New research from ACI Worldwide shows the COVID-19 pandemic has caused the value of fraud attacks to spike by 4.7%, the company said in a press release. June 2020 numbers showed a slight decrease, down to 3.7%.

Despite the increased value of attacks, the absolute volume of attacks during the January-June period fell by 3.2%. This is encouraging news, since the research also shows the volume decreased despite a 15% increase in global purchase volume from January to June 2020, with every region recording significant gains: EMEA (+39%), U.S. (+35%), and APAC (+25%).

However, it would be a mistake to say merchants aren’t struggling with COVID-19 eCommerce fraud problems. Disruption to services is causing a major backlash to consumers who feel slighted by company return/refund policies. Friendly fraud chargebacks initiated by authorized card holders spiked, as disgruntled customers turn to chargebacks as a refund mechanism:

“Non-fraud chargebacks continued to see a steep increase (27%) in April*—particularly in the airline industry as consumers looked to secure refunds for unused airline tickets,” said ACI Worldwide executive vice president Debbie Guerra. “ACI Worldwide Sectors continuing to experience a dramatic decline in purchase volume include travel (down 29%) and ticketing (down 94%), whereas the volume of purchases remains strong for gaming (up 70%) and retail (up 68%).”

The report also showed the following trends:

  • Average ticket prices fell approximately 25%
  • Pruchase volume increased 31% in June 2020
  • The gaming, digital, and retail apparel sectors were the largest drivers of growth


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