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Omni-channel…a blessing or a curse for retailers?

When we think of it, it’s focused on a retailer’s ability to provide a consistent buying and payments experience across multiple sales channels. Of course omni-channel is great for consumers; we benefit from more choice and convenience, being able to pay where and when we want, using different channels to make purchases or check the status of an order, or even starting a transaction in one channel and completing it in another.

Consumers now expect that retailers can deliver, as well as secure this enhanced flexibility and convenience. Yet, the growing demand for omni-channel shopping, browsing and fulfilment options is creating a number of challenges for retailers – not least, a heightened exposure to risk and increased complexity for fraud management.

To better understand these pain points for fraud managers, ACI recently commissioned Forrester Consulting to conduct an extensive research study on omni-channel fraud management among leading U.S. and European retailers.

You can read the detailed facts and stats in our new report, so I won’t rattle them all off here. But, I was particularly interested to learn that only 46% of retailers have consolidated their fraud management solutions across channels – and that 65% believe they don’t currently have adequate fraud prevention tools to support effective fraud management. There is clearly work to do here.

On a positive note, almost all the retailers in the survey (around 90%) have fraud management programmes in place for each of their selling channels, so there’s a clear recognition of the fraud risk each channel presents. But 80% still have siloed fraud prevention teams, monitoring and managing fraud by channel, rather than working as holistic cross-channel teams.

Just like genuine consumers, fraudsters are increasingly operating across channels. In recent months, we’ve seen an increase in cross-channel fraud, with fraudsters taking advantage of the opportunity to get hold of goods faster through buy online/pick up in-store options. And fraudsters successfully challenged in an online environment are also channel hopping, and attempting to use the same stolen or false credentials elsewhere, for example, through a call centre.

It’s clear that there need to be shifts in organisation and strategy within many retailers, to enable an integrated approach to the creation of a true, secure, omni-channel payments environment. And these shifts must be made in a way that tackles fraud without limiting the customer experience.

Payments Expert

ACI Worldwide powers electronic payments for financial institutions, retailers and processors around the world with its broad and integrated suite of electronic payment software.