What to expect: 2014 Holiday Fraud Season

The National Retail Federation predicts a 4.1% increase in holiday sales for both November and December, putting total sales at about $616.9 billion. This is good news for retailers as holiday sales have averaged just a 2.9% growth rate over the last decade. Representing 19.2 percent of the retail industry’s annual $3.2 trillion in sales, the holidays are a significant piece of your annual sales. Holiday fraud will also spike, merchants need solid safeguards  in place to prevent holiday shopping fraud.
That said, other experts are predicting a decrease in household holiday spending during the holidays: according to PricewaterhouseCooper data, people making less than $50,000 a year will only spend $377 during the holidays – a 13% cut. Those making more than $50,000 will also see a decrease, with predictions that they will spend 1% less than 2013. Experts say this type of prediction may cause an increase in promotional activity among retailers, as there seems to be an increased sensitivity to price.
Either way, reputation for payment processing security is a factor in choice of merchant during this time. Consumers are much less likely to shop at merchants who have had a data breach. There are guidelines like PCI DSS 3.0 for payment security, however there are many more recommended measures a merchant should take for fraud prevention.