Marqeta has released a new report that indicates that the British public became far more aware of fraud during the COVID-19 pandemic. The report is based on a survey of 2,000 UK and US consumers, and found that the majority (68 percent) of the UK respondents were more worried about fraud now than they were at the start of the outbreak.
Much of that can be attributed to the fact that many people became victims of fraud in the past 12 months. Nineteen percent of all UK adults experienced fraud for the first time during that window, and that number jumps to 31 percent for those between the ages of 18 and 34. Most (80 percent) also expressed concern about the new £100 limit for contactless transactions, which increased their level of exposure when a card was lost or stolen. There was some evidence to back that up, with 79 percent of all fraud cases being for an amount between £45 and £100.
As for the desired response, the Marqeta survey broke with conventional wisdom, and suggested that most UK respondents (65 percent) felt that the higher risk of fraud was too high a price to pay for the convenience of contactless payments. The vast majority (85 percent) similarly said that they actively want online retailers to add more steps to the payment process.
Those findings are directly at odds with those of companies like Entrust and Experian, which have found that most people are willing to give up personal information in exchange for convenience. They also contradict some of the more general trends in the payments industry, where most providers are trying to remove steps from the payment process because extra steps have been associated with lower conversions and higher rates of cart abandonment.
Despite those concerns, 84 percent of the Marqeta respondents were doing more online shopping than they had before. Sixty percent had noticed more phishing attempts, while 79 percent felt that their bank needed to do a better job of spotting fraudulent transactions. Most consumers would cancel a card that had been lost or stolen, but many would not do so right away even though most fraudulent transactions take place in those first 30 minutes.
To combat the problem, Marqeta encouraged the use of digital wallets, noting that virtual cards have many of the same advantages of a contactless one, while carrying less risk because they can leverage the biometric security features of a modern smartphone. In that regard, multiple industry stakeholders have argued that biometric technology can allow financial institutions to raise their contactless limits without compromising the security of their customers.