Key ecommerce and payments trends in 2024

Monday 15 April 2024 09:58 CET | Editor: Irina Ionescu | Interview

We sat down with Tracy Kobeda Brown, VP of Programs and Technology with the MRC, to learn more about the insights and implications of the 2024 survey – and how payments and fraud leaders can be prepared to meet the challenges and opportunities that lie ahead.

In an ever-evolving landscape where digital commerce and payment systems intersect with sophisticated fraud tactics, MRC’s 2024 Global Fraud and Payments Report emerges as a crucial beacon for merchants, industry professionals, and policymakers alike. The comprehensive document not only sheds light on the latest trends shaking the foundations of ecommerce but also navigates through the complexities of fraud prevention and payment innovations. 


The MRC publishes a comprehensive annual report on ecommerce payments and fraud trends. Looking at the 2024 edition, what are some trends that have had the most substantial impact on the industry? 

The Global Payments and Fraud report has been running for 25 years and has always given a benchmark of what ecommerce merchants are seeing in their part of the ecosystem. This year introduces some interesting trends and shifting concerns and priorities amongst the 1,166 merchant respondents representing 37 countries globally.

For quite some time, phishing and first party misuse have battled for the topic fraud attack reported by merchants. However, this year’s report identifies refund and policy abuse as the top concerning fraud attack. Refund and policy abuse is defined as an exploitation of policies that merchants have in place to surrounding returns, exchanges, and the customer service parts ecommerce. However, both phishing (reported as a concern by 42% of the response base) and first party misuse (45%) remain of concern, apart from the threat of refund and policy abuse (48%) that is bringing to the merchant brands and revenue. Lifetime customer value is important to brands, and this fraud attack represents an exploitation of the practices to maximise the lifetime value. Unfortunately, in the past twelve months, it has been perpetrated by fraudsters and even some good customers.

First-party misuse leverages the dispute and chargeback process that is in place to protect consumers from unapproved use of their credit cards, but in the case, first party misuse represents the intentional filing of a chargeback where clients state that they did not receive an order or didn’t authorise a charge when in fact, they did. This fraud attack has been growing for years, particularly fueled during the pandemic years with related economic pressures.

In this year’s report, first party misuse reportedly gained another 2% over last year, coming in at 20% of disputes, as opposed to other disputes arriving from fraud activity, confusion over descriptors, or legitimate misrepresentations or non-deliveries.


How can merchants prioritise their payments and fraud prevention efforts for 2024 based on the insights from the report?

Merchants in fraud prevention will have their hands full continuing to battle FPM, its costs, and evaluating the liability shifts from compelling evidence programmes. However, merchants should add a deep review of their policy and procedures surrounding returns and policy abuse by reviewing data across internal departments that are likely to have historically disconnected systems in returns, warehousing, and logistics. 

In terms of the payment teams protecting and optimising their company’s revenue, having the best and right payment method for their customer demographic while balancing the art of the associated payment fraud risk, costs, and success rates remains a priority.  Payment optimisation is no longer new in our industry but is a data-heavy practice that has material impact to many merchants’ bottom lines, so investing in additional AI/ML tools will continue to be a strategy.

The report shows a significant rise in real-time payments (RTP) and Buy Now, Pay Later (BNPL) options. How do you see these methods shaping the future of ecommerce transactions?

It is important to understand that payment trends can be drastically different globally, regionally, and even at a country level. For instance, in North America, credit card payments are still in the majority with alternative payments methods like real-time payments and digital wallets growing in popularity. However, in a region like Southeast Asia, consumers view alternative payment methods as credit cards because the predominant methods of payments are digital.

82% of merchants added a new payment over the past year, which demonstrates that the industry is evolving to look at new methods of payments in response to how customers want to pay. BNPL continues to be one of the fastest growing acceptance methods despite some increased regulatory changes, while digital wallets and debit transfers are also growing quickly. 

The newer digital payment methods will impact ecommerce transactions by expanding market reach and penetration, providing customer convenience (with less friction and improved security) and affecting a new era of data analysis on buying patterns that will influence business strategies. With these innovations, we will also have to look out for innovative ways to cause harm by fraudsters, in terms of attacks. 

With over 90% of merchants using at least one tool or technique to boost payment authorisation rates, what do you think are the most effective strategies merchants are adopting?

The most effective strategy depends on the type of merchant we are talking about. For some merchants, leveraging intelligent payment routing may yield the best results, but for a subscription merchant it could be related to the usage of card update techniques and services, along with machine learning to know the best time to automate retries. There is plenty of continuing learning in this space and making sure you have a professional network of merchants, even ones you might be in ‘co-opetition’ with through places like the MRC, is crucial for shared learnings that save time in a fast-moving space.

What can MRC Barcelona attendees expect to learn from the deep dive into the report?

Having just wrapped the largest MRC Vegas ever, our MRC Barcelona attendees will be exposed to a conversation involving the MRC, Wayfair, and our two survey partners, Visa Acceptance Solutions, and Verifi. The results will be discussed at a global level, with the conference sharing some of the stats about the European markets. 

We also have two interesting keynote sessions this year. The first one explores PSD3 and what companies need to know featuring Nuno Epifanio, the policy officer at the European Commission’s Directorate-General for Financial Stability, Financial Servies, and Capital Markets Union who will be led through a discussion by The Paypers’ Managing Director, Melisande Mual. The second keynote features Cecilie Fjellhoy, who readers may recognise from the Netflix documentary The Tinder Swindler, and her insights on her experience defeating deceptive online fraud.  Of course, there will be plenty of discussions on refund abuse, real-time payments, the latest in AI, and other payment and fraud topics as well as networking sessions.

What’s next for the MRC?

Next up for the MRC will be our conference in Melbourne and preparing for the second half of the year, which features member-only conferences in San Diego, Amsterdam, and Singapore. We have virtual summits for teams that may not be able to travel remotely with the next one coming in June 2024 on all-things Marketplaces, as well as regional meetups called Connects

We are also expanding our professional development offerings due to popularity and requests! Companies are interesting in investing and retaining their team members by leveraging our education catalog for internal learning and development as well as our supporting our industry certification, the CPFPP, which is beginning to appear as a preferred requisite in industry job descriptions.  Finally, in 2024, we will launch a certificate programme allowing merchant team members to earn professional and expert certificates in payments, fraud, and chargebacks. The MRC continues to expand efforts in advocacy by having relevant conversations across the ecosystem with merchants, issuers, acquirers, card schemes, and regulators, to drive innovation benefiting consumers around the globe. If time allows us, we might also fit in a nap somewhere this year!


About Tracy Kobeda Brown

Tracy Kobeda Brown is the VP of Programs and Technology for the MRC. She was head of product for Fragomen, Lockerz, and the CEO of Evil Genius Designs. Tracy created the American Eagle Outfitters website,, and served as CISO. She earned her master’s degree from Carnegie Mellon and her bachelor’s degree in economics from The Wharton School.


About MRC

The go-to place for ecommerce payments and fraud professionals across the globe! Established in 2000, the MRC is a global non-profit membership association for payments and fraud prevention professionals. The power of MRC membership lies in staying connected, current, and empowered to influence and transform the industry.

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Keywords: ecommerce, ecommerce platform, online payments, payments , BNPL, local payment method, fraud detection, online fraud, fraud prevention, identity fraud, payment fraud, account takeover, phishing, bot attacks, artificial intelligence, generative AI, machine learning, refund, refund fraud
Categories: Payments & Commerce
Companies: MRC
Countries: World
This article is part of category

Payments & Commerce


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