With enhances in credit card security at brick and mortar stores, fraud is increasingly moving to an online arena and the holiday season is the peak time for e-commerce fraud. While the percentage of bad transactions is actually lower during the holiday season, it’s due to the spike in legitimate transactions, and the dollar amount of loss due to fraud is actually much higher because the bad transaction is buried and hidden by all the good ones. We’ve compiled 7 fraud prevention tips here so that you can make sure your e-commerce business is protected when it matters most.
Hire a service for e-commerce fraud protection.
It’s important to have fraud prevention measures and chargeback protection in place and updated long before the holiday season kicks into gear. You can hire companies which will inspect each and every transaction to validate orders and eliminate fraudulent ones. This service often comes with a chargeback guarantee to provide you with the peace of mind you need at this time of year. If the company has approved an order and the business gets a chargeback from a customer, the security company, not your business, will cover the entire cost.
Have a concrete plan for the holiday season.
Online shopping increases every year during the holidays from the years before. As a business, you need to review more transactions and also hire seasonal staff, so it helps to be prepared by having a well-documented plan. When you’re writing it, try to think of all the questions that you might get during the holiday rush that you might not have time to answer: how do things get escalated, what’s the process for approving and declining orders, etc. This helps sales staff know what to do in any scenario so they’re not overwhelmed and potentially taken advantage of by a fraudster. Your plan should allow for training of all staff on the fraud-prevention tools and a calendar for staff absences to ensure proper coverage at all times.
Adopt verification processes.
You should consider using verification technology that identifies fraud based on the physical and digital components of someone’s identity, looking at billing, addresses, email, phone number and location of the order. You should also look into card verification value technology which ensures that the card user is actually in possession of the card. You can also look into email authentication so you’re protected from clicking on a fake link or engaging with a message coming from a fake email address.
Determine where transactions are coming from.
William Fry, a marketer at Origin Writings and Next Coursework, explains that “if you know what device the order is coming from it can help you screen more accurately for e-commerce fraud. Different devices have different fraud profiles, so you can detect interactions with humans vs bots or other anomalies in a transaction.”
Avoid making false assumptions about strange purchases.
There are always going to be orders that are unusual and strange which need further authentication. Have someone in your team review and escalate these purchases following the plan you laid out before the holidays and handle the case accordingly. Most importantly, however, is to avoid assuming that it’s fraud simply because it’s unusual.
Prioritize customer service.
Provide fantastic customer service that makes your clients feel safe while shopping on your website. Karen Foligno, a project manager at BritStudent and PhD Kingdom, suggests that “this includes simple measures like having your phone number displayed prominently on your website, having multiple ways to reach the customer service team, and having a friendly team ready to answer any question. You should also have your return policy clearly explained in an easy-to-find part of your website to avoid customers trying to chargeback a purchase.”
Treat customers who get flagged with courtesy.
Fraud is evidently damaging for any e-commerce business, but you also want to be sure to avoid accidentally flagging a good customer, as this may lose their loyalty forever and lead to bad reviews. This is why it’s important that your customer service team is well-trained in how to deal with this situation and that they treat your customer with friendliness and respect, reassuring them that you’re trying to protect them and ensure their order is sent in time for the holidays.
Katrina Hatchett, a writer at Academic Brits who shares her expertise on communication problems and solutions with her readers. She has years of experience working with businesses and e-commerce sites to improve how they communicate with clients.