In December, Recurly published research on holiday shopping that showed that subscription commerce continues to grow at an impressive pace. This mirrors the overall growth in holiday e-commerce, which industry research indicates grew by 16% over the previous year. Unfortunately, while Santa was bringing more gifts to more people, the Grinch was busy stealing gifts—and revenue—in the form of online fraud.
A recent article in CardNotPresent reported that fraudulent attempts from Thanksgiving to Christmas last year grew by 31%—from 1 out of every 109 transactions in 2015, to 1 out of every 97 transactions. This, according to research from payments processor ACI Worldwide. In a glimmer of good news, they did see the average ticket price of attempted fraudulent transactions decrease from $243 in 2015 to $228 in 2016.
And fraudsters keep track of dates too, with shipping cutoff days and express shipping cutoff days experiencing particularly high fraud attempts. This makes sense as merchants have less time to screen a transaction before they need to ship the item so that it can be received by Christmas. Christmas Eve itself was also a busy day for fraudsters. Finally, those “buy online, pick up in-store” purchases generated the most fraud attempts.
The flip side to actual fraud is false declines, which also cause e-commerce merchants to lose money. False declines occur when transactions that are actually legitimate end up being declined due to merchants’ efforts to combat fraud. Recent research has shown that a significant portion of fraud-related losses can be attributed to false declines.
Fraudsters simply aren’t going away. Their tactics may change and the technology available to fight back evolve, but there will always be fraud. And CNP fraud, as long as it proves effective, will only become more prevalent as commerce increasingly moves toward online channels and as more merchants adopt EMV chip card technology. Bloomberg news reports that by the end of last year, almost 1.8 million U.S. merchants had switched to accepting EMV chip cards, which is more than double the number the year before. These cards are harder to counterfeit which cuts down on in-person fraud in stores, driving fraud online. Proving the point, a study by Javelin Strategy & Research found card-not-present fraud rose by 40 percent last year.
What you can do to prevent online fraud is to be vigilant and proactive in identifying weaknesses in your systems and processes. Beyond that, the very best thing you can do to fight fraud is to have an effective, automated fraud solution that can analyze transactions, flag those deemed suspicious, and accurately determine which are legitimate so that those transactions can be processed.
Don’t let the fraudsters win. Fight back! Download our data sheet to learn more about Fraud Management with Recurly. Or if you prefer, talk to a Recurly expert at (844) 732-8759 or sign up for a demo below.