Almost as many merchants—65%—seek to increase transaction volumes by reducing identity verification thresholds as do those—74%—that try to reduce fraudulent transactions through more effective verification methods. That quandary surfaced in the “Lost in Transaction Vol. II” report released Thursday by Paysafe Group plc.
With a focus on fraud, including consumer behavior and merchant efforts to control it, the report from the Isle of Man, U.K.-based processor, which recently purchased Merchants’ Choice Payment Solutions, canvassed 300 businesses and more than 3,000 consumers in the United States, United Kingdom, and Canada.
Merchants want to make it was easy as possible for consumers to buy from them, yet they must control fraud losses if there is to be sustainable profit from card-based transactions.
“Part of the difficulty of making sensible decisions about fraud reduction is that its resolution often conflicts with business targets,” Paysafe notes in the report. “There already is significant pressure on businesses to put the consumer first when addressing this paradox.”
Merchants not using fraud-protection measures, such as address verification or 3-D Secure, may have their transactions viewed as high risk, potentially jeopardizing sales.
Merchants, however, confront challenges in attempting to curtail fraud. Sixty-one percent of respondents said the cost of implementation was the top factor. Lack of awareness about fraud, 54%, and the view that measures quickly become ineffective, 40%, rounded out the top three.
The survey also asked about the fraud types having the greatest impact. In the United States, 49% of merchants cited chargebacks and friendly fraud as the most problematic, followed by account takeover, 27%, and clean fraud, 24%. Clean fraud is when a criminal is able to carry out a purchase by using a complete profile of stolen data that makes the transaction appear legitimate, rendering the merchant unable to identify that fraud has been committed, Paysafe says.
Consumers may be willing to accept more anti-fraud measures, with 58% open to whatever security steps are necessary to eliminate fraud. That runs counter to prior efforts from card brands offering Verified by Visa or Mastercard SecureCode, which U.S. consumers generally avoided using.
Approximately 80% of businesses expect to increase their spending on fraud control in the next 12 to 24 months, on average by at least 11%.
“For years consumers have had to overcome the apprehension that businesses know too much about them–from shoe sizes to food preferences,” Todd Linden, chief executive of Paysafe Payment Processing in North America, in a press release. “But as the payment world evolves, it is this knowledge that will make individuals more secure. The evolution of big data will make payments smarter and easier and help to redress the balance between security and convenience. Big data will be the ultimate key to tightening up security at [the point of sale], online and in brick and mortar environments.”