Emailage, the online fraud prevention startup that uses email addresses to assess risk, announced this week that it’s expanding its geographical footprint and establishing new offices in regions of interest, which has included strategic hires and reappointments.
The news is significant because, although Emailage had customers in Asia Pacific (APAC) and Europe, the Middle East and Asia (EMEA), it has not always had a formal presence there. It opened its London office last year. The startup recently established an office in Sydney, with one in the works for Singapore. The Sydney office currently serves as the base of operations for the APAC region.
Amador Testa, chief product officer, says the expansion will benefit all customers in the network, enhancing the product for existing customers as new ones are added.
Previously, said Testa, Asia was not a major focus for fraud prevention, because it wasn’t a major focus for fraudsters – historically due to the population and the controls in place. Just five years ago, Asia still seemed relatively immune to the weaknesses plaguing other countries.
Today, however, Testa said the incidence of fraud in the region has been picking up, even surpassing certain markets in Europe. Evolution in the eCommerce space and growth in digital account openings is leading organizations in APAC to seek tools to address these new challenges.
Anytime someone wants to open an account in the digital world, Testa noted that they are doing so without a presence in a bank branch. This is true for credit cards, savings accounts and checking accounts, as well as sending money or taking out a loan.
That’s where Emailage plays an important role, Testa pointed out, as those remote customers must be verified as thoroughly as if they were standing in the branch in front of a live banker. That can be even more difficult in APAC than in Europe and the U.S., Testa added, due to more limited availability of data in places like China. The ability to thoroughly assess risk with nothing but an email address gives the startup a strategic edge in such environments.
According to Testa, as the startup begins to focus more on APAC and other growth regions, more customers and more transactions mean more data in the system, which gives Emailage a richer backdrop against which to hold new users. This means that existing customers can also benefit.
The more the system knows about people who have previously interacted with it, Testa said, the better it can judge the risk of any individual in the network, no matter where that person is based.