According to ShopperTrak, shoppers in the U.S. spent approximately $9 billion in stores during Black Friday 2014, the majority of transactions using debit and credit cards. Reports from comScore show that U.S. e-commerce spending the day after Thanksgiving rose 26 percent to more than $1.5 billion in 2014.
"Black Friday is the biggest shopping day of the year, which means card usage is much higher than usual," said Jennifer Kerry, Vice President, Credit Card Services for CO-OP Financial Services, a financial technology provider to credit unions. "Fraudsters see Black Friday as an easy opportunity to take advantage of a much larger pool of consumers, ranging from data hacks stealing card information from large retailers, to criminals targeting individual cardholders with online scams."
To help combat card-related fraud, the U.S. payment industry is adopting EMV (Europay, MasterCard and Visa) technology as a new security standard for credit and debit cards. Already used globally, EMV chip cards are making their way into the hands of U.S. consumers, and merchants are upgrading to new EMV terminal platforms…many in time for the holiday buying season. Consumers can also expect broader support for near field communication (NFC) and tokenization technologies, which enable and secure digital wallet applications such as Apple Pay and soon Android Pay and Samsung Pay.
"Security technologies such as EMV and tokenization can dramatically reduce exposure to card fraud," said Kerry. "Make no mistake, though, consumers are still at risk when they shop online and need to proactively protect themselves from fraud by employing financial security best practices."
Kerry encourages consumers to follow these five steps this holiday season:
For more financial security tips from CO-OP, visit www.co-opcreditunions.org.
About CO-OP Financial Services
Based in Rancho Cucamonga, Calif., and founded in 1981, CO-OP Financial Services is the nation's largest credit union service organization in terms of number of credit unions, assets and members. The company helps credit unions thrive by providing products and services that make it more convenient for members to do business with them. With a motto of "Be There. Be More," CO-OP's products fall into three business lines, including "Locations," (ATM, shared branching and call center services); "Card Payments" (debit and credit processing) and "Mobile/Virtual" (mobile, online, check imaging, bill pay services). To learn more visit www.co-opfs.org.