M-commerce and the fraud challenge

Mobile represents a huge opportunity for retailers as more and more people use multiple, mobile devices to make purchases on the go.

Purchases on mobile devices has increased by 10 per cent in the last year alone – a trend that is set to continue as further people switch to using their mobile devices for online purchases [1].

However, Experian research has highlighted the lack of fraud protection on individuals’ mobile devices. A survey of 2,000 people showed that nearly one in eight (12 per cent) thought their mobile service provider automatically covered them and one in 12 (8 per cent) thought they were protected by the organisation they had transacted with [2].


Retailers are also finding that m-commerce is bringing some specific fraud threats that require new ways of identifying fraudulent activity.

What’s more, while average internet fraud losses are between 6 to 10 per cent for most companies, mobile fraud can return fraud rates as high as 10 to 24 per cent [3]. So, with a higher potential fraud pool from m-commerce channels, comes an increased risk for both retailers and their customers.

With all of this in mind, identifying and managing m-commerce fraud effectively and with specialist methods appropriate to that channel will surely become a necessity for many retailers now.

How to protect your business and customers from mobile fraud…

Gaining insight into the devices your customers are using to transact with you can provide a level of confidence and trust in their identities. This can be of particular help for m-commerce but is useful for e-commerce too.

By using Device Intelligence, you can see what device a customer is using every time they log in to your site. Inconsistencies in devices are flagged to you in real-time, highlighting potential fraudulent activity so you can take further investigation where needed and make the most of your valuable resources.

Helping your customers to stay safe when using m-commerce…

By promoting safe m-commerce practices to your customers, you can help to keep them safe online. It also means you can better manage your fraud controls and is sure to have a positive impact on your reputation too.

Experian advises six key steps individuals should consider to help avoid identity theft online:

1. Online passwords:

Always use secure, unique passwords for as many online accounts as possible, and ideally all of them. At the very least have a unique password for each type of service provider such as financial services, retail services and email.

2. Emails:

Don’t be tempted to open emails, links or attachments received from people you don’t know. If an email seems suspicious, contact the relevant organisation and don’t give out personal details.

3. Account details:

Don’t store account names and passwords on your smartphone, either in email, as a note, or to ‘autocomplete’ when you open a website or app. It will be a goldmine for fraudsters if your device is lost or stolen.

4. Social websites:

Be cautious and don’t add people you don’t know. Remember what you might consider to be unimportant information like your birthday, email address or dog’s name could all be misused by criminals.

5. Be credit wise:

Monitor your credit report, bank account and card statements regularly – it will help you spot any suspicious activity as early as possible and avoid financial loss.

6. Know where your details go:

Finally, if you think you don’t protect your personal online information as you should, services like Experian’s web monitoring tool can help. Available through Experian CreditExpert, it will monitor the web for mentions of your personal information 24/7, sending you an instant notification when we identify that your information appears somewhere new online. This helps ensure you can take immediate steps to resolve any potential fraudulent activity before you are negatively affected.


[1] Centre for Retail Research, 2015 

[2] Experian and Opinium research, 2014

[3] Pymnt.com – What’s next in payments, 2015