E-commerce rating system launched to help combat scams; Lazada, Qoo10, Amazon get top marks

E-commerce rating system launched to help combat scams; Lazada, Qoo10, Amazon get top marks

SINGAPORE — To help combat the rising number of scams, the authorities have launched a new rating system for e-commerce platforms based on the anti-scam measures they have in place.

Rolled out on Saturday (May 14), the initial overall rankings gave the maximum four ticks to Lazada, Qoo10 and Amazon, while Facebook Marketplace received just one tick. Shopee got three ticks and Carousell got two ticks.

The rating system was launched by the Inter-Ministry Committee on Scams (IMCS).

This was announced in a joint statement issued on Saturday by the Ministry of Home Affairs and the Singapore Standards Council.

The ratings indicate the extent to which these platforms have implemented anti-scam measures that ensure user authenticity, transaction safety, availability of loss remediation channels for consumers, and the effectiveness of these anti-scam measures. 

The IMCS launched the E-Commerce Marketplace Transaction Safety Ratings as well as revisions to its Technical Reference 76 (TR 76) on guidelines for e-commerce transactions.

TR 76’s guidelines serve as a practical reference for e-retailers and online intermediaries such as e-marketplaces. The guidelines cover pre-purchase activities of browsing and selection to the buying and payment procedures, as well as post-sale activities that include delivery, tracking of products, refunds and exchange.

Speaking to reporters, Mr Desmond Tan, chairman of the IMCS and Minister of State for Home Affairs, said: “Scams are something that we are watching closely and they are a concern for us.

“Just on e-commerce scams, we see a trend – last year, we saw over 2,700 scams from e-commerce platforms, and that equated to a loss of nearly S$6 million.” 

Ms Choy Sauw Kook, director-general of quality and excellence at trade agency Enterprise Singapore, said: “The guidelines cover the end-to-end process of e-commerce transactions, and we hope they will help e-retailers and e-marketplaces improve their transaction traceability and transaction security for consumers. We look forward to working with our partners to promote wider adoption of this standard in the industry.”

Representatives of the different e-commerce platform partners were also present.

Miss Clara Koh, Meta’s head of public policy for Singapore and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean), said: “The (new ratings system) is an important effort to educate consumers, but we note that it applies a uniform rating to platforms that have differing features and therefore have different ways of protecting their users.

“We are committed to ensuring a positive and safe experience for those using Facebook Marketplace and will continue to collaborate with the Government and our community partners on public education initiatives.” 

Assam Press