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Wal-Mart’s $3.3 Billion Acquisition of Jet.com Signifies the Importance of eCommerce

Already an eCommerce, as well as brick-and-mortar, giant, Wal-Mart upped the ante on their digital commerce bet acquiring an online retailer that focuses on an optimal user experience and offers a different customer base. Many analysts say the Jet.com acquisition was geared at competing with Amazon, although it may just be part of a long-term growth strategy that relies more on eCommerce retail while physical retail sales stay stagnate or decline.

Amazon grossed $88 billion in online sales in 2015, according to Internet Retailer, and has been first place on the Top 500 list for many years. Walmart, however, isn’t too many places behind, coming in at fourth on Internet Retailers list of the 500 largest e-retailers based on U.S. sales. Immediately after Walmart’s $3.3 billion investment in Jet.com was announced, many retail analysts voiced their opinion that this acquisition was made so the nation’s largest brick-and-mortar retailer could keep up with the largest online retailer, Amazon. But there’s more to the story than that.

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Visa and American Express Temporarily Ease EMV Chargeback Liability for Merchants

Announcements from three of the major card associations in June describe different approaches for reducing merchant liability and losses with counterfeit card fraud through April 2018 as the U.S. transitions to EMV. Visa estimates their changes will lead to 40 percent fewer chargebacks and 15 percent fewer dollars being charged back to merchants related to counterfeit card fraud.

All of the card associations have recently announced measures to speed up and ease the transition to EMV or Chip cards. This includes “Quick Chip” programs from Discover and American Express to not require consumers keep their cards in the readers for an extended period of time, as well as accelerated and streamlined implementation procedures for merchants and acquirers to certify with Visa and MasterCard. Additionally, to ease the burden of fraud losses from merchants during this transition, some of the card associations are changing chargeback liability rules, at least temporarily.

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Mobile Wallets are Moving to the Web Browser with Implications for eCommerce and mCommerce

Both Apple Pay and Android Pay are bringing their mobile wallets to the web browser, adding both security and convenience to mCommerce and even computer-based eCommerce transactions. Consumers will be able to use Apple Pay within the Safari web browser this year, while Google recently released their PaymentRequest API for initiating payments completed via Android Pay in the Chrome web browser.

Apple Pay continues to grow by 1 million users per month as an in-store and in-app mobile wallet payment method, and soon supporting mobile and eCommerce web browser payments will expand its applicability to many more merchants and transactions.  Apple officially announced and previewed a “Pay with Apple Pay” feature in the Safari web browser at their Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) in June.

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Average Cost of Data Breach Grows to $4M Globally, $7M in the U.S.

IBM and the Ponemon Institute recently published the latest results of their global study measuring the financial impact of data breaches to the victim companies. While the global average increased to $4 million, up from $3.8 million last year, organizations in the United States, Germany and Canada incur $5 million or more in losses per data breach on average, while certain industries, like healthcare and financial services, tend to have a higher cost per compromised record.

The average cost of a data breach has risen 29 percent since 2013 globally, now at $4 million. This is based on a survey of nearly 400 data breaches that occurred worldwide, including 88 in the U.S. and Canada. Of all nations, the United States had the highest average cost per data breach at $7.01 million. Germany and Canada had the next highest average cost at about $5 million each.

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Ingenico Invests in Omni-Channel with Acquisition of Think&Go NFC

Once primarily known for POS hardware, Ingenico Group greatly increased their eCommerce payment services with the late 2014 acquisition of GlobalCollect, and will now increase their omni-channel service offerings following the acquisition of Think&Go NFC, a French company that owns technology and patents for digital display screens leveraging NFC and Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) beacons to support payments, coupons and other commerce and marketing features.

Michel Léger, Ingenico’s EVP of Innovation, said this acquisition will give the company “greater opportunity for expansion in the field of connected objects,” further elaborating that the move will help Ingenico execute their strategic plan through 2020, which looks to “strengthen Ingenico Group’s leadership in omni-channel payment acceptance.”

 

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Over 150 Biometric and 2FA Products Certified to Meet FIDO’s Interoperability Standard

In early April, the Fast Identity Online (FIDO) Alliance announced that they have now certified over 150 two-factor authentication and biometric products for replacing static passwords, an increase of 50 percent just in the last quarter. These products meet the group’s specifications under their published Universal Authentication Framework, with several major mobile handset manufacturers and service providers offering FIDO Certified authentication. This does not include Apple and their TouchID fingerprint scanning technology, however.

The FIDO Alliance formed in 2012 and released their standards for stronger authentication at the end of 2014. Focused on proliferating the use of stronger authentication that meets the Alliance’s standard for security and interoperability, members are working on making FIDO Certified forms of authentication available to hundreds of millions of end users, whether coming through traditional eCommerce or mCommerce channels.

 

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Millennials Are Group Most Likely to be Victims of Both Telephone and Online Scams

Multiple studies have recently shown that across all age groups it is Millennials who are most likely to fall victim to scams carried out via telephone or SMS, as well as fall prey online while displaying careless habits. These digital natives are the most comfortable with mobile devices and eCommerce, but also the most trusting and vulnerable.

Many assume that Millennials are cautious with technology since growing up with it, but there is data from multiple studies showing this is not exactly the case.

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The Impact of Fraud Beyond Direct Financial Losses

Because eCommerce fraud is already painful with the reversal of funds, chargeback fees and lost product, the indirect costs are often ignored or are just an afterthought. Recent studies show the lasting impact payment fraud has on consumers, merchants and issuers, indicating that the cost of fraud continues beyond the initial loss. Increasing fraud has also influenced organizations’ budgets, with chargeback and risk management costs representing as much as twenty percent of a merchant’s operational expenditure, according to Javelin Strategy and Research.

Polling consumers in early 2016, a recent study found that consumers have lasting reactions after experiencing fraudulent charges on their credit or debit cards that can impact either or both the card issuing bank and merchant involved.

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