Understanding the real cost of online fraud

This past year saw an exponential growth and reliance on digital commerce as consumer behavior around the world adapted to a new normal. In the U.S. alone, ecommerce penetration hit an all-time high of 21.3% in 2020, a more than 5% gain from online retail sales the previous year, according to DigitalCommerce3601But while this rise in ecommerce and digital payments has opened up new revenue potential for merchants, it has also led to an increase in online scamssophisticated attempts at fraud by malicious actors and resulting new operating risks for merchants. 

According to a new study, “The Real Cost of Online Fraud, from the Ponemon Institute and sponsored by PayPalthe number one challenge organizations are facing when it comes to preventing this rise in online fraud and risk is battling this increasing sophistication of fraudsters. This is followed closely by not having the right tools or practices in place to mitigate online fraud or achieve compliance with IT security and privacy regulations. 

The Real Cost of Online Fraud 

The new research sought to understand the current fraud landscape, barriers and challenges organizations face in mitigating the risk of online fraud and the resulting financial losses.  

Of the more than 600 analysts and senior leaders surveyed in key verticals including retail, travel, hospitality and entertainment, it was reported that organizations are losing an average of $4.5 million per year due to online fraudulent transactions. Despite these losses, only half (51%) say their organizations are prioritizing protecting online financial transactions. 

Furthermore, respondents indicated that COVID-19 has seriously affected their organizations’ ability to protect themselves from online fraud. Prior to COVID-19, 45% of respondents rated their effectiveness in reducing online fraud as high or very high. Today, only 34% of respondents rate their effectiveness as high or very high. 

Many businesses have seen the rise in ecommerce as an opportunity to reprioritize their digital transformation initiatives. While digital transformation is crucial to the success and longevity of a business, 81% of respondents indicated their organizations are more vulnerable as a result of digital transformation 


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