Consumers Willing to Take Additional Security Steps to Prevent Online Fraud as E-Commerce Grows, Finds New American Express Survey

Merchants Have Opportunity to Boost Online Sales and Customer Trust

NEW YORK–(BUSINESS WIRE)–As e-commerce continues to expand, online payment security is a top
concern for merchants1 and consumers2, according
to a new report from American Express (NYSE: AXP). The 2016 American
Express Digital Payments Security Survey found that 70% of U.S.
merchants are experiencing an increase in sales through online and
mobile channels over the previous year.

The report, which surveyed 1,021 U.S. consumers and 401 merchants,
reveals that as ecommerce grows, payment security remains top of mind
for both. Nearly half (48%) of consumers who shopped online in the past
year have experienced payment fraud, representing nearly 80 million
online consumers. Four in 10 consumers (40%) view online shopping as
having more risk than an in-store purchase (28%). In addition, 42% of
shoppers say that they have abandoned an online purchase due to payment
security concerns. This increases to 48% for Gen X and 50% for
Millennials, suggesting that while younger consumers are considered
early adopters of new technology, they also place a high priority on the
security of their information.

Meanwhile, 60% of merchants report that they have experienced fraudulent
online sales, and 25% say their level of fraud with online sales has
increased this year. Participating merchants reported on average 31% of
their online sales transactions in the past year were abandoned by their
customers before a sale was completed.

The good news is that consumers indicate they are willing to take
specific steps to enhance the security of their information when making
an online purchase, presenting an opportunity for merchants to capture
more online sales and increase trust among their customers.

  • Nearly eight-in-10 online consumers (78%) are willing to enter a
    security code (CVV) for their credit card but only 57% of merchants
    require the use of a CVV code for online customer transactions.
  • While 70% of online consumers are prepared to use security questions
    (e.g. ‘What was the make and model of your first car?’), 43% of
    merchants have this prompt available on their websites.
  • More than two-thirds of online consumers (68%) are willing to create a
    one-time password but only 37% of merchants require a separate
    one-time password for additional security.
  • 63% of online consumers are open to creating a customer profile on the
    merchant’s website in order to complete a purchase, but less than half
    of merchants (46%) provide this option online.
  • For consumers to trust an online merchant, 84% want easy-to-find
    customer service contact information and 78% want visible security
    cues on the merchant’s site. Yet, only 50% of merchants say they
    provide easy access to customer service reps on their websites and 52%
    report taking the step of using data encryption on their website.

Consumers also can do more to keep their personal information secure
online. Less than half (44%) use a different password for every
online account; 30% change their passwords once or twice a year; and 17%
never change their banking or payment passwords. American Express
recommends Card Members create different passwords across all banking,
email and social media accounts and consider updating all passwords
every six to 12 months.

“Payment fraud can impact a merchant’s bottom line,” said Mike Matan,
Vice President, Industry Engagement, Product and Marketing for American
Express’ Global Network Business. “Fighting fraud for our Card Members
and merchants is an ongoing priority at American Express. We offer a
number of services and features to help Card Members monitor their
account information and help prevent fraud at the point of sale,
including one-click alerts to confirm charges via text, email and our
mobile app. Our investments in technology and advanced analytics have
also enabled American Express to achieve the lowest fraud rates in the

American Express works with merchants to fight online fraud on multiple
fronts, including:

  • SafeKey®:
    To further enable U.S. merchants to reduce online fraud, American
    Express recently expanded availability of SafeKey, an authentication
    tool that adds an extra layer of security when a participating
    American Express Card Member shops online. Leveraging the global
    industry standard, 3-D Secure®, SafeKey detects and reduces online
    fraud by validating the Card Member’s identity through various
    methods, including risk-based authentication and dynamic one-time
  • Enhanced
    American Express’ Enhanced Authorization
    service uses additional information submitted by online merchants,
    such as email addresses, phone numbers, and shipping addresses, to
    detect fraud when a Card Member transaction is submitted for
    authorization. The service can help online merchants reduce operating
    expenses stemming from chargebacks and capture more online sales.
  • Accertify:
    A subsidiary of American Express, Accertify provides fraud-management
    and chargeback solutions to online merchants that help them detect and
    prevent fraud across all payment card networks. Many of
    Accertify’s clients have quickly achieved significant gains in the
    efficiency, accuracy and productivity of their fraud-prevention
    efforts, resulting in reductions in their fraud losses and customer
    complaints related to fraud.

Survey Methodology

The 2016 American Express Digital Payments Security Survey was conducted
among U.S. consumers and merchants that offer online/mobile payment
options to their customers. The anonymous survey was conducted online
September 6-13, 2016.

Unless otherwise noted, responses among consumers represent those who
have made an online purchase three or more times in the past 12 months
based on self-report. The sample size of n=718 has a margin of error of
+/- 3.7 at the 95% confidence level. The consumer portion of the study
is based on an overall sample of 1,021 respondents weighted to be
representative of the U.S. census based upon gender, age, education,
race and region.

The merchant portion of the study is based on a sample of 401 merchants
in the U.S. Respondents have responsibility for making decisions
regarding customer payment options, IT/data security, or online sales
strategy and planning. The business sample has a margin of error of +/-
4.9 at the 95% confidence level.

About American Express

American Express is a global services company, providing customers with
access to products, insights and experiences that enrich lives and build
business success. Learn more at
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1 Merchants refer to those businesses who accept payments on
a traditional website, mobile website or mobile application.

2 Consumers refer to those who have shopped online three or
more times in the past year


American Express
Andrew Johnson, 212-640-8610