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Chargeback issue needs more scrutiny says payments expert

Gabe McGloin, Head of International Merchant Sales and Business Development at Verifi

Following the publication of a survey into the extent of the UK’s payment fraud problem, a leading payments expert has called for more scrutiny of the issue of chargebacks.

UK Finance’s report into the UK’s payment industry, called Fraud the Facts 2019, revealed that last year £1.2 billion was stolen through fraud and scams. But Gabe McGloin, Head of International Merchant Sales and Business Development at Verifi, a player in end-to-end payment protection, said the report falls short by underplaying the problem of chargebacks.

“As the collective voice for the banking and finance industry in the UK, UK Finance does well to draw attention towards the growing issue of card-not-present fraud – a £506.4 million problem,” he said. “What is surprising, is that the report fails to highlight a key consequence of card-not-present fraud – chargebacks. Similarly, the report doesn’t detail the two drivers of chargebacks – that of friendly and family fraud.”

According to a different report by Javelin Strategy & Research and commissioned by Verifi, nearly half of the chargebacks experienced by digital goods merchants are considered to be the result of either friendly or family fraud – when a buyer disputes a transaction that appears on their bank statement and is issued a refund, he commented.

“While friendly and family fraud are not ‘true’ fraud, the problems they present to the payments industry are just as severe as if they were true fraud – with both issuers and merchants facing significant revenue losses, as well as damage to their brand reputation.

“Friendly and family fraud are new terms that are gradually entering into the mainstream lexicon,” he added. “But until the time when they become established causes of card-not-present fraud and are highlighted in these industry reports, they’ll continue to be a growing issue for the payments and retail sectors.”

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