Increased incidents of fraud and spam had previously made the company hesitant to expand into new markets.

A consumer-to-consumer and business-to-consumer marketplace for buying and selling of new and second-hand goods has implemented a cloud communications platform to guard against fraud and enhance operations.

Firstly, by implementing two-factor authentication (2FA) to validate user accounts, the Carousell marketplace can employ SMS and voice channels to authenticate new and existing customers.

Secondly, Carousell is also using the platform to communicate with sellers and buyers, sending instant alerts of incoming enquiries and updates on their ad listings or on items that have been ‘liked’.

Said Victor Neo, Director of Engineering, Carousell: “We strive to create a trusted and secure marketplace where ‘Carousellers’ need not worry about purchasing counterfeits or falling prey to scams, while protecting brands simultaneously.”

Neo had previously noticed a rise in fraudulent accounts, and these accounts were able to overcome email verifications easily, despite processes in place to block common spam email services. “There was also an increase in attempts to sign up for multiple accounts. This made us hesitant to expand into new markets.”

In addition to Singapore, the company has offices in Malaysia, Indonesia, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Myanmar, Vietnam, and the Philippines. With more than 250 million listings, it is one of the world’s largest and fastest-growing marketplaces in Southeast Asia, Taiwan and Hong Kong.

Relying on the Cloud

According to ACI Worldwide Research, global e-commerce retail sales had achieved 209% year-over-year revenue growth in April 2020. With the sharp increase in e-commerce sales, the threat of fraud has also risen. According to a study by Worldpay, the most common types of e-commerce fraud are identity theft (71%), phishing (66%) and account theft (63%).

Said Sunny Rao, Senior Vice President and General Manager (Asia Pacific region) of Vonage, the platform chosen by Carousell: “Fraud is a growing concern worldwide, so verifying users has become critical to protecting businesses’ reputation and customers. Vonage solutions not only gives customers the ability to authenticate end-users through their preferred channel, but also to customize the failover workflow process without coding or development. (Our) SMS API allows businesses to communicate effectively with customers without hassle. Together, these solutions place total control in the hands of customers, ensuring instant global reach and improved customer acquisition minus the complexity.”

According to Neo, the solutions not only help shield Carousell against the threat of rising spam accounts and fake users, but also increase the reliability of the platform, “enabling us to send notifications fast and effectively. We are now confident of launching into new markets.”