Study: Holiday e-commerce transactions soar as fraud attempts inch up

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Study: Holiday e-commerce transactions soar as fraud attempts inch up

By Dan Berthiaume - 01/15/2021

Online consumers were nice to retailers during the 2020 holiday season, but showed some naughty behavior as well.

According to new benchmark data from digital payment technology provider ACI Worldwide, e-commerce transactions increased globally 24% in December 2020 compared to December 2019. This included a 31% year-over-year increase in retail sector e-commerce transactions.

However, online fraud attempt rates by value increased slightly year-over-year by 0.2% to 3.4%. This is a similar growth rate to prior holiday seasons, which ACI attributes to increased genuine consumer spending outpacing fraud.

Drilling into retail e-commerce growth, ACI found retailers that had been offering the buy-online-pickup-in-store (BOPIS) delivery channel before the start of the COVID-19 pandemic experienced an increase of 70% by volume and 58% by value in 2020. However, BOPIS fraud has also seen a significant increase, with a 7% fraud attempt rate compared to 4.6% with other delivery channels.

ACI data also shows that non-fraud chargebacks increased 26% in December 2020 compared to December 2019, driven by shipment delays over the holiday period and the prevalence of “porch pirates” stealing delivered packages off consumers’ doorsteps. 
Examining e-commerce trends during the fourth quarter and full-year 2020, ACI found that:
•    In Q4 2020, global e-commerce transactions increased 22% compared to Q4 2019.
•    E-commerce transactions in the retail sector increased 48% between January and December 2020 compared to the same period in 2019.