Tag: online

By Wendy Knowler for Herald Live

Credit card fraud has been rapidly outpacing all other forms of bank fraud in recent months, with many older people being sweet-talked by fraudsters posing as bank officials into revealing their one-time-password (OTP) over the phone.

The Ombudsman for Banking Services, Reana Steyn, issued a warning about the alarming trend, revealing that 58% of the bank clients who complained about falling victim to credit card fraud in the past three months were older than 61 and 11% were older than 80.

“Not long ago credit card fraud was number five in our list of complaint categories, and now it’s number two, comprising 19,45% of all complaints,” Steyn said.

“That’s up from about 12% in December. At this rate it will soon overtake internet banking fraud to occupy the top spot.”

In a typical scenario, a bank client gets a call from a fraudster claiming to be phoning from their bank. In most cases, the fraudster already has the person’s credit card number.

The fraudster has gone onto an online shopping site – two of their favourites are Takealot and Foschini, Steyn said – and, poised to buy with victim’s credit card, they convince them that in order to help the bank prevent them from falling victim to fraud, they must please read out the OTP which has been sent to them via SMS.

The victim complies, and then the shopping begins.

The fraudsters also con people into believing that the bank will give them extra bank loyalty rewards points if they answer a few questions, Steyn said.

In the process of that Q&A, they’re asked for their OTP.

In one case, a fraudster asked a woman if she would like to convert her bank rewards points into cash. With that benefit in mind, she read out her OTP.

Alarmed at getting similar calls on the same day, she phoned her bank, but had already been defrauded of R11,200.

“Credit card fraud is a growing concern as banking systems increase in speed and efficiency,” Steyn said. “At the same time, fraudsters apply more sophisticated tactics to defraud and rob customers of their hard-earned money and savings.

“All bank customers, particularly the elderly, need to be knowledgeable and vigilant about their preferred banking channels.”

What not to do:

  • Never share personal and confidential information with strangers over the phone.
  • Banks will never ask you to confirm your confidential information over the phone.
  • If you receive an OTP on your phone without having transacted yourself, it is likely that it is a fraudster who has used your personal information. Do not provide the OTP to anybody. Contact your bank immediately to alert them to the possibility that your information may have been compromised.

How to complain:

  • Lodge a formal, written complaint directly with your bank’s dispute resolution department.Ask for a complaint reference number from your bank.
  • Allow the bank 20 working days in which to respond to your complaint.
  • Obtain a written response from your bank and if you are not satisfied with the outcome, please log the complaint with the Ombudsman for Banking Services.

By Angelique Arde for Business Live

Absa is tight-lipped about its meeting this week with the banking regulator about how the bank handles cyber risks.

Caroline da Silva, head of regulatory strategy at the Financial Sector Conduct Authority (FSCA), told Money that the regulator’s meeting with Absa was the first of a series it will have with all banks. This comes after a “market conduct risk” across the sector was flagged in a retail banking diagnostic, as well as reports from customers, including one from Johannesburg attorney Mark Heyink.

In June last year, Heyink made submissions to the FSCA detailing Absa clients’ allegations of unfair treatment by the bank in dealing with online banking frauds.

Though the meeting with Absa was general, Da Silva said the issues in Heyink’s submission were discussed, including the predominance of Absa clients in cases of online fraud dealt with by the attorney.

In his report to the FSCA, Heyink, acting for 29 Absa customers referred to him by a digital forensic expert and a computer scientist, claimed that the bank had “improperly” held clients liable for losses resulting from online banking fraud and called on the regulator to investigate Absa and the ombud for banking services.

But Da Silva told Money this week that the FSCA is in an “interim position”, without legislation in place yet to regulate the conduct of banks – the Conduct of Financial Institutions Bill was published in December for comment. “We don’t want to wait for that to take action on their conduct, so we’ve drafted a set of conduct standards which will be published for comment before the end of March and will hopefully be in force before the middle of the year.”

On the question of the conduct of the banking ombudsman, Da Silva said the Twin Peaks regulatory model envisages a stronger ombud system, with a chief ombud to look at the independence, governance and decisions made by both statutory and voluntary/industry ombuds.

In October last year, the South African Banking Risk Information Centre released statistics on digital banking crime for the first time, showing that the number of incidents of online fraud had increased by 64% between 2017 and August 2018.

The conduct Heyink reported to the FSCA relates to Absa holding clients responsible for losses when the bank had allegedly:

• No evidence of negligence on the part of its clients;

• Applied incorrect interpretation of the law relating to the client’s assumption of risk;

• Failed to comply with applicable consumer protection legislation; and

• Failed in its duty of care to its customers.

Heyink and the digital experts quoted in the submission also question whether the security measures taken by Absa were appropriate.

Absa, which would not be drawn on the meeting with the FSCA, also declined to respond to these specific allegations.

Ulrich Janse van Rensburg, head of fraud strategy at retail and business banking at Absa, said internet fraud is of “huge concern” to Absa. “It has an adverse impact on the much-needed relationship of trust between Absa and its customers. For this reason, it is entirely in our interest to ensure not only that world-class security measures are in place, but that when fraud is committed, those responsible are apprehended and made to account. And expeditiously so.

“That’s why Absa takes every possible precaution to safeguard our customers’ money and co-operates closely with the SAPS and industry fraud-prevention bodies such as Sabric [South African Banking Risk Information Centre].

“However, we are unfortunately constrained in instances where the customer would have caused vulnerability by divulging their confidential banking details to third parties, very often without intending to do so. Regrettably, this weakness impacts the entire industry, not only Absa.

“Although Absa is ordinarily not liable for the frauds perpetrated on its customers by third parties in the strict legal sense, it recognises that these crimes have a significant personal impact on the victim and for this reason will come to their financial assistance,” Van Rensburg said.

Almost half of Heyink’s 29 clients accepted settlement offers from Absa covering 50% of their losses. The settlement offers, which were valid for seven days only, were confidential, ex gratia and in full and final settlement of claims against the bank.

In his submission to the FSCA, Heyink said that in consultation with clients who accepted such settlements, in every instance the client said they had accepted the settlement under duress. One client said: “We felt we had a gun to our head.”

Clients who did not accept settlements said they also felt Absa was trying to force them to accept the offer.

Absa said that it does not put pressure on clients and a week is reasonable time for a client to decide whether to accept a settlement. But Heyink said that the circumstances under which the offers were made by Absa placed clients in an unfair bargaining position.

Black Friday weekend in numbers

According to an article by Business Tech, online sales for Black Friday and Cyber Monday 2018 exceeded figures for 2017.

BankservAfrica provided Business Tech with the following figures on one of the biggest shopping days of the year:

  • A total of 581 189 online transactions were processed over the weekend
  • 404 594 online transactions were recorded on Black Friday
  • The single most expensive transaction for Black Friday was over R6-million
  • The single most expensive transaction for Cyber Monday was R5-million
  • Black Friday shopping peaked between 08h00 and 09h00
  • Cyber Monday shopping peaked between 10h00 and 11h00
  • The average number of transactions per minute peaked at 695 on Black Friday
  • Transactions averaged at 281 per minute on Black Friday
  • The average number of transactions per minute peaked at 277 on Cyber Monday
  • Transactions averaged at 1251 per minute on Cyber Monday
  • Black Friday saw 55% year-on-year growth in online transactions
  • Cyber Monday transactions were up 36% year-on-year 

The United States, where the trend originated, also saw some big numbers:

  • Cyber Monday sales surged to a record $7.9-billion spent online
  • This is a year-on-year increase of 19.3%
  • Black Friday pulled in a record $6.22-billion in e-commerce sales
  • Transactions on mobile devices were up 55.6% on Cyber Monday, generating $2.2-billion in sales
  • Cyber Monday marked the biggest shopping day in Amazon’s history
  • Amazon Black Friday and Cyber Monday combined saw the purchase 18-million toys and more than 13-million fashion items

By Jamie McKane for MyBroadband

Takealot has confirmed that it will open a new customer centre in Johannesburg.

This follows a report by TechCentral that the online retailer was considering opening a new facility on the N1 highway in Midrand, situated on the New Road bridge.

A distribution centre at this location would cater to customers in both Johannesburg and Pretoria, it stated.

Takealot has an existing customer centre in Cape Town for customer collections, but only a distribution centre in Johannesburg – where customers cannot pick up orders.

Takealot’s plans
Speaking in an interview with MyBroadband, Takealot CEO Kim Reid confirmed they will open a new customer centre in Johannesburg where buyers can pick up purchases.

He said that Takealot will announce more information about the customer centre in 2019.

“We are busy with that, and will be able to provide more details next year,” said Reid.

He added that customers can also expect to benefit from Superbalist’s Click + Collect locations in the near future.

“What people can expect next year, is that we have rolled out 23 Click + Collect points for Superbalist and we will make those live [for Takealot deliveries],” Reid said.

By Gabriella Steyn for IOL 

The Road Traffic Management Corporation (RTMC) will soon launch a new online booking platform for South Africans to get their driver’s license.

First launched in the City of Tshwane, the system allows users to make an appointment to renew their driver’s license and also offers a delivery service that will deliver you a new card to you through MDS Collivery.

The RTMC said that waiting in long queues will soon be a thing of the past.

“The platform will ease the process of applying for vehicle driving licenses and combat corruption by minimising the manipulation of the process by unscrupulous officials,” said the RTMC in a statement.

The RTMC said that the current process requires applicants to queue for between 140-180 minutes at a testing station. “This process is also fraught with corruption as officials at the licensing centres have an incentive to withhold available bookings for lucrative payments from willing applicants,” said the RTMC.

They believe that this platform will promote efficient service delivery.

“When it is launched later this month, the solution will benefit the public by removing barriers to access, eliminating fraud and corruption, and optimising business operations.”

The system will first be available to people making their applications in Gauteng before it will gradually expand to other parts of the country.

Bookings for Gauteng can be done through The Online Company SA.

Online shopping grows in SA

By Joseph Booysen for Business Report

Although traditional retail stores dominate the South African market, consumers are choosing the online option for cheaper technical goods purchases.

According to the latest research report by GfK (Growth from Knowledge), South Africa, E-commerce 360:Navigating the Technical Goods E-Commerce Market in South Africa, e-commerce retailers grew their share of the South African technical consumer goods market by 52 percent last year, accounting for 6.9 percent of total consumer spending by rand value for the year.

This meant they had nearly doubled their share of the market since since 2015.

Cherelle Laubscher, a senior retail manager at GfK South Africa said e-commerce in South Africa was still in its infancy compared to European markets, where a quarter of technical goods spending goes through digital channels.

“However, growth in South Africa is strong and shows no signs of declining as bargain-seeker flock online to buy technical consumer goods like smartphones, IT, consumer electronics, and major home appliances,” said Laubscher.

She said although traditional stores dominated the market, they were not growing the value of the sales they generated in technical goods as quickly as the digital players and e-commerce retailers were seeing strong growth in smartphones, panel televisions, small domestic appliances, gaming consoles and laptops.

According to the report, survey respondents cited better prices, attractive promotions and wide product selections as major reasons for shopping online rather than at at a traditional store, while by contrast, experiential factors such as getting to see and feel goods motivated shoppers to go to physical stores.

GfK South Africa’s point of sale data showed that the consumer perception that e-commerce prices were lower than in-store prices was accurate. More than two-thirds of the top 100 sellers among technical goods products in South Africa were cheaper through digital stores that at physical retailers.

Across the top 100 products, online prices were an average of 4.7 percent cheaper.

Odette Jardim, a client solutions manager at GfK South Africa, said 45 percent of connected consumers in the survey claimed to increasingly use the internet to buy products online compared to the previous year (2016).

“However, a consumer journey often straddles both physical and digital channels, meaning that the most successful retailers should have an omnichannel strategy,” said Jardim.
Meanwhile, Kevin Tucker, PriceCheck chief executive, said although South African consumers might be lagging in the amount of online shopping they did compared to the US, for instance, with increased innovation and tech security, South Africa would continue to see growth.

“South Africa has seen a boom in cutting-edge e-commerce innovation, and this needs to be celebrated,” he said.

Tucker said although the e-commerce industry had grown by 25 percent in South Africa, only 1.5 percent of online consumers ended up making a purchase.

“Online spending in South Africa is expected to reach R53 billion by the end of 2018, up from R37.1bn in 2017, according to research conducted by PayPal. There is clearly huge untapped potential in this industry,” said Tucker.

While some retailers managed to draw crowds and lines on Thanksgiving Day with Black Friday sales, other stores remained almost eerily empty as the holiday-shopping season kicked off.

However, that may not necessarily be bad news for companies banking on a profitable holiday season. On Thanksgiving Day, people spent $2.9 billion online, according to Adobe Analytics.

Here’s a look inside the shockingly empty stores this Black Friday.

Quite a few Targets seemed surprisingly empty, The Street’s Brian Sozzi noted.

“Hmmm not what I expected,” the reality-TV star Tamra Judge posted on Instagram after visiting a Target in California. “First time ever Black Friday shopping. I was so excited to fight the crowds.”

Part of the reason for empty stores could be chalked up to Black Friday sales kicking off on Thanksgiving Day.

As one commenter on Judge’s Instagram post put it: “That ’cause that crowd was there yesterday at 6pm!!! They are all sleeping now.”

However, many shoppers may simply be shopping online instead of visiting physical stores.

Target said on Friday that it had received more than three times the number of orders through its Order Pickup service than it did on Thanksgiving last year — which could explain the empty stores.

Some Best Buys seem to be facing a similar situation.

Though crowds lined up outside the retailer on Thanksgiving, Black Friday seems more tranquil — at least at some stores.

There were also empty Walmart locations, as well as some empty Big Lots.

Shoppers spent $2.9 billion online on Thanksgiving — a 18% increase over last year, according to Adobe Analytics.

Shoppers are expected to spend $107.4 billion online this holiday season, which would represent an increase of nearly 14% over last year, according to Adobe.

By Kate Taylor for The Independent

The Internet and mobile devices have reshaped the retail environment. With the rise in e-commerce, brick-and-mortar stores have struggled to compete with the depth of the virtual world’s retail offering. This includes the ability to offer a larger variety of categories and products, one-click buy and pay convenience, and the ability to compare prices from multiple retailers, often through the use of price comparison engines.

For many consumer goods categories, e-commerce has all but killed off physical retail sales. However, rather than view this digital revolution as a death knell to their traditional business, retailers should be looking to leverage unique trends that are emerging in physical retail space thanks to technology. As a prime example, in many instances price comparison engines are enriching the physical shopping experience.

A 2016 study from Euclid Analytics looked at the shopping preferences and behaviours of 1,500 US smartphone users. According to the study, 83% of consumers used smartphones while shopping in brick-and-mortar stores to help make purchase decisions.

The truth is, despite the hype and the boom in e-commerce, in-store shopping remains the consumer’s preferred form of retail interaction. This was shown recently by local social media ad tech company Popimedia following commissioned research that identified the trend in SA.

Released as the “Digital Influence in SA” study, local research findings were combined with other publicly available research, revealing that 91% of consumers visit a store to make a purchase at least once a week while only 49% of consumers shop online with the same frequency.

Additional research findings suggest that six in 10 Internet users start shopping on one device and continue or finish on a different one – 79% of these consumers use their smartphones for research, but only around 10% make purchases via the device.

What, then, are these consumers doing on their devices? According to the Euclid Analytics study, most consumers use their phones, both in the lead up to a purchase and in store, to compare prices or to look at current promotions. Other uses for mobile devices in the retail environment include taking pictures of products for later reference, checking shopping and to-do lists and reading online product reviews.

Statistics released by Google supports this, showing that 82% of smartphone users turn to their phone to influence an in-store purchase decision. However, it’s Popimedia’s recent research that proves most compelling in this regard. For instance, the findings show that 85% of consumers compare prices online and 78% read online product reviews before going to a store to make a purchase.

Most importantly, a staggering 93% of respondents use mobile to research and make purchases mostly in store, while 47% of customers check the price of products online while in store before purchasing.

The easiest and most convenient way to compare prices at present is to use price comparison engines. These web-based resources have the capabilities to filter content from a variety of sources to deliver granular search results based on specific criteria, including price, brands, features and product reviews. While the benefit to e-commerce platforms is clear, and most already leverage the technology to drive click-throughs and sales, the benefit to the brick-and-mortar retail environment has been less clear – n until now, that is.

The fact is that prevailing shopping trends suggest consumers aren’t so clear-cut in terms of their preference for e-commerce over physical retail. Many consumers still enjoy the physical retail experience and environment when shopping for specific product categories, but may prefer the convenience of e-commerce for others.

What Popimedia found from its Digital Influence research was that consumers are increasingly blending their “online” and “offline” shopping experiences. It’s a trend we’re also seeing on Phonefinder.co.za. Many of our over 7,000 unique visitors each day use the price comparison engine to identify cellphone contract offers across the spectrum of providers, filtering results according to their phone preferences and contract offers to find the best price with the most data.

In this new “no-line” paradigm, price comparison engines will play an increasingly important role in the modern retail mix as they help to influence and drive in-store purchase behaviour.

Source: Supermarket & Retailer

For SMEs considering including online retail within their omni-channel strategy, there is no time like the present.

As mobile penetration continues to grow, along with the customer’s need for accessibility and convenience, the pros to e-commerce are undeniable. But timing and preparation are integral to any SMEs success in online retail and a premature move into the space could have a considerably negative impact on a business’ bottom line.

“Seeing a brand grow online through social media follows and repeat purchases are just part of the success factors a business needs to measure,” says Matt Roux, CTO for Emerce Commerce. “The reality is that a business owner needs to see that each order is profitable and ideally, that online sales are at least 1% of retail store purchases.”

According to Roux, South Africa also presents trading nuances for which SMEs need to prepare. Costs for fulfilling orders to more remote towns can get very expensive, especially for large dimension products. Another local consideration is that payment gateway providers charge high per-transaction commissions for low volume online stores – a factor that could prove unsustainable for some SMEs.

SMEs therefore need to do a careful brand audit in order to determine if they are ready for the leap into online retail.

Roux provides a four-step checklist to help business owners make a considered decision:

  1. Cost implications: Businesses need to understand the cost implications – both once-off and monthly – for an online store. Courier costs and payment gateway charges are just two of these. Has the business set clear targets for monthly online sales that will assist the path to profitability via the online channel?
  2. Capacity considerations: Having an online store has significant resource implications for a business so SMEs need to check if they have the capacity within their internal team to cover roles and responsibilities including customer servicing; financial reconciliation; order fulfillment management; online merchandising; digital marketing; copy writing; and photography.
  3. Corporate identity: A clear and consistent corporate identity is key to a positive visual impact online. SMEs need to have sufficient lifestyle imagery to bring across the tone of the brand. In addition, between four and eight high resolution product photographs are required for each product. The associated costs here will be determined by how many products the business sells.
  4. Current IT: Does the business have any existing IT solutions that the online store can integrate such as accounting software and warehouse management software?
    Opening up new revenue streams and engaging new customers are just two among many benefits that a move into e-commerce can offer a business.

According to Microsoft, the average human currently has an attention span of eight seconds, 33,3% less compared to the 12 seconds in the year 2001. Smartphones and mobile devices contribute to this phenomenon, creating greater demand for easy and convenient online communication and services.

When a potential client stays on a page for longer than 30 seconds they are more likely to spend two minutes or more on the site. This also increases the chances of returning to the site at a later stage. The big question is, how does a leading online service retain a customer’s attention, create a relationship and maintain it?

“Customers want to have control of their decisions, participate in activities and quickly get the message that is being translated to them. In order for online services to retain consumer attention long enough, they need to provide them with a site that has clear messaging and easy navigation through the various sections, all underpinned by a compelling value proposition to the customer,” says Derek Wilson, head of Hippo.co.za.

Here are some of the tactics used by Web site analysts to retain consumer attention:

  • Visual information – people are likely to remember 10% of the information they read three days later, whereas 65% is remembered when it is paired with relevant images/visuals.
  • Web design and development – 40% of visitors will exit the site if it takes longer than three seconds to load. Web sites also have to be mobile device friendly and have an easy to remember website address.
  • Filter applications – they allow the consumer to customise information and simplify the search process.
  • Interactivity – Web sites that have interactive features (for example audio, video, or scroll events) can keep site visitors entertained and lingering for longer.
  • Create an excellent online customer service experience. According to research, 47% of customers could take their business to a competitor within a day of experiencing bad service.

Building a loved brand goes a long way to improve customers’ propensity to use the service frequently.

  • 1
  • 2

Follow us on social media: 

               

View our magazine archives: 

                       


My Office News Ⓒ 2017 - Designed by A Collective


SUBSCRIBE TO OUR NEWSLETTER
Top