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As More Holiday Shoppers Go Online, Consumers Demand Convenient, Secure Transactions

New TransUnion survey finds nearly half of consumers are worried about becoming a victim of fraud this holiday season

With the vast majority of consumers planning to conduct their holiday shopping online this year, it’s not surprising that most also demand a convenient, yet secure shopping experience. This is occurring at a time when consumers say they plan to shop online using mobile phones just as much as with their laptop/desktop computers (73% of the time). These findings were among the revelations unveiled today from TransUnion’s (NYSE: TRU) 2019 Holiday Retail Fraud Survey.

The survey of 2,593 American adults took place in October 2019 and found that nearly half of consumers (46%) are worried about becoming a victim of fraud this holiday season. Gen Z are far less worried about being victimized by fraud (38%) than older generations such as Baby Boomers (54%).

All generations want both security and convenience with Millennials and Gen Z expecting it the most. Half of all respondents said autofill for personal and credit information is important to them; almost half (48%) said taking advantage of mobile device security including biometrics was important.

“More and more consumers are turning to online shopping, yet consumers demand that retailers not only provide them with a secure checkout process, but also make it as convenient as possible,” said Geoff Miller, head of global fraud and identity solutions at TransUnion. “For retailers, providing a seamless transaction experience can be a make or break situation during the ultra-competitive holiday shopping season as consumers have many shopping options online as well as the ability to shop at tried and true brick and mortar stores.”

Youngest Generations Least Worried About Fraud and Also Want the Most Convenience


Percent Planning on Conducting 50% or More Of Their Holiday Shopping Online

Percent Worried About Becoming a Victim of Fraud

Percent Stating Autofill for Personal and Credit Information When Shopping Online is Important

Gen Z








Gen X




Baby Boomers








*Gen Z (born 1995 or after); Millennials (born 1980-1994); Gen X (born 1965-1979); Baby Boomers (born 1946-1964).

Plastic Still King of Payments; Holiday Shopping Influenced by Promotions

The survey found that most shoppers will utilize some form of credit or debit card for their purchases this holiday season. A little more than one-third of respondents (34%) plan on using either a bank-issued or private label credit card; another 41% said they will use a debit card.

Certain shopping events will spur the most consumer interest. For instance, 45% of respondents said Black Friday or Cyber Monday are of most interest to them. Not coincidentally, these two shopping days also offer some of the best promotions; and 86% of survey respondents said coupons, promotions and loyalty points influence with whom they shop.

“It’s without a doubt that Black Friday and Cyber Monday are two of the biggest shopping days of the year for retailers, but they can also prove to be challenging from a fraud perspective given the high volume of online transactions and promotions,” said Shannon Wu-Lebron, senior director of retail in TransUnion’s diversified markets group. “Fraudsters can dilute the value of deals and promotions for consumers while causing financial harm to retailers. Fortunately, many of these acts of fraud can be detected by identifying if a single device is leveraging the same coupon multiple times under different identities.”

Most Consumers OK with Additional Validity Requirements

Protecting against fraud is important to most online shoppers. More than two-thirds of respondents (68%) said they want online retailers to provide both protection of their login ID and password as well as their credit card and identity information. Baby Boomers sought out this protection the most with 78% requesting such services.

Interestingly, about 57% of consumers said they were likely to go through the extra steps of verification to complete a purchase even if a company suspended their order due to concerns of possible fraud. And while 56% of respondents said they view additional identity validation requirements positively during the check-out process, nearly four in 10 respondents (39%) held a neutral stance of this process.

“Retailers need to do all they can to ensure transactions are secure and seamless for all consumers. While a good portion of the population is fine with extra verification steps, a lot of them seek an experience that is less intrusive. Retailers that leverage solutions that provide a positive, yet secure experience, will win this holiday season,” concluded Miller.

Uniting Personal and Digital Identities in the Fight Against Fraud

TransUnion works with businesses across industries to prevent multiple fraud threats. Its IDVision® with iovation® suite of solutions unites both personal and digital identities to detect threats across markets while ensuring seamless user experiences. IDVision with iovation combines traditional data science with artificial intelligence and machine learning to offer insights to businesses at every consumer touchpoint.

For more information about TransUnion’s retail fraud survey and to learn about preventing fraud while providing a seamless shopping experience, please click here. More information about IDVision with iovation can be found here.

About TransUnion (NYSE: TRU)

Information is a powerful thing. At TransUnion, we realize that. We are dedicated to finding innovative ways information can be used to help individuals make better and smarter decisions. We help uncover unique stories, trends and insights behind each data point, using historical information as well as alternative data sources. This allows a variety of markets and businesses to better manage risk and consumers to better manage their credit, personal information and identity. Today, TransUnion has a global presence in more than 30 countries and a leading presence in several international markets across North America, Africa, Europe, Latin America and Asia. Through the power of information, TransUnion is working to build stronger economies and families and safer communities worldwide.

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