The computer hacker is typing.

Loyalty programs are projected to increase to 5.5 billion memberships in 2020 across retail, airline, hospitality and financial services, and cyber criminals are taking note of this growth with loyalty program fraud rising a whopping 89% year-on-year.

With direct and indirect losses from loyalty and reward points fraud estimated at $1 billion every year, enterprises are struggling to limit damage as fraud attacks shift from the point of transaction to the buyer’s journey, including new account signup, login, and promotion and coupon use.

Israeli-based leader in e-commerce fraud prevention, Forter has now introduced a Loyalty Program Protection solution – the only integrated fraud prevention platform that protects loyalty programs from transactional fraud, account-based fraud and policy abuse.

Forter CEO and co-founder, Michael Reitblat said the solution protects 100% of the customer journey, not only at the point of transaction.

“Powered by a coalition of the biggest enterprises and designed by experts, only Forter can provide the intelligence needed to stop fraudsters in real time and enable the best consumer experience,” he said.

Fraud can lead to a tarnished reputation, stifled business growth due to risk of abuse, as well as lost revenue as merchants must replace the stolen points. However, 50% of merchants indicate that low organisational priority and lack of resources are the biggest barrier to preventing and deterring loyalty fraud, according to Forter research.

A key reason that loyalty programs are being targeted is because 45% of loyalty programs are inactive with consumers failing to track points or redeem those points.