With the cost of online orders lost to fraud as £2.92 billion, retailers' fraud prevention systems could be costing them even more in lost business by failing to recognise genuine customers, a new report by ThreatMetrix warns.
The 'Are You Treating Your Customers Like Criminals' report highlights the fine balance businesses must strike between keeping their systems sufficiently secure to protect customer data, while ensuring it is sophisticated enough to identify valued, repeat consumers.
Presently, online retailers may be unwittingly turning away business due to burdensome second level authentication protocols. Frustrated by password prompts and other verification details – designed to protect against fraudulent activity – many shoppers are abandoning baskets or turning to competitors to fulfil their purchases. In fact, ThreatMetrix's analysis of over 850million monthly transactions, revealed basket abandonment from security authentication processes can be ten times more costly to the retailer than fraud losses.
And, in a double blow to ecommerce merchants, identifying genuine returning customers has become harder thanks to the rise of mcommerce. As over 30% of transactions take place on mobile, with consumers browsing and buying across multiple devices, recognising customers while tracing and securing the device on which they are shopping has become even more difficult. 40% of new account creation now takes place on smartphones and tablets, meaning mobile fraud could grow to represent as much as 50% of all UK cybercrime in 2015; according to ThreatMetrix data, already this year 4.3% of new accounts created online were identified as fraudulent.
By leveraging shared intelligence about consumer devices, identities and behavioural patterns in real time, retailers can better identify real customers without the requirement for manual checking, while simplifying the validation process to improve shoppers' experiences.
Tony Larks, Director of Research & Communications, at ThreatMetrix, commented: "We know that 98% of fraud protection is down to better customer authentication. Just as customers expect one-to-one service in a physical store, they demand the same personalisation at each stage of the online shopping experience. By leveraging shared intelligence about consumer devices, identities and behavioural patterns in real time, retailers can ensure they are treating genuine shoppers like trusted customers, as opposed to criminals, to deliver a seamless customer journey while reducing basket abandonment."
He continued, "Screening systems are a key line of defence for online businesses in the battle against reducing fraud and protecting customer data. While manual screening allows a higher level of human intuition, it can prove a costly overhead for firms, especially when a considerable volume of such orders are proven legitimate once verified. Fraud management systems which incorporate recognition capabilities are one way to reduce manual verifications while accommodating the level of personalisation today's consumers expect, greatly reducing authentication-triggered basket abandonment. "