The Simility Blog

What Fraud Will Look Like In 2020: Get Set For Another Crucial Year
Jayan Tharayil
December 18, 2019

Over the past 12 months we’ve seen online fraud continue to evolve. E-commerce merchants, financial institutions and other organizations are pushing ahead with efforts to streamline business processes and deliver seamless customer experiences. But these initiatives continue to provide new opportunities for scammers to hijack accounts, open new ones, attempt fraudulent payments and much more. As the bad guys leverage a growing array of anonymization techniques and automated bots to crack open accounts, it can be challenging for risk and fraud teams to keep up. 

To help guide organizations through these choppy waters, Simility shares predictions on what to expect in 2020. Here are a few below. 

Digital is everywhere: Organizations are laser-focused on enhancing the customer experience, spending over $1 trillion on digital transformation in 2019 alone.1 There’s going to be no let-up in 2020, and that means more channels for fraudsters to target, whether that’s mobile banking accounts or omnichannel retail, through BOPIS fraud.  

A deluge of data breaches: The current fraud epidemic is fuelled by a steady flow of data breaches that exposed over 446 million records in the US in 2018 alone.2 As long as these continue, the scammers will have a handy supply of identity data and account log-ins to commit a range of fraud. In the case of the latter, they’re increasingly using automated credential stuffing scripts to try breached credentials on multiple other accounts. They only need a small success rate to make it worth their while. 

Regulations impact ML systems: Organizations are increasingly turning to AI and machine learning capabilities to help them respond effectively to highly professionalized fraud operations. Yet a new breed of privacy regulations, like Europe’s GDPR and the California Consumer Privacy Act, could raise concerns over the use of such automated solutions. This makes it more important than ever to ensure any fraud solutions operate transparently in their decisioning, and that adequate steps are taken to protect the privacy of any subjects whose data is stored or processed by them. 

A crowded market: One inevitable consequence of growing fraud levels is the expansion of the market for anti-fraud tools. In 2020, you’re likely to see more value-added service vendors, which provide multiple offerings including compliance and fraud prevention, in addition to their core services. With so many options on the market, it pays to check independent analysis such as Aite Group’s report, which places Simility’s as just one of three “best-in-class” machine learning-powered fraud solutions.3 

One size doesn’t fit all: Over three million consumers bore some liability for fraud in 2018, nearly three times as many as in 2016, and their out-of-pocket fraud costs more than doubled over the period to $1.7 billion, according to Javelin Strategy & Research.4 With fraud now representing a clear threat to business growth and customer loyalty, organizations will prioritize finding the right solution for their business in 2020. But this will take time and a certain amount of due diligence. For some businesses a simple automated solution will be best. Others will need greater assurances of guaranteed fraud protection, while other still need sophisticated enterprise solutions to address complex fraud patterns. 

Time to get recession proof: Since the global financial crisis of 2008, the US and other major economies have gone through a remarkable period of sustained growth. But warnings from some financial experts have grown louder over recent months that another recession is on the horizon. The truth is that when recessions hit, fraud usually spikes, especially first-party fraud. So organizations could do well to ensure they have the right solutions in place today, to mitigate the impact of a recession-fuelled spike in fraud tomorrow.  

As discussed, there’s plenty of choice on the market, the key is finding the solution that’s right for your business. For more information on this and the other trends we’ve highlighted here, watch our on demand webinar or schedule a demo now. 

1. Statista, October 2019,

2. Statista, January 2019,

3. Aite Group, March 2019,

4. Javelin Strategy & Research, March 2019,