News, Education and Events Decoding Digital Payments & Fraud

News, Education and Events Decoding Digital Payments & Fraud

E-Gift Cards, International Orders Complicate the Holiday Rush for E-Commerce Fraud Departments

E-Gift Cards, International Orders Complicate the Holiday Rush for E-Commerce Fraud Departments

One thing e-commerce merchants have come to expect during the holiday shopping season: there will be more orders this year than last. In 2017, various estimates have pegged revenue growth compared to last year at anywhere from 10 to 17 percent. Record sales numbers are expected on Cyber Monday and, for the first time, online spending could eclipse in-store spending during the holiday shopping season. While retailers welcome the crush of orders at this time of year, fraud departments often struggle under its weight. Yesterday, antifraud technology provider Riskified released an analysis of aggregated merchant data from last year, so they can be better prepared for what they might encounter starting next week.

The Tel Aviv, Israel-based company looked at transactions that crossed its network last year at this time and identified eight holiday sales and fraud trends, some that might be surprising. Riskified found, among other things, that because of the elevated sales volume during the entire season (4x to 5x on Black Friday and Cyber Monday, more than 2x on many other days and above the yearly average on the rest of the days), every day of the holidays is safer, from a fraud rate perspective, than average.

“It may not surprise merchants to hear that the holiday sales volume dilutes the number of fraud attacks, boosting approval rates,” the company wrote in a blog post. “But even on interim days during this season you should be able to approve orders at (at least) a 2-percent higher rate than usual.”

The post also noted that the Wednesday before Black Friday yielded the largest average ticket value for its merchants last year and that international orders make up a relatively high percentage of orders on the days leading up to Black Friday. Consequently, international orders placed in mid-November tend to be legitimate. However, the closer you get to Christmas Day, the more likely cross-border transactions are to be fraudulent according to the company. And on Christmas Eve, the riskiest day of the holiday season, purchases of e-gift cards (one of the riskiest products) surge.

For these and other tips from Riskified that could protect you over the next few weeks, check out the entire blog post here.

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