California-headquartered IT and transportation platform inDrive is utilising global risk intelligence company SHIELD’s Device Intelligence to strengthen defenses against fraud and achieve the highest levels of trust, transparency and fairness for drivers and passengers worldwide.
inDrive claims it is the second most downloaded mobility app in the world, which provides for the mobility needs of users in over 700 cities and across 47 countries. At present, inDrive app has been downloaded more than 150 million times. In India, and is already active in over 10 cities including Chandigarh, Ludhiana, Lucknow, Bhopal, Jaipur, Delhi-NCR, Kolkata, Mumbai, and Chennai, with plans to expand into other markets.
Roman Ermoshin, Director of Ride-Hailing (APAC) at inDrive says, “InDrive is a People Driven company that believes that there is no technology in the world that can replace human empathy. inDrive exists to prove — ride-hailing apps can and should be more human. Because a fair price is something you can agree on, not hope for. At inDrive there are no fixed tariffs – the fares for rides are set by the passengers themselves. A driver can always find a ride request that suits them in terms of price and route. If they are not satisfied with a potential passenger’s suggested price, then they are able to suggest a more suitable one.”
The key difference between inDrive and its competition Ermoshin says is that in other ride-hailing apps, where algorithms determine pricing, it offers a unique service by allowing passengers and drivers to independently negotiate the fare of the ride. If the passenger receives multiple offers, they can take their pick based on the driver’s estimated time of arrival, rating and price. “The driver can also choose a particular order based on the price and distance, the passenger’s rating, the pick-up location and the number of inDrive trips the customer has already taken,” he adds.
Partnering with SHIELD
Like many industries, the ride-hailing segment also sees a different type of fraud and manipulation. As part of its focus to ensure transparent and honest price mechanism, inDrive is deploying Shield’s Device Intelligence, which will remove dishonest and fraudulent users out of the inDrive platform, preventing them from causing issues such as unwarranted price hikes.
Ermoshin believes that using the Shield platform will help
● Stop fraud syndicates and fraud attacks in real-time.
● Identify instances of many driver or passenger accounts being operated from the same device in real-time.
● Pinpoint large numbers of accounts tapping on the same IP address or subnet.
● Detect the installation and activation of all malicious tools and techniques on the platform
● Detect the exact moment users engage in fraudulent activity, enabling instant countermeasures.
● Ensure that inDrive remains compliant with data protection and privacy laws around the world without compromising on security.
● Stay ahead of diverse and evolving fraud risks across all markets.
Gautam Sehgal, Director, Shield adds, “Given how well-integrated ride-hailing has become in the everyday lives of people around the world, the sector is indisputably one of the greatest modern tech success stories. Yet this success is also built upon problematic foundations: passengers and drivers usually do not have the power to influence ride prices, which are instead determined by algorithms. They are at the mercy of issues such as price surges and price manipulation.”
“inDrive is a people-driven business that aims to challenge injustice. They do this by facilitating transparent negotiations between drivers and passengers to determine fair prices. However, the success of the ride-hailing segment overall has also attracted the interest of fraud syndicates, which are causing issues for industry players across the world. When fraud happens, drivers and users suffer from unfair pricing, poor and unsafe ride experiences, and lose well-earned job opportunities.”
Sehgal says that through the use of fake accounts and GPS spoofers, fraudsters could potentially fake high demand for rides and cause price surges. They could also use auto-clickers to monopolise ride requests. Fake accounts can also be used to give fake positive driver reviews, leading to missed passenger expectations in terms of ride experiences. Lastly, they could use fake passenger accounts to fake the completion of rides, snapping up incentives and resources meant to reward genuine drivers. This creates injustice for both drivers and passengers through unfair prices and unsafe experiences.
“In fact, Shield’s data suggests that on average, 20% of user accounts across tech platforms in India are fake,” he adds.
As part of the partnership, inDrive will leverage the Shield ID for device identification that can help link fake devices created from the same physical device, which could number in the thousands. It will allow inDrive to identify instances of multiple driver or passenger accounts being operated from the same device. At the same time, the technology can pinpoint large numbers of accounts tapping on the same IP address or subnet. Shield’s Risk Indicators will detect the installation and activation of all malicious tools and techniques on the platform, such as GPS spoofers, tampered apps, and app cloners.
The Shield’s Risk Intelligence does this all without the need for Personal Identifiable Information (PII), ensuring that inDrive remains compliant with data protection and privacy laws around the world without compromising on security.
Responding how will the new partnership benefit customers and driver partners, Ermoshin says, “This new partnership will be very beneficial for us, because passengers are monopolised by fraudulent drivers, with genuine drivers having little access to ride opportunities. This partnership helps to eliminate unfairness on the platform, build trust, and challenge injustice worldwide.”
Sehgal adds, “Our partnership is based on a very close alignment of company missions. SHIELD’s company mission is to enable trust for the world. By helping inDrive stop fraud and address the issue of fake accounts, we are also helping inDrive to eliminate unfairness and challenge the injustices faced by users on a daily basis. Drivers and passengers rely on ride-hailing apps like inDrive for their day-to-day mobility and economic needs. Our partnership ensures that the power to make transparent and fair transactions lies in the hands of real, genuine users and drivers. The value that would have otherwise been extracted by fraud can therefore be returned to the consumer.”
He further adds that the partnership is not limited to eliminating unfairness within the ride-hailing industry, but also other areas such as financial inclusion. He estimates that over 63 percent of adults in developing countries don’t have a bank account. Without enough financial data, businesses venturing into credit or loans are unable to accurately asses a user’s credit trustworthiness, greatly limiting the access underserved populations have to financial services. SHIELD’s alternative credit intelligence is able to help businesses evaluate creditworthiness without the need for PII data.
“Another challenging area to navigate is payment fraud. Through our 14 years in the payments industry, we’ve seen businesses shut down from the severe impact of fraudulent transactions. Our payments screening solution has empowered the world’s largest e-commerce giants such as Alibaba to stamp out transaction fraud and achieve exponential growth – we hope to help companies like inDrive achieve the same. Beyond fraud, unfairness and injustice can also manifest itself in extremely malicious ways. We look forward to collaborating on ways in which we can further improve and enhance the physical safety of drivers and riders on the platform,” he concludes.