Report: Consumers Hold Merchants Responsible for Future Breaches

March 20, 2014

Report: Consumers Hold Merchants Responsible for Future Breaches Merchants have been having a tough few months and their recent security breaches are only leading to more trouble, according to the results of a new study. Consumers—inundated with news stories about the December breaches at Target, Neiman Marcus and others—have placed the blame squarely on merchants shoulders and most of those polled agree the responsibility for preventing future breaches rests with the retailers as well. A report from antifraud technology provider Feedzai found 60 percent of consumers “hold the merchant responsible for preventing future incidents of a data breach.”

Feedzai Chief Data Scientist Dr. Pedro Bizarro disagrees and understands the entire payments ecosystem needs to work together to mitigate the problem.

“Fraud prevention is now a matter of predicting complex consumer behavior based on changing sentiments,” said Bizarro. “These findings show that consumers believe it is the merchant’s responsibility, but really it is a collective problem that the industry needs to understand in order to distinguish customers from criminals and keep payment data safe.”

Merchants are the public face of these breaches, however, and other findings from the Feedzai survey highlight the importance of increasing security.

Twenty-two percent of consumers who were aware of the breaches said they changed their shopping behavior as a result. Nearly 30 percent of those polled have stopped shopping at affected retailers. And, ominously for e-commerce merchants, more than half of the survey’s respondents (52 percent) said, despite the breaches, using credit cards at a physical store locations is still more secure than doing so online.