Introduction

The effects of technology on commerce can be totally transformative, and the market for event tickets is a prime example. Today’s event goers are no longer forced to queue outside a window for paper tickets; they can simply purchase them digitally from anywhere in the world. The global online event ticket market is strong and growing, valued at $30 billion annually, and exhibiting an impressive 19% compound annual growth rate. In the US alone, revenue is expected to exceed $10 billion in 2017.

The move online has clearly benefited consumers – who can score front row seats with the click of a button. But the changing business landscape creates issues for ticket sellers. One such challenge stems from the high resale value of tickets, combined with an increase in the liquidity of secondary markets. This combination attracts fraudsters who are looking for a quick score. They can buy expensive tickets with stolen credit card information and then easily sell them secondhand.

The increasing abundance of vendors selling tickets for any given event – including the aforementioned peer-to-peer ticketing marketplaces – also poses difficulties for merchants. The commoditization of their tickets makes fostering a sense of customer loyalty extremely tough, and also means that merchants face a very high proportion of orders from first-time customers, which are most difficult to review.

The growing use of mobile devices also presents challenges for merchants. Legacy fraud tools used to assess desktop fraud aren’t always accurate when reviewing mobile orders. Furthermore, mobile phones are often used to purchase tickets outside venues, sometimes minutes before an event. These cases are particularly difficult for fraud teams who are caught off guard late at night and/or on weekends.

Many ticket sellers try to prevent these fraud attacks by adding stringent fraud filters to the review process. While these systems may identify some fraud attacks they also end up falsely declining many orders from good customers. All of the above necessitate an efficient and scalable fraud management solution that won’t impede the revenue stream or hurt the shopping experience.

Brands like SeatSmart, Rukkus, RazorGator and FanXchange trust Riskified to manage their CNP fraud. We compiled this comprehensive report to share our findings from reviewing hundreds of thousands of online event ticket orders. Inside, we share insights into false declines, a largely invisible issue that severely impacts most merchants’ ability to grow. Merchants will also find actionable tips, best practices, plus tools to better grasp fraud trends in the industry.