Wakefield Release


Chicago, IL – January 23, 2012

Accertify, a leading fraud prevention and risk management provider, recently commissioned a study of “connected” U.S. adults – or those with access to both a smartphone and a web-enabled computer – to learn more about how consumers perceive and are affected by online fraud. With consumers continuing to focus on the security of online transactions, the bottom line is that an ineffective fraud prevention program is not only bad business, it’s bad for business.

The survey, commissioned by Accertify, an American Express company, found that consumers will change their shopping behavior if they have a negative experience with a fraud protection system. In addition, the survey found that consumers feel more vulnerable to fraud online than when conducting transactions in-person. Eighty-eight percent of respondents regularly make a purchase or conduct a financial transaction online, and, nearly two in three (63%) consumers believe that more fraud occurs when conducting transactions online than in-person.

Getting the Mix Right is Difficult But Imperative to Keeping Customers

When merchants look for an effective fraud prevention solution, they quickly realize that one size does not fit all. Many consumers report encounters with fraud solutions that are either too lax or overly restrictive. More than a quarter of genuine consumers (28%) have encountered a fraud protection system that unnecessarily delayed or denied their transaction, the survey found.

These sorts of problems can actually cause the consumer to change their shopping behavior. Among consumers who have experienced transaction delay or denial, one in three respondents (35%) said they would penalize the business responsible for an improperly delayed or denied transaction by moving or considering moving their business to a competitor, and 11% of consumers immediately flee for competitors. In addition, the degree of frustration that consumers voice over transaction delay and denial is severe. More than one in four (27%) consumers who experienced delay or denial find that having a legitimate transaction denied is even more frustrating than a visit to the Department of Motor Vehicles. 

“It is clear that narrow fraud programs can actually push legitimate customers away,” said Jeff Liesendahl, senior vice president of Accertify at American Express. “Merchants with inflexible fraud prevention technology or who manually review every suspect transaction end up delaying and denying legitimate transactions. Therefore, it is critical for merchants to have a fraud prevention solution that automates and prioritizes transaction screening and is fully customized to each merchant. By pairing unique flagging criteria with an upfront screening process, merchants can effectively identify and protect against emerging fraud schemes while ensuring legitimate customers are not inconvenienced.”

Through the Eyes of the Consumer

As more commerce continues to move online, understanding consumers’ security concerns and preferences relating to transacting online will be crucial in maintaining a competitive edge. According to the survey, consumers today are conducting the most online transactions in the retail industry (57%), followed by banking and finance (51%), travel (27%), music and movie downloads (24%), and entertainment industries (18%).

“Consumers are increasingly thinking about security in choosing where to take their business. Effective fraud prevention programs are quickly becoming an integral part of online merchants’ business models to appeal to the tech savvy, tablet-toting consumer,” added Liesendahl.

The Accertify survey also found that consumers are leery of transacting online using newer popular devices, such as tablets and smartphones. In fact, by large margins, online shoppers find computers more trustworthy than tablets or smartphones when making online purchases: 81% of respondents perceive their computer to be the most secure device for online shopping whereas only 7% trust their smartphone and 3% trust their tablets.

Additional survey findings include:

  • ·         Younger consumers are more likely to penalize retailers for an improperly delayed or denied transaction: Consumers ages 18 to 24 are the most likely to immediately move their business (25%), begin actively looking to move their business (12.5%) and consider moving their business (25%).
  • ·         Older consumers are more trusting of online transactions: 54.5% of consumers over the age of 55 believe that more fraud occurs when shopping online than in person versus 76.2% of consumers ages 18 to 24.

If you are interested in additional findings from the survey, such as online purchasing habits during the 2011 holiday season or statistical breakouts by consumer demographic, please email Accertify@kwitco.com.


About Accertify 

Accertify Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of American Express, based in Itasca, IL, is a leader in providing e-commerce companies with hosted software solutions, tools and strategies for preventing online fraud and mitigating enterprise-wide risks. Its Interceptas® platform integrates every component of fraud prevention, applies state-of-the-art automation to each step in process and offers advanced capabilities for managing fraud data. Built with a merchant's perspective, Interceptas delivers flexibility in preventing various types of criminal behavior, including fraud related to card-not-present purchases, online scams and policy abuse, merchandise returns and exchanges and other data management challenges. Accertify is committed to providing online companies with the most cost-effective solution to fraud available. For more information, visitwww.accertify.com.


Methodological Notes:

The Accertify U.S. Survey was conducted by Wakefield Research (www.wakefieldresearch.com) among 1,000 “connected” U.S. adults ages 18+, i.e. those with access to a smartphone and internet access on a computer, between November 30th and December 12th, 2011, using a random dialing telephone survey. Results of any sample are subject to sampling variation. The magnitude of the variation is measurable and is affected by the number of interviews and the level of the percentages expressing the results. The margin of error for this survey is 3.1%.


Diana Postemsky, American Express