According to the latest AAA survey, “cheap gas prices are expected to boost Labor Day weekend travel as revelers pursue a last blast of summer fun before autumn weather begins. About 55 percent of Americans say they’re more likely to take a road trip this year due to lower gas prices.”
While we’re not sure if we’ll ever see anything resembling “autumn weather” again here in Southern California, it’s true that while gas prices have gone up in the last month, they are “still 27 cents less than last year at this time, according to AAA.”
So there will be an uptick in travel, crowded campgrounds, and more. Unfortunately, another “uptick” reported this week is in the level of fraud attacks in payment transactions. “In just the last four quarters, fraud attacks have jumped by 137 percent, affecting over $7 out of every $100 made in retail sales,” according to a new report from the Global Fraud Attack Index, itself a collaboration between the PYMNTS website and Forter fraud protection.
The main target? “Digital goods. With a 186 percent spike, fraudsters seem to be fixated on attacking digital goods transactions, followed by their second favorite category: food and beverage, which showed a 116 percent increase.” And that’s just in the U.S.!
The PYMNTS summary also notes that “merchants are now being forced to bend over backwards to combat alarming levels of fraud originating outside the U.S. The total number of fraud attacks from the rest of the world (ROW) have dramatically grown by 200 percent.”
According to the summary, “the key to preventing fraud is understanding where fraud is originating, what tools the fraudsters are using and which industries and areas they are targeting.”
Meaning any countermeasures to those tools — security updates, separating your POS devices from other internet-connected devices, upgrading your payment options — should be done before summer inches too much closer to fall.
Unfortunately, though, most of your customers are expecting to be victimized by fraud sometime in the next five years, according to a concurrent study released this week from Auriemma Consulting Group.
“Consumers are skeptical about the efficacy of security solutions in the market. While most consider chip cards to be more secure than the traditional mag stripe, only 32% think that the introduction of chip cards has decreased the level of card fraud, while the majority (58%), say that EMV has had no impact.”
But in part, as we’ve often reported here, that’s because merchants haven’t fully upgraded to EMV payment standards yet, either.
Yet their customers may be waiting: “The idea that extra security takes extra time makes sense to these consumers: their new, more secure chip card transactions take longer, and they want two-step sign-ins on their most sensitive accounts. ‘This mind-set may make it harder for mobile payments to gain mass acceptance,’ says Marianne Berry, Managing Director of Payment Insights at ACG. When asked to choose the most secure payment method, 42% of survey respondents chose chip cards, three times the number that chose mobile.”
And be sure they choose you, when thinking of merchants who will keep their payment info safe and secure. Contact your AVPS Rep for any overviews or upgrades you might need — right before your road trip.
Or right after too. We’ll be here.
May the “Bookend Weekend” to your summer be a good one!