The growth rate in retail fraud appears to have surpassed the growth rate in e-commerce transactions over the 2016 holiday season, according to a new survey by Naples, Fla.-based electronic payments provider ACI Worldwide.

The data, which was based on hundreds of millions of transactions from global merchants, revealed that fraud attempts grew by 31% in the period between Thanksgiving and Dec. 31 for the 2016 holiday shopping season versus the same period in 2015. The number of e-commerce transactions grew by 16% during that time, the study said. 

"Over the 2016 holiday shopping season, merchants experienced significant growth in their digital channels, coupled with a substantial increase in fraud," ACI Worldwide SVP of Platform Solutions Markus Rinderer said. "Given the consistent and alarming uptick in fraudulent activity on key dates, merchants must be proactive in their efforts to identify weak points — and define short and long-term strategies for improved security and enhanced customer experience." 

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