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Ecommerce and digital transactions up dramatically around the world, but so is identity fraud

Ecommerce and digital transactions up dramatically around the world, but so is identity fraud

Online transactions and corresponding fraud threats have risen dramatically due to coronavirus-motivated lockdowns, generating a massive opportunity for secure, seamless and touch-free digital payment and ecommerce services, according to several sources.

The new ‘Recovery Insights: Shift to Digital’ report from Mastercard shows that 7 out of 10 consumers believe the shift to digital payments is permanent, which the payments company says makes the use of non-sensitive data, as in its Mastercard Digital Enablement Service (MDES) which tokenizes card numbers, particularly important.

A survey of consumers in 15 markets indicates nearly half of people in the Asia-Pacific region are using cash less, and two-thirds of those in Latin America say they are using cash or not at all. In addition to benefiting contactless payments in stores, the change is being felt heavily in ecommerce.

Ecommerce spending in the U.S. in May increased by 93 percent year-over-year.

MENAFN reports that a policy paper from the Egyptian government projects 50 percent growth in ecommerce in the country as an outcome of the COVID-19 pandemic. Before the outbreak, only 8 percent of internet users in the country made online purchases, according to estimates.

The adoption of a national digital identity and smart card are among the final recommendations made by the Institute of National Planning to support the continued growth of ecommerce in Egypt.

Almost half (49 percent) of all UAE residents are shopping more online, and practically all of them (48 percent) plan to continue shopping online, according to a report from Dubai Police, Dubai Economy and Visa covered by Gulf News.

In-store payments are also digital for 71 percent of Egyptians, with contactless cards just surpassing digital wallets. Two-thirds of Egyptians have reduced their in-store shopping since pandemic lockdowns began, however.

TransUnion analysis shows this increase in transactions has been accompanied by an 11 percent worldwide increase in risky transactions, meaning those denied or reviewed due to fraud indicators, since early March. Identity fraud in particular has increased 23 percent, the company says.

Synthetic fraud is singled out as a prominent form of identity fraud.

The company says data from IDVision with iovation (a TransUnion subsidiary) shows that characteristics of email accounts such as longevity and frequency of transactions can provide clues of fraud.

TransUnion recommended ecommerce businesses adopt biometrics when it first reported a spike in online transactions in March.

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