By Frederick Felman, CMO, Recurly

Guest Perspective: Holiday Chargebacks and the Grinches Who Steal Christmas The holiday season is upon us and retail sales are already booming. In fact, after Black Friday and Thanksgiving weekend, retail sales reached $1.73 billion online —a 22 percent increase compared to the same period in 2014.

Sadly, some of these purchases, though kept, cherished and loved, won’t be paid for in 2016. Along with spikes in holiday shopping come spikes in credit card chargebacks. Some chargebacks stem from legitimate returns—the sweater that didn’t fit or the loved one who changed her mind about her wish list. But, other chargebacks are the result of fraudsters who take advantage of the high levels of online credit card purchase activity to defraud retailers.

Global losses due to fraud in 2014 reached $16.3 billion on total sales of $28.8 trillion, according to the Nilson Report. Furthermore, these figures only reflect losses from the unauthorized transactions—They don’t include the fees, interest and other penalties associated with chargebacks.

To add more coal to retailers’ stockings this year, experts also predict an increase in card-not-present (CNP) fraud as the  introduction of new EMV cards  makes card-present fraud more difficult. While EMV cards, because of their embedded microchip and associated security features, are more resistant to fraud at the point of sale, nefarious types shift their efforts to CNP fraud.

What can retailers do?

There are several strategies retailers can implement to keep credit card chargeback fraud from ruining the holiday season.