Click fraud threatens m-commerce boom: BuzzCity

  • Use of ‘click farms’ or software to skew results adversely affecting campaigns
  • Banks’ mobile strategies evolving, but communications with customers outmoded
Click fraud threatens m-commerce boom: BuzzCity

AS mobile commerce (m-commerce) continues to gain momentum and more brands are turning to mobile advertising, the dominant CPC (cost per click) advertising model can be subject to fraudulent clicks, BuzzCity warned.
In some cases, this is when site owners generate clicks on ads that appear on their own site to boost their earnings, the mobile advertising network company said in its The BuzzCity Report.
Click fraud seriously diminishes the efficiency of a campaign and can adversely affect the user experience – with some promotional messages becoming unreliable and sometimes misleading, BuzzCity said in the April edition of its quarterly report of the mobile Internet.
There are two primary motivations behind click fraud:

  • Malicious publishers hoping inflate revenue despite not having sufficient real traffic. These have been known to make use of ‘click farms’ – where people are hired to manually click ads – or sophisticated software that mimics the behaviour of a surfer.
  • Malicious advertisers trying to undermine competitors by depleting their budgets with false clicks. These are known to use click farms or software that hijacks the click and directs it to another site.
Click fraud threatens m-commerce boom: BuzzCity

Click fraud effectively enables fraudsters to make a small sum of money from each fraudulent click, which can add up to quite a large sum of money when done enough times, BuzzCity said.
M-banking boom, customers unaware
Meanwhile, mobile banking continues to increase, but a skewed approach to communications means customers are confused as to the range of features and services available to them, according to the ongoing global research from BuzzCity.
And although nearly all banks now offer mobile banking services, marketing efforts to communicate to their customers remain traditional, with television cited as the most used medium for promotions (35%).
The correlation between customers failing to grasp online banking juxtaposes with increased emphasis on TV campaigns, BuzzCity said in a statement.
Click fraud threatens m-commerce boom: BuzzCityOnly 20% of marketing spend was placed on mobile advertising, an increase of 3% from 2013, and less is spent on radio and newspapers – 7% and 11% respectively.
Banks are failing to communicate on the very devices they are offering their services on, BuzzCity said in its statement.
“This skewed approach that many banks place on TV advertising is failing to engage their own customers,” BuzzCity founder and chief executive officer Dr KF Lai (pic).
“By focusing all efforts on just one channel of communication and not the actual devices that their customers are using every minute of every day, the banks are clearly missing opportunities. This is integral to building relationships and trust with their audiences,” he added.
BuzzCity said its survey was conducted between Feb 2nd and March 3, amongst 3,300 respondents from 23 of its ‘benchmark countries.’
The survey consisted of multiple-choice questions to cater to the media channel of choice, the mobile Internet. In many cases, respondents were asked questions offering multiple selections of multiple choices.
The survey covered countries across the Americas, Asia, Africa and Western Europe. Particular focus was placed on benchmark markets for comparisons against previous studies in 2013.

Click fraud threatens m-commerce boom: BuzzCity

Indonesia and Malaysia
More than a third of Malaysian mobile users now use their mobile for financial transactions, a growth of 70% from 2013 (21%) to 2015 (36%), BuzzCity said.
If uptake remains at the current rate, it is expected that all mobile users will bank online within the next couple of years.
Although nearly all banks provide some form of mobile banking service – still over one in five (19%) don’t believe that facilities are available to them, 45% have yet to use their mobiles for banking, services with a quarter ‘planning to do so.’
Despite the advancements in mobile banking, one in five users (18%) in Malaysia continue to have concerns about security – although security concerns have decreased by 39% from 2013, signalling a major shift.
One in four (24%) also believe that their mobile device is not suitable for online banking.
Indonesia is another market where mobile is very much the first screen among consumers – surfers spend 180 minutes a day on their mobiles – changing the way people communicate, gather information and how they buy products.
This has posed major challenges for traditional media and the last quarter saw news portals deploy their mobile presence followed by campaigns aimed at driving more traffic to their mobile sites.
Download The BuzzCity Report at
Related Stories:

Google investigating AdWords allegations in Malaysia, Singapore
Banks don’t hold the future of banking: Akamai exec
Mobile advertising up, m-banking in ho-hum stage: BuzzCity report
Mobile penetration vs banking penetration = APAC m-commerce growth: Frost
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