Which E-Commerce Site Should You Use to Protect Customers?


As Scams Increase in Singapore, Which E-Commerce Platform Should You Use to Protect Your Customers?

You have a product you think will sell or is already selling well. The next big question is where you can sell them online. While there’s nothing wrong with following what’s popularly used by consumers, you may also want to look into which of them are the most secure. As more businesses are going digital to keep themselves afloat, giving customers a safe and secure space to shop could add to your reputation.

The Increasing Number of Scams in Singapore

The Singapore Police Force (SPF) revealed in their Annual Crime Brief 2021 report that while physical crimes decreased in the city-state, a 52.9% increase in scam cases (or 23,931 cases) drove the total number of reported crimes to 46,196. In 2020, the overall reported crime cases were 37,273. This means there are 847 crime cases per 100,000 people in 2021 compared to the 656 cases in 2020.

Annual Crime Brief 2021 report
Photo by Website/Singapore Police Force (SPF)

“Our streets remain safe, but scams are a major concern.”

“Scammers have been constantly evolving their tactics and taking advantage of the COVID-19 situation to prey on the public’s increase in online activities, and also their heightened sense of vulnerability and uncertainty,” the SPF said in the report they released last February 2022.

Annual Crime Brief 2021 report
Photo by Website/Singapore Police Force (SPF)

To combat the increasing number of scams in Singapore, the SPF is working together with the National Crime Prevention Council (NCPC) to hold scam prevention initiatives and other relative events to warn the public. They’ve also set up the Anti-Scam Centre (ASC) under the Commercial Affairs Department (CAD) to disrupt scam operations and mitigate the money lost by victims.

Which Online Platform to Use as a Business

As more consumers are being wary of scams, it’s no surprise that they would only want to transact using platforms they trust. This is something to keep in mind as a budding entrepreneur or a business planning to go fully digital, as giving consumers peace of mind every transaction will secure you a loyal customer who will keep on buying your products.

If you don’t know where to start, here are the rankings of the most common e-commerce platforms in Singapore according to the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA)’s Transactions Safety Ratings (TSR):

Transactions Safety Ratings (TSR)
Photo by Website/Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA)

The overall safety rating was measured according to how platforms have implemented safety features that are critical to fighting scams. These include measurers to verify seller authenticity and to monitor fraudulent seller behaviour, the maintenance of transaction records and user data, and the availability of secure payment options, reporting, and dispute resolution mechanisms.

Amazon, Lazada, and Qoo10 ranked first followed by Shopee (second), Carousell (third), and Facebook Marketplace (fourth). Whether you’re a business-to-consumer (B2C) or a consumer-to-consumer (C2C) type of seller, it would be best to set up shop in platforms that have received the highest ratings.

If your business is big enough to set up its own e-commerce platform, however, you can refer to the guidelines set in Technical Reference 76 (TR 76) which was published by the Singapore Standards Council. These guidelines were made in consultation with representatives from government agencies, institutes of higher learning, and the e-commerce industry. As of March 2022, it has been amended to include measures that secure e-commerce transactions even more.

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