Study: Online transaction and fraud activities rise in November

Dan Berthiaume
Senior Editor, Technology
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November 2020 delivered strong growth in e-commerce transaction volume, as well as a small uptick in cyberfraud attempts.

New benchmark data from global payment provider ACI Worldwide reveals a 21% increase in e-commerce transactions globally in November 2020 compared to November 2019. Drivers of this growth included strong consumer demand for household items and services, especially those providing shipment, remote education and training; as well as insurance for consumer electronics. 

According to ACI data, the retail sector saw a significant increase (30%) over the five-day period from Thanksgiving through Cyber Monday in 2020 compared to 2019.

The Saturday (Nov. 28) after Black Friday (Nov. 27) experienced the biggest increase compared to 2019 at 47%. However, the average ticket price on these peak days declined by 3% compared to 2019, to $132 from $136, as consumers took advantage of free shipment and sales offers.

Online fraud attempt rates increased slightly from 2019, to 1.7% by volume and 3.4% by value. ACI says this growth is similar to prior holiday seasons, resulting from the increase in genuine consumer spending outpacing that of fraud. 

However, fraudulent attempt online purchase value decreased by $11 in 2020 compared to 2019. ACI analysis indicates this drop was the impact of airline, sporting event and concert ticket purchase declines, which have a high average ticket price; genuine purchase value decreased by $18​.

Other notable findings include:

  • In 2020 to-date (January to November), global e-commerce transactions increased by 20% compared to the same period in 2019.
  • The U.S. saw a 20% increase in online transactions from January through November 2020 compared to the same period in 2019.

“This year’s holiday season is looking very different from previous years with many merchants starting sales much earlier, as well as continuing promotions beyond the traditional peak days of Black Friday and Cyber Monday. The result is a substantial increase in e-commerce transaction volumes prior to Black Friday,” said Debbie Guerra, executive VP, ACI Worldwide. “In addition, many merchants expanded their buy-online-pick-up-in-store and free next-day delivery options, which attracted many consumers.”

ACI Worldwide analyzed hundreds of millions of e-commerce transactions from global retailers.