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South Africa: Fraud detection and mitigation UPDATE

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Please note that the below action has been taken on your behalf so nothing is needed from you however we have given you the full notification from WASPA for visibility. 

IMPLEMENTATION OF RECAPTCHA SOLUTION AND SUSPENSIONS

Due to the dramatic increase in suspected fraudulent subscription activity from PHAs (Potentially Harmful Applications) on the mobile networks, it has become imperative that all industry members join forces in a combined effort to combat fraud and protect consumers and the industry from potential harm.

Vodacom has taken a zero tolerance approach in dealing with potential fraudulent activity from applications and has over the last few days suspended services where fraudulent activity from a PHA has been suspected.

Unfortunately this type of fraud is not necessarily indicative of the WASP or Service attempting to defraud a user but is rather driven by a much broader and far more troubling scenario where multiple parties to the transaction are actually being harmed, including the consumer, the advertiser and/or the WASP and the Mobile Network Operator.

To combat this scourge of suspected fraudulent activity the following has been decided:

CURRENT SUSPENDED SERVICES:

1. All WASPs that currently have suspended services due to suspected fraudulent activity are required to implement a reCAPTCHA solution, for example and recommended <https://developers.google.com/recaptcha/docs/invisible> Google Invisible reCAPTCHA.
2. Once implemented on the suspended services, the services must be submitted to Vodacom for testing.
3. Service testing request must be sent to WASPQA at vodacom.co.za.
4. All new acquisitions on suspended services must be paused until the reCAPTCHA solution has been implemented and tested by Vodacom.
5. If Vodacom are satisfied that the services are working correctly, with the required reCAPTCHA solution implemented, the suspensions will be lifted.
6. Members are required to unsubscribe all subscription acquisitions on the suspended services, obtained from the 1st of July 2017 to date. This will be required irrespective of whether the subscription was acquired from a normal marketing flow of a suspected fraudulent marketing flow.
7. Billing for subscription acquisitions obtained prior to 1 July 2017 on suspended services, will only be reinstated after the reCAPTCHA solution has been implemented and tested by Vodacom.
8. Should consumers complain that they are a victim of fraudulent activities a full refund should be offered.

IMPLEMENTATION OF reCAPTCHA SOLUTION:

9. All WASPs are required to implement a reCAPTCHA solution, for example and recommended <https://developers.google.com/recaptcha/docs/invisible> Google Invisible reCAPTCHA, on their Landing Pages for all web advertising and in-app advertising flows.
10. This must be done across all such services by 1 August 2017.
11. The implementation of the reCAPTCHA solution is not required for SMS and USSD marketing flows that make use of SMS opt in.
12. It will be the sole responsibility of the WASP to ensure that this preventative measure is implemented across all web based and in-app service flows.
13. Non-compliance will result in suspension of the WASP services, and may result in the cancellation of the WASP agreement.
14. This requirement will apply for all web based and in-app WASP services utilising OBS (Online Billing System) and CTB (Charge to Bill) platforms.
15. Vodacom will measure the impact of the implementation from 1 - 31 August 2017 to ascertain the effectiveness of the solution.
16. Key success measurements include:
- Reduction in customer complaints
- Reduction in capacity utilization
- Reduction in service suspensions
- Increase in billing success
- Increase in revenue
17. Should the implementation prove successful Vodacom will consider implementing the solution on the MESH confirmation page.
18. Please note: Banner to Network Hosted Confirmation Page flow will no longer be allowed on Vodacom. WASPs are required to make use of a Landing Page in order to facilitate the reCAPTCHA solution.

NOTE: We have seen an increase in potential fraudulent activity across all of the mobile networks, and would strongly urge members to implement a reCAPTCHA solution across the board to minimise the impact of this activity on the industry.

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