Tag Archive for: Consumer Research

In 2018, millions of consumers had their personal data compromised by breaches across a diverse set of industries—from tech to retail to hospitality and more—putting many at risk of payment card fraud. Most consumers are aware of their data’s exposure, but 91% believe their credit card issuer will cover them in the event of fraud. But this confidence causes some consumers to put themselves in harm’s way, according to Auriemma Research’s most recent issue of The Payments Report.

Fraud events have become mainstream, leading many consumers to feel numb to its consequences. According to Auriemma Roundtable’s Q4-2018 Card Fraud Benchmark Report, seven-in-ten financial institutions saw an increase in gross credit card fraud compared to the prior quarter; a similar number of issuers are forecasting gross fraud will stay the same or increase in 2019. Meanwhile, nine-in-ten consumers believe fraud has stayed the same or increased over the past year, according to Auriemma Research data.

“Many consumers have accepted fraud as a fact of life,” says Jaclyn Holmes, Director of Auriemma Research. “They know fraud happens, many are concerned it will happen to them, but they’re also confident that their issuers will take care of them.”

When asking consumers about how credit card issuers respond to fraud, Auriemma Research found over eight-in-ten say issuers react quickly and are good at monitoring. Even the one-fifth who say they’ve experienced card fraud in the past year share these positive sentiments. While a noteworthy 22% of these consumers say the experience has caused them to spend less on the impacted card, 15% spend more, and 63% don’t change their spending at all. In general, fraud events don’t appear to leave a lasting stain on payment behavior with the compromised card.

“In the court of public opinion, banks don’t appear to be to blame for fraud,” says Holmes. “But as fraud remains high industry-wide, issuers are now tasked with finding ways to further engage their customers in the fight, namely by reducing risky payment behavior and signing up for proactive protections.”

Consumers, however, are not demonstrably concerned with proactive, preventative measures. Over one-quarter of cardholders are comfortable making online purchases from unfamiliar websites, likely a direct result of the confidence consumers have in banks’ protective measures. In addition, over four-in-ten cardholders say they haven’t changed the password for their debit or credit card account in over a year. Other precautions, like fraud alerts, identity theft protection, and two-factor authentication are not overwhelming used by consumers.

“While issuers try to arm their customers with tools to defend against the impact of fraud, many aren’t taking advantage,” says Holmes. “Consumer complacency could be a challenge in 2019 and beyond, and if issuers aren’t able to enlist their cardholder’s support against fraudsters, we may see losses grow.”

Survey Methodology

This Auriemma Research study was conducted online within the US by an independent field service provider on behalf of Auriemma Consulting Group among 800 US adult debit cardholders in March 2018. The number of interviews completed for both is sufficient to allow for statistical significance testing among sub-groups at the 95% confidence level ±5%, unless otherwise noted. The purpose of the research was not disclosed, nor did respondents know the criteria for qualifying. The average interview length was 25 minutes. For more information, call Jaclyn Holmes at (212) 323-7000.

About Auriemma Fraud Control Roundtables

Auriemma runs a series of information sharing and benchmarking groups for executives in fraud strategy and operations. Spanning credit card, debit card, and consumer banking, Auriemma’s fraud control roundtables combine executive meetings, industry-leading operational benchmarking, and peer group surveys to help participants identify vulnerabilities and optimize fraud management strategies. For information on membership, contact Ira Goldman at 212-323-7000.

About Auriemma Group

For more than 30 years, Auriemma’s mission has been to empower clients with authoritative data and actionable insights. Our team comprises recognized experts in four primary areas: operational effectiveness, consumer research, co-brand partnerships, and corporate finance. Our business intelligence and advisory services give clients access to the data, expertise and tools they need to navigate an increasingly complex environment and maximize their performance. Auriemma serves the consumer financial services ecosystem from our offices in New York City and London. For more information, visit us at www.auriemma.group.

(New York, NY): Tipping for service may be a cultural norm in the US, but prompts at point of sale can greatly affect who gets tipped and how much, according to new report by Auriemma Group. The firm’s latest Cardbeat ® survey of 800 US credit cardholders found that presenting consumers with the opportunity to add a tip when they pay by credit card can increase tipping behavior by almost a third.

When queried about their normal habits, the vast majority of consumers (93%) say they typically tip their servers in a restaurant, while 72% tip for food delivery and 69% tip their hair dresser or barber. Tips are far less prevalent when given in cash, however, with fewer than half of those surveyed saying they generally tip taxi drivers (46%), valet parking attendants (38%), or hotel room cleaners (39%). Asked what they’d do if they didn’t have cash handy, 41% of consumers say they’d skip leaving a gratuity altogether for courtesy services where they may otherwise tip. Given the option, nearly 9 in 10 (89%) cardholders say they would always tip on a card if they could, with 79% adding that they feel it’s an inconvenience when they’re unable to tip on their credit card.

As payment card acceptance becomes more widespread, however, so does the likelihood of tipping. A noteworthy 30% of cardholders say that tip suggestions that appear at point of sale make them more likely to tip. “These tip prompts are often used on mobile point of sale (mPOS) systems, such as those used by car services or taxis” said Jaclyn Holmes, the Auriemma senior manager who directed the study. “When the checkout screen asks if they want to tip 15%, 20%, or 25%, people are far more likely to leave any tip, although most opt for the lowest suggested amount.” At fast casual restaurants 81% of cardholders would leave a tip after passive merchant prompting through an mPOS system, representing a 31% increase in the number of cardholders who would leave a tip at a restaurant of that kind. “On a cumulative basis, such prompting could create a significant increase in payment card transaction volume,” Holmes noted. “Baristas and drivers may welcome these innovations, but so will the IRS, which can more easily document these sources of income.”

About Auriemma Group

Auriemma is a boutique management consulting firm with specialized focus on the Payments and Lending space. We deliver actionable solutions and insights that add value to our clients’ business activities across a broad set of industry topics and disciplines. For more information, please visit Jaclyn Holmes at 212-323-7000.

(New York, NY): Most consumers have more money in their pockets thanks to lower gas prices, but younger people are more likely to spend their savings, according to research from Cardbeat®, Auriemma Group’s syndicated research publication. In a survey of 421 U.S. credit cardholders, one-third (34%) of consumers under age 45 say they’re now considering making previously postponed purchases, compared to just 20% among their older counterparts.

Many consumers’ personal finances are buoyed by lower oil prices. Close to two-thirds (62%) of drivers say they’re spending less on gas than they were a year ago, and 88% cite the lower cost of gas compared to a year ago. Yet caution permeates consumer behavior and varies considerably by age group. Consumers aged 45 and older, who remember rising gas prices during the OPEC oil embargo and Gulf War years, are more likely to see low fuel prices as a temporary phenomenon. Cardbeat data shows individuals aged 45 and older are more pessimistic in their outlook for the price of fuel going into the future, with 69% feeling the price of gas will go up in the next year, as opposed to 59% among respondents under age 45.

Major card payments networks validate that the impact of lower gas prices on card spending has been modest so far. For example, in January 2015, MasterCard CEO Ajay Banga told investors in the company’s quarterly earnings call, “We haven’t [yet] seen the extra savings from lower gas prices translate into additional discretionary consumer spending.”

The consensus among many economists is that we could start witnessing more discretionary credit card spending this summer (barring any unforeseen increases in gas prices). Marianne Berry, Managing Director of the Payment Insights practice at Auriemma, says that merchants would still be wise to presume a cautious consumer would be the rule for the foreseeable future, and target their promotions to the younger consumers who would most likely be receptive to such offers.

She adds that certain merchant categories, most notably restaurants, are likely to be the first beneficiaries of any incremental spending. “Consumers anticipate their highest increases in spending will be on food and dining over the next year” said Ms. Berry. ”After restaurants, retail in general, particularly fashion and electronics, are likely beneficiaries of discretionary spend among Millennials and Gen Xers.”

About Auriemma Group

Auriemma is a boutique management consulting firm with specialized focus on the Payments and Lending space. We deliver actionable solutions and insights that add value to our clients’ business activities across a broad set of industry topics and disciplines. For more information about Auriemma’s research, please call 212-323-7000.

NEW YORK, NY:  Over the years, American consumers have gained greater transparency on credit reporting. For example, in 2003, The Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) was amended to require that each of the nationwide credit reporting companies provide consumers with one free copy of their credit report, upon request, once every 12 months. Previously, access was available for a fee unless the consumer had already been denied credit based upon credit bureau information.

According to recent consumer research published in Cardbeat®, a syndicated research report published by Auriemma Group, most U.S. consumers have a general awareness of credit bureau information (including their credit reports). Many consumers also understand the impact information has on their ability to obtain credit at a reasonable price. Cardbeat research shows that half (50%) of consumers are generally familiar with credit bureaus, with a higher percentage familiar when consumers have children in the household (66%), or are affluent, defined as consumers with $100,000 or more in assets (61%). Since the FCRA was amended to provide free consumer access to their credit information, the incidence of consumers who have reviewed their credit reports has grown from slightly less than half (49%) to more than three in five (62%).

Consumers consider their credit bureau information and credit score to be of nearly equal importance in terms of their ability to get the credit they need at a reasonable price (79% and 82%, respectively). However, more than one-third (34%) of consumers feel the cost associated with accessing their credit bureau information is not reasonable, when, in fact, it should be accessible for free.

Marianne Berry, Managing Director of the Payment Insights practice at Auriemma says, “The discrepancy between actual cost and perceived cost may be explained by possible consumer confusion.” For example, services that provide credit monitoring often charge fees. The Federal Trade Commission acknowledges that imposter websites claiming to offer “free credit reports,” “free credit scores,” or “free credit monitoring” have created consumer confusion. (Although the CARD Act did mandate new disclosures in the advertising of such services.)

Another area of confusion is the fact that credit reporting is not the same as credit scores. Credit scores are not routinely provided for free. Further, there are different credit scores available (widely-used credit scores are those developed by FICO, and another called VantageScore created in collaboration with the three major credit bureaus).

Financial institutions may have a role in helping to educate consumers. For example, banks’ own websites can potentially direct consumers to the official ‘annualcreditreport.com’ website for a free copy of their credit reports. Also, some credit cards are now offering consumers with complimentary access to their FICO credit scores. Ms. Berry adds, “While the short-term financial benefit of providing such consumer education may be difficult to quantify, gaining consumer trust may pay longer-term dividends by establishing them as a provider of choice.”

About Auriemma Consulting Group

Auriemma is a boutique management consulting firm with specialized focus on the Payments and Lending space. We deliver actionable solutions and insights that add value to our clients’ business activities across a broad set of industry topics and disciplines. For more information, call 212-323-7000.

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