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Fraud Picking Up Pace On Global eCommerce Sales

Every retailer and their mother has been waiting with bated breath for more data on holiday sales performances, and while that kind of information is all well and good, a new study points to another metric that brands might want to start tracking more: fraud attempts.

According to a new study conducted by ACI Worldwide, the increase in eCommerce activity between Black Friday and Dec. 31 contributed to a correlative rise in fraud attempts, peaking on Christmas Eve. Compared to 2014, the 2015 holiday shopping season saw 8 percent more fraud attempts, while eCommerce sales increased by 21 percent. While a rise in purchases for gift cards and those processed through click-and-collect methods — two retail elements highly susceptible to fraud — contributed to higher attempted crimes than past years, Mike Braatz, senior vice president of merchant and risk solutions at ACI Worldwide, explained how the data proves fraud protection is no longer an optional project for the world’s biggest brands.

“Global commerce has seen a huge increase in the past year, and it is critical for merchants to have integrated fraud prevention monitoring with cross-border payment acceptance, along with single tokenization and a single view of the customer,” Braatz said in a statement. “Merchants must implement a sophisticated, multi-layered, multi-dimensional approach to fraud prevention for all transaction channels.”

In a sign of just how flexible attempted fraudsters have become in the new reality of retail, ACI found that relatively new purchase methods, like click-and-collect and express delivery options, have become primary targets of the new kind of retail thief. Buy online/pick up in-store programs saw a 47 percent increase in year-over-year fraud, while overnight and next-day delivery orders were subject to a 50 percent spike in attempted bamboozling.

None of this should be particularly surprising to retailers well-versed in all the ways thieves try to skim off their hard work. For brands this comes as news to, though, it’s high time they kicked their fraud protection practices into gear.

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