Retail Fraud Online Actually Went Down For Black Friday

Here’s a nice change of pace going into the weekend: It looks like online fraud did something unsual for Black Friday this year.

It went down.

For the first time in several years, credit card fraud (the most common fraud form factor for retailers online) fell to 42 percent of total fraud during the holiday shopping weekend. Last year, the same weekend saw credit card fraud at 59 percent of all fraud, according to data from authentication and fraud prevention provider iovation.

The falling figures may indicate that retailers are getting better at sniffing out card-not-present (CNP) fraud, which has been ticking steadily upward in recent years; particularly since the brick-and-mortar retail world made the big migration to EMV.

Consumers are shopping online more frequently and shifting their commerce behavior out over days instead of over a single weekend, so retailers have been able to better tailor their promotions and security strategies going into the very active holiday shopping season.

Data indicates that Black Friday through Cyber Monday saw 62 percent of all transactions coming from phones or other mobile devices — a bounce from last year’s 55 percent.

“Online retailers who leverage device intelligence are making significant inroads when it comes to proactively preventing card-not-present fraud,” said Greg Pierson, CEO and co-founder for iovation. “This type of fraud not only cuts into their bottom line results; it can cause irreparable harm to their brand, so this is a meaningful improvement.”

A separate survey of consumers found that shoppers may be getting a better grip on how to best protect their online security by using credit rather than debit cards for online purchases, keeping a regular eye on their credit score and shopping with well-known retailers with established track records.

The one notable area of exception was passwords: Users both repeat them too often and don’t make them hard enough to crack.

But perhaps passwords will soon be a secondary security measure, as multi-factor and bio-authenticaion is becoming increasingly popular. Using context to determine how trustworthy the user is ensures the appropriate level of authentication is required, and biometrics also tend to be more frictionless for consumers.

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