eCommerce credit card fraud is nearly an inevitability

Riskified surveyed 5,000 US-based consumers aged 18 and older about their online shopping behaviors, experience with and prevalence of credit card fraud, repeat shopping likelihood and customer satisfaction to develop a full picture of how consumers react to a number of common shopping experiences.

eCommerce credit card fraud

The results are worrisome for both consumers and merchants, as roughly half of respondents reported experience with credit card fraud and 30% had their purchase wrongly declined, with a corresponding negative impact on their satisfaction and return shopping.

For US consumers, eCommerce credit card fraud is nearly an inevitability. Overall, 49% of consumers surveyed reported having been a victim of credit card fraud, where their card information was illegally used by someone else. But that percentage grew with age, suggesting that becoming a victim is only a matter of time. Among all respondent groups aged 31 or older, a majority of consumers were the victims of credit card fraud.

Unfortunately for merchants, the obvious costs of fraud aren’t the only costs. 49% of customers reported that they do not return to an online retailer after a fraud incident has taken place, meaning that the merchant will pay the cost of the fraud and lose future customers.

But that’s only part of the cost of fraud. Merchants often decline orders out of caution, and previous research conducted by Riskified found that fear of fraud costs even more than the fraud itself, as merchants unnecessarily reject good customers. This survey bears that out, as 30% of respondents reported having an order declined, and 57% of those declines happen to returning customers, squandering the good will merchants had built. The survey further found that roughly 42% of shoppers who experienced a decline moved on, either abandoning the purchase completely (28%) or shopping with a competitor instead (14%).

Even shoppers who aren’t declined may move away from a purchase. 84% of respondents reported abandoning an order before completing the purchase, with many of these shoppers blaming the checkout process. 37.3% abandoned a purchase because of a complicated checkout, while 34.9% blamed a bad mobile experience.

“It’s really difficult for any single retailer to effectively manage their fraud, and this survey shows just how damaging it is when they fail to do so,” said Eyal Raab, vice president of business development. “Merchants need to be able to meet their customers where and how they want to shop, but offering options like omnichannel fulfillment or digital gift cards opens them up to threats. Making accurate decisions and approving good orders not only increases revenue now, it also makes happier, more loyal customers in the future.”

Impact of household income on fraud and reimbursement:

  • 48% of households with an annual income of $1M or more have reported legitimate purchases as fraudulent. This was by far the highest level of false claims of fraud, with no other income bracket even reaching 40%.
  • Meanwhile, lower income households were least likely to be reimbursed for charges fraudulently made with their cards. Only 35% of lower income households were refunded the full amount of the fraudulent activity.

Customers blame merchants for fraud:

  • Among victims of credit card fraud, more than 1 in 4 (29%) blamed the merchant that approved the fraudulent purchase.

Friction leads to cart abandonment:

  • Cart abandonment continues to be a big problem for merchants, and 84% of survey respondents reported abandoning a purchase in progress.
  • While some of that is unavoidable for merchants – unexpected shipping costs and a change of heart led to significant cart abandonment – a difficult checkout process is often the culprit. More than 71% of cart abandoners blamed the checkout process – for being overly complicated, not mobile optimized or seeming untrustworthy – as the reason they abandoned their purchase.

Shoppers watch their wallets:

  • 38% of respondents admitted they have or may have created multiple email addresses to gain additional online shopping discounts. While not illegal, this type of discount abuse can seriously impact merchants’ bottom lines.
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eCommerce credit card fraud is nearly an inevitability