The rise of mobile transactions and online lending fraud

During Q2, ThreatMetrix examined cybercrime attacks detected during real-time analysis and interdiction of fraudulent online payments, logins and new account registrations. They analyzed more than 3 billion transactions, and stopped more than 75 million attacks in real time.


With the growth of the online and mobile commerce, retailers are trying to build long-term relationships with their customers by storing customer account information and creating mobile applications to make access easier. The heightened number of retailer app downloads across connected devices – including smartphones and tablets – implies consumers move between devices for e-commerce transactions.

As retailers across the globe prepare for the holiday season, they need to also prepare for an increase in potential attacks. With The Network, e-commerce of transactions can be analyzed in real time to identify trusted customers, avoid customer friction and ultimately, stop fraudulent transactions.

E-commerce transactions broken down consist of the following percentages and risks:

  • 80 percent of transactions were account logins, with 3 percent high risk
  • 19 percent of transactions were payments, with 3 percent high risk
  • 1 percent of transactions were account creation, with nearly 7 percent high risk.

As financial institutions have evolved their services to cater to digital consumers, fraudsters worldwide are looking for ways to exploit any vulnerability. This is evidenced by the substantial increase in fraud rates across all transaction types, mostly driven by the breaches and the availability of consumer credentials in the wild.

In the online lending space, attacks spiked during this period and focused primarily on new accounts originations and payment disbursements. Online lending is seen as an easier way for the unbanked and underbanked to gain access to loans in a matter of days—and it is taking off, making it a top target for cybercriminals. For example, Lending Club, the first peer-to-peer lender, has issued $7.6 billion in loans since they started nine years ago—with $1.4 billion of that in the last three months alone.

Financial services transactions broken down consist of the following percentages and risks:

  • 83 percent of transactions were account logins, with 2 percent high risk
  • 16 percent of transactions were payments, with 3 percent high risk
  • 1 percent of transactions were account creation, with 2 percent high risk.

With the upcoming Europay-MasterCard-Visa (EMV) deadline in October, e-commerce merchants and financial institutions must prepare for an increase in the attacks targeting the digital channels. The adoption of EMV secures point-of-sale, causing a migration of fraud to the less secure online and mobile channels.

ThreatMetrix analyzed transactions across social networks, content streaming channels, and online and mobile dating sites. Modest sign-up and authentication requirements along with user password sharing across sites lead to the media industry being a top target for cybercrime.

Media transactions broken down consist of the following percentages and risks:

  • 27 percent of transactions were account logins, with nearly 6 percent high risk
  • 50 percent of transactions were payments, with 3 percent high risk
  • 23 percent of transactions were account creation, with nearly 4 percent high risk.
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The rise of mobile transactions and online lending fraud