The 2015 holiday shopping season saw fraud attempts rise, with rates soaring on key dates, according to new benchmark data from ACI Worldwide. The data, based on hundreds of millions of transactions from global retailers during the 2014 and 2015 holiday shopping season (starting on Black Friday and ending on December 31), details what led to a huge increase in omni-channel shopping transaction volume growth and a corresponding sizable increase in fraud attempts.

Principle findings include:


  • From Thanksgiving to December 31, 2015 vs. the same dates in 2014, the number of eCommerce transactions grew by 21 percent, while fraud attempts grew by 8 percent
  • Fraud attempt rates were highest on Christmas Eve (2.4 percent), Thanksgiving (2 percent), Black Friday (1.8 percent) and holiday shipment cut-off days (1.6 percent). This is a result of two key trends: Electronic gift cards, which have the highest fraud attempt rates across all products, were a popular last-minute gift purchase and buy online/pick-up in-store, which has a higher fraud attempt rate than other modes of delivery, also increased. 
  • Increase in attempted fraud rates for buy online/pick up in-store (47-percent increase--even more than ACI predicted) as well as next day and overnight delivery (50-percent increase)
  • International sales for global merchants increased by 29 percent by volume and 22 percent by value—a trend driven by favorable currency rates, shipment costs, and regional-specific products

“Global commerce has seen a huge increase in the past year, and it is critical for merchants to have integrated fraud prevention monitoring with cross-border payment acceptance, along with single tokenization and a single view of the customer,” said Mike Braatz, senior vice president, Merchant and Risk Solutions, ACI Worldwide.

  • Key shopping dates by volume— year-over-year transaction volume growth: Thanksgiving to Cyber Monday: 28%, Cyber Monday: 25% and Black Friday: 12%
  • During 2015, the number of fraud attempts based on total population increased compared to the same time in 2014. In 2015, 1 out of every 67 transactions was a fraudulent attempt, while in 2014, 1 out of every 72 transactions was a fraudulent attempt.

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