May 15, 2010

Optimistic about 2010!

While end of year 2008 saw a beginning of a deep recession for several large economies, the year 2009 put the actual effects of recession in place. The financial crisis put a huge pressure on many large organizations around the world. Diminishing consumer demands and extensive liquidity constraints posed a huge challenge for the companies.

With the given challenges, a rise in payment frauds deem inevitable. Several financial reports show huge losses in terms of online fraud for small, medium and large businesses in UK for the year 2009. The Association for Financial Professionals report, dated April 2010, presents some key findings as below:

• Seventy-three percent of organizations experienced attempted or actual payments fraud in 2009.
    - Large organizations were more likely to have experienced payments fraud than were smaller ones. Eighty-one percent of organizations with annual revenues over $1 billion were victims of payments fraud in 2009 compared with 63 percent of organizations with annual revenues under $1 billion.
• Thirty percent of survey respondents report that incidents of fraud increased in 2009 compared to 2008.
• Nine out of ten organizations (90 percent) that experienced attempted or actual payments fraud in 2009 were victims of check fraud. The percentage of organizations affected by payments fraud via other payment methods were:
- ACH debit (25 percent)
- Consumer credit/debit cards (20 percent)
- Corporate/commercial cards (17 percent)
- ACH credits (seven percent)
- Wire transfers (three percent)
• Seventy percent of organizations that were victims of actual and/or attempted payments fraud in 2009 experienced no financial loss from payments fraud.
• Among organizations that did suffer a financial loss resulting from payments fraud in 2009, the typical loss was $17,100.

While the effects of the economic recession on businesses looms ahead, many Merchants have higher expectations from the current year. The businesses are optimistic and prepared to work overtime. The retailers are enthusiastic about expanding their businesses globally and are ready to capitalize on the opportunity. They feel more than ever need for optimising the underlying Payment fraud processes. As online sales grow slowly and steadily, the Merchants continue to face the challenge of keeping online payment frauds to the minimum.

A report from CyberSource found that all businesses were optimistic about increasing their online revenue. The research also presented that online sales is a large proportion of their sales in the small and medium enterprises as compared to the larger firms and are ready to bank on that. The report mentions that 40% of the merchants expected to grow online sales by up to 20%, while 21% expected online sales to be static or to drop.

Though the research shows that 71% of UK consumers are put off by safety issues while shopping online. A quarter believed it was up to the merchants to safeguard their information thus pushing them to undergo massive revamp on the payment fraud prevention front. At the same time businesses would also need to continue to educate the consumers on right measures and best practises that need to be undertaken while shopping online.

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