAS said.