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Black Friday and Cyber Monday: sale frenzy or fraud frenzy?

More than a third (36%) of Australian consumers fear their card details may be stolen during the Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales.

Recent research from Roy Morgan and the Australian Retailers Association[1] reveals Australian consumers are more eager than ever to take advantage of upcoming retail sale surges to combat skyrocketing inflation rates.

But despite consumer excitement to shop, 36% of Australians feel concerned about their payment information being stolen, according to recent research by Revolut, the global financial super app with more than 20 million customers worldwide. The research was conducted together with Dynata to look at how 10,000 consumers in 10 countries including Australia are feeling about shopping the upcoming Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales.

Who will be shopping the sales this year?

It’s predicted that retail sales in Australia will hit $6.2 billion over the sale weekend. To provide comparison, the forecasts for last year’s Boxing Day sales were $3.1 billion.

“Revolut research revealed that almost half of the Australian population are planning to contribute to the spend and as far as demographic breakdowns go, the younger generations are most excited with 41% of those aged 18-25 and 46% of those aged 25-34 planning to shop. Of the same group, the preferred mode of shopping will unsurprisingly be online because they feel they are easily able to price-compare across a broader range of merchants and shop internationally,” according to Revolut.

“But merchants will need to offer competitive prices it seems given Australian consumers have the highest expectations compared to other countries when it comes to discount expectations with more than a quarter (27%) wanting a minimum of 50% off.”

Spend frenzy or fraud frenzy?

“Although consumers state wanting to shop online, the biggest fear for 36% of them is to have their card information stolen while transacting via the web.

“And rightfully so given data from the latest ACSC Cyber Fraud Report unveiled that Australians made 76,000 cybercrime reports in 2022 which is an increase of nearly 13% from 2021.

Sure, cyber fraud is a hot topic on the agenda at the moment given the recent breaches across Australia, however what’s perhaps most alarming is that of this year’s fraud reports, the most common type was online shopping and online banking which accounted for 54% of all reports.”

How to stay safe this sale season

Fraudsters are getting smarter, but so is technology available to everyday people.

Consumers are urged to take advantage of payment security tools available to them to help safeguard their shopping experience.

“One of the safest ways to shop online is by using single-use card options like Revolut’s virtual disposable card. Single-use cards cut down on identity theft because your real account number is never revealed during a transaction. Because there is no physical card, they cannot be stolen. Also, you can set a limit on how much money is on the card and an expiration date for how long the card can be used (typically up to 12 months),” according to Revolut.

“Since this time last year transactions via Revolut’s single-use cards have more than doubled.”

Revolut Head of Financial Crime Nelson Yiannakou says, “Accelerated by Covid-19 lockdowns, online shopping has exponentially grown over the last few years. From providing shoppers with the ability to frictionlessly hunt for the most competitive prices across multiple merchants from the comfort of their sofas, to enabling them to shop from international retailers from anywhere in the world, the benefits of e-commerce are undeniable. However, as the online check-out experience continues to advance, so do fraudsters. Interacting with unfamiliar merchants and paying in multiple currencies requires shoppers to be hyper vigilant about using a safe, secure and trusted financial service provider.

“Revolut customers have access to a range of security features designed to protect them against the risk of card fraud when shopping for goods. Virtual disposable cards are a safe and secure way for shoppers to pay for things with no compromise to user experience. Virtual card information can be regenerated as many times as the customer wants, each time with a new unique card number. What this means is customers are able to avoid using their actual physical card details with unfamiliar merchants, reducing the risk for them to be stolen”, Mr Yiannakou said.

The tools available to shoppers

Revolut employs advanced technologies to protect consumers’ account and card details as well as offering competitive foreign exchange rates. This is to ensure Revolut customers save on FX costs and fees that are often overlooked when making international card purchases.

Revolut also provides a browser extension tool for Google Chrome called ‘Revolut Shopper,’ which is designed to make online payments safer, more seamless and faster for users. The extension allows them to:

  • Safely and securely autofill their card details on any merchant checkout form
  • Apply sale discount codes available with different merchants
  • Create, customise and access multi-use virtual cards
  • Create and access single-use virtual cards, with a card number that refreshes automatically after each use so their account always remains safe
  • Manage settings of their multi-use virtual cards, including setting spending limits, freezing the card, or terminating it, all from the convenience of their browser
  • Receive instant notifications to their smartphone, with all transactions automatically tracked and visible in their Revolut account.

By leveraging the tools available to them, consumers will be in a better stead to shop safely and with peace of mind this sale season.

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