Why do Such a Large Number of Americans Hold the Merchants Responsible for Preventing Fraud?


Feedzai, a large science company who are known for using real-time and machine-based learning to put a stop to fraud, have announced the results today of their nationwide survey of adults in the United States. The survey found that a staggering 60% of those surveyed hold the merchants themselves responsible for preventing fraud and data breaches, like the recent ones at well-known retailers such as Target.

Not only this, but 43% of the adults believe there is nothing in the world more aggravating than having credit/debit card data stolen from them. Dr. Pedro Bizarro, chief data scientist of Feedzai, says, “These findings show that consumers believe it is the merchant’s responsibility, but really it is a collective problem that the industry needs to understand in order to distinguish customers from criminals and keep payment data safe.” He added, “Fraud prevention is now a matter of predicting complex consumer behaviour based on changing sentiments.” While 60% of those asked believe it is the merchant’s job to prevent any data breaches from occurring, just 13% of adults think the responsibility falls on the banks.

It is definitely fair to say that the survey conducted really has brought into light the opinions of many Americans when it comes to the topic of data breaches. Just over half of U.S. adults believe it is safer to shop in a store than online, even though the recent data breaches occurred in retail stores. However, almost 3 in 10 adults have stopped shopping at the stores affected altogether, which signifies the decrease in company reputation after what has happened. The survey also showed that 1 in 5 people chose to alter their shopping habits after the data breaches occurred, and that much more people are now using cash as a way to be on the safe side.

The statistics compiled from the Feedzai survey are certainly interesting, and should provide a good insight into what is going on in the average American adult’s head, following the controversial data breaches in well-known chains like Target. Perhaps the reason that such a high number of those surveyed hold the merchants to blame for awful situations like this is because they trusted them, and, in a sense, these commercial companies have “broken” this long-lasting chain of trust. However, it is important to consider that it is not necessarily the merchant’s fault, but those solely responsible for the data breaches in the first place.