Consumers and online retailers in the UK and Europe need to be on high alert as fraudsters are expected to be out in force as the busiest shopping season of the year gets underway. According to research by global payments company ACI Worldwide, eCommerce retailers in Europe can expect an 11 percent rise in fraudulent activity during the upcoming Christmas shopping season, compared to the same period last year. The predictions are based on an analysis of hundreds of millions of transactions from European online retailers.*

Key findings include:

  • Fraud attempt rates directed at European eCommerce retailers are expected to increase 11 percent by volume during this year’s Christmas shopping season – with sales to increase by nearly the same rate (12 percent) in 2016
  • The peak day for fraud attempts is likely to be Christmas Eve, with an expected near fraud rate of 2.5 percent
  • Cyber Monday is expected to be the day with the highest processing volumes of the year, followed closely by Black Friday
  • The average ticket price of an attempted fraud transaction is likely to decrease by 4 percent (£181 in 2016 vs. £188 in 2015)
  • The most popular products fraudsters will attempt to buy are likely to be cosmetics, designers sports shoes and clothes

Julia Roberts, Payments Risk Manager EMEA, ACI Worldwide:

“Our research shows that online fraud is increasing at a nearly equal rate to the general growth rate in eCommerce activity due to a continuing shift from in-store to online activity in the UK and Europe. And because fraudulent activity is now considered to be an everyday occurrence, consumers and merchants must take every precaution as we head into peak holiday shopping season.”

“The upcoming Christmas season provides major revenue opportunities for eCommerce retailers. However, with opportunity comes risk as fraudsters consider peak trading periods as an opportunity to more easily go undetected. 

A well planned and thought out fraud management strategy can increase revenue by as much as 20 percent, and we encourage retailers to make adjustments to their fraud monitoring and prevention strategy in order to provide customers with a seamless shopping experience during this busy season.”

* Methodology and Demographics:

ReD Shield Retailers (66), representing hundreds of millions of transactions from retailers in Europe, which have been utilizing ACI’s service for two years.