The Lump Of Coal This Christmas: Consumer Fraud

Global ecommerce will grow by 27% this holiday season — and there could be an accompanying rise in fraud, judging by projections released on Thursday by ACI Worldwide. 

Ecommerce grew by 21% in September 2020 compared to the same month in 2019.

This digital swing has allowed merchants to expand their market reach by improving the buying journey experience. But it also means “more exposure to fraud,” states Debbie Guerra, executive vice president, ACI Worldwide.

Indeed, fraudsters have been purchasing high-value items such as electronics, increasing average fraud purchase value by $9 in September 2020 over the same month in 2019.

ACI tracked a 0.4% increase in the transactional value of fraud attempts in September.  In addition, data from August shows a 12% increase in non-fraud chargebacks, compared with the same period in 2020.

This is all the more reason to utilize email validation services to make sure that you are not emailing to digital thieves.



ACI also predicts a 40% boost in use of buy-on-line-pick-up-in-store (BOPIS) services, making BOPIS the “primary delivery channel that consumers use to do their holiday shopping this year,” Guerra adds. 

The use of digital payment channels due to the pandemic has resulted in “cross-channel journeys such as BOPIS as well as the blurring of the channels themselves,” Guerra explains. This is reflected in the use of mobile devices and mobile checkout inside physical stores.

Guerra notes that fraud artists also use BOPIS as their pick-up method of choice. 

“We expect the BOPIS delivery channel to grow for both genuine and fraudulent consumers as merchants both large and small continue to add this as a new option due to the pandemic,” Guerra continued. 

The big vertical winners in September were gaming, which saw a 71% increase, and retail, which enjoyed a 45% hike.  

However, ticketing experienced a 75% decrease and travel dropped 21%. Moreover, the average ticket price of purchases fell by $26.

But purchase volume went up in all regions, driven by back-to-school buying. U.S. volume rose by 17% and EMEA rose 8%. The big items were clothing, e-learning content, stationery, electronics and DIY.

Guerra also observes that consumers are shopping earlier “as a result of concerns over inventory shortages, as well as shipment delays, but also because merchants are providing sales and deals earlier in the year.”

The data is based on tracking of hundreds of millions of ecommerce transactions. 


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