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Can’t Stop, Won’t Stop: Studying 5 Years of Mobile Payments & Fraud

posted on: Thu Jun 29 2017

Today, Kount released the findings from the fifth annual Mobile Payments & Fraud Survey, which is conducted to understand and measure the state of mobile payments and mobile channel fraud across industries. The report highlighted some surprising findings when it comes to mobile security, given the ubiquity of mobile fraud, and the lack of urgency felt by some merchants to protect themselves against the inevitable risk this widespread adoption presents.Mobile Shopping

In fairness, merchants have made a lot of progress when it comes to mobile security, but they still have a long way to go in order to minimize fraud risk.

For the first time, the survey examined merchant opinions regarding the payment systems and platforms most associated with mobile risk, in addition to some of the themes and viewpoints that have been examined in years past. What did we find? 60 percent believe ‘browser-based’ mobile payments are those at the greatest risk of fraud and, although 25 percent of merchants today say that the ‘mobile channel’ is higher risk than ‘web e-commerce,’ nearly 40 percent of merchants indicated that they have seen an increase in mobile channel fraud.

We know you are busy, dear blog readers, so here are some other notable findings from the survey:

Risky Business

Despite consistent gains in mobile adoption, merchants are showing that they are becoming more complacent about managing risk in the mobile channel. Only a small fraction of merchants (8%) today believe that the mobile channel is far riskier than traditional ecommerce, surprisingly down from 14 percent last year. Merchants also remain fairly trusting of mobile wallets, with more merchants believing that fraud will decrease rather than increase as consumers more widely adopt mobile wallets (37% vs. 29%, respectively).

Data Breach Deja Vu

The report also examines where most organizations stand on data breaches and public sentiment, finding that the majority of merchants (68.4%) have not made changes to their fraud prevention following a data breach, even though more respondents said consumer perception was the most damaging aspect of a breach.


Since the inaugural Mobile Payments and Fraud Survey was conducted in 2013, merchants have nearly doubled their mobile payments options online and in-person: the percentage of merchants who support a mobile app for online shopping has more than doubled (from 21% in 2013 to 44% in 2017); the acceptance of mobile payments at the point-of-sale nearly doubled (from 15% to 29%); and mobile apps supporting in-store shopping experiences nearly tripled (from 5% to 13%).

It’s a Mobile World and We’re (Not) Just Paying in It

Regardless of the influx of new mobile wallet options, merchants have been slow to adopt the payment method (with only 22% of merchants accepting mobile wallets) – perhaps because the majority of merchants (70%) anticipate consumer mass adoption of these mobile wallets is still two to five years away. Those that do accept in-store mobile wallets prefer PayPal (48%), Apple Pay (48%), and Android Pay (38%), respectively. 

The key takeaway? Merchants have made consistent progress with each passing year when it comes to fraud and mobile payments, but we’re still a long way away from the level of protection needed across the industry. With card not present fraud on the upswing and the majority of merchants reporting no changes to their fraud prevention practices after a breach, the industry at large is leaving itself open for recurring (and oftentimes preventable) fraud attacks.

Want to learn more? Download the entire report here. With five years of data under our belts, the study is more comprehensive than ever, able to identify persistent findings and changing trends around many aspects of mobile channel payments and risk.

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