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Greek Austerity Online and Off

posted on: Thu Jul 30 2015

Greek Debt CrisisThe Greek debt crisis has caused the implementation of a variety of strict austerity measures including closing banks, limiting ATM withdrawals, and banning most money transfers outside the country. These steps have drastically impacted in-person transactions as well as card-not-present (CNP) transactions alike. So how has austerity influenced online shopping among Greek citizens?

Cross-border Cutbacks

Data from Kount has shown that the crisis has led to the average dollar amount of transactions from Greece dropping by 50 percent within the last couple of weeks. This is largely due to the measures confining Greece’s spending habits, with many Greek banks preventing transactions that come from a Greek credit card or bank account. Because of these cross-border limitations on their accounts online and off, Greeks have not been able to conduct transactions with a variety of online wallets and global shopping sites, including Amazon, PayPal, and iTunes.

Retail Roadblocks

Some international retailers are hesitant to conduct business in a region with such economic turmoil but even those retailers who’d like to continue business as usual in the Hellenic region are confined by the same austerity measures. While Greek banks have opened again, gaining authorizations for payment to retailers outside Greece from a Greek credit or bank account is still limited and continues to remain a challenge for Greek customers and the businesses they engage with.    

Waiting in the Wings

With continued bailout discussions and questions surrounding what additional austerity measures the country may need to take next, fraudsters are happily taking advantage of the uncertainty. Waiting in the wings and ready to strike, fraudsters always use chaotic situations to their benefit trying to find holes they can exploit. This means retailers need to stay especially vigilant for fraud arising from this crisis.

As the Greek saga unfolds, businesses need to have a comprehensive fraud strategy in place to detect relevant variables and activity across the globe in real-time because telltale signs of fraud vary by region and industry. Fraud tools should verify key elements of each transaction – such as geolocation and shopping cart data – so that merchants can see issues as they arise. The Greek debt crisis is constantly shifting and is a reminder that retailers have to remain alert and flexible to thwart fraudulent transactions as they occur.

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