The holiday season is fast approaching and many financial experts agree that this year, sales will exceed expectations and hit unprecedented levels. Internet sales through online retailers such as Amazon and other eCommerce websites are expected to account for roughly 25 to 30 percent of the total sales for the holiday season.
As more people are turning to online shopping to avoid long lines at stores and malls, the threat of fraud also increases. Since credit card and debit card companies have switched over to newer chip technology in their cards, the risk of fraud goes down for storefronts that utilize the technology. Unfortunately, that still leaves eCommerce websites vulnerable to thieves and online credit card fraud. That is why eCommerce business owners need to take extra steps this holiday season to ensure that they are protecting their WordPress eCommerce website.
One size fits most or one size fits all style solutions only work for baseball caps and socks. While your WordPress eCommerce website hosting partner might offer discounted offers on payment processing programs, they might not be what is best for you or your business. Depending on the type of eCommerce website you run, you might be labeled as “High Risk” which could put extra fees on your transactions or worse yet, be denied services altogether.
Business owners should look for a processor that offers fraud protection and well outlined charge back protocols, in addition to favorable rates. Compare several credit card processors prior to selecting one and only consider processors that provide encrypted transactions to protect your business and your customers.
Learning the basic signs of fraud is a lot easier than many people expect. For example, if you notice whole goods being ordered in large quantities and being shipped to a residential address, it might be a fraudulent transaction.
Looking over the shipping information, such as the address, and comparing it to the order that was placed, is a good way to identify fraud. If you suspect fraud, you can also attempt to contact the buyer through the contact information. Most thieves use fake information, so if you are unable to contact the buyer, be leery.
Most online thieves gain access to data banks contacting millions of credit card number combinations. The common way for them to test these numbers out, is to make a small test style purchase. This purchase is normally for less than $20.
If you start to notice a sudden, large influx of small orders, you should investigate the orders and verify the transactions through the contact information provided. Also, you can place holds on orders over a specific amount, requiring additional verification to finish the transaction or have the purchase be made over the phone to confirm additional details.
If your credit card processing partner uses address verification, you’re in good shape. If they don’t, you need to find out if it is an add-on service you can purchase, or possibly switch processors completely. This verification process takes the address on record for the credit card and compares it to the shipping address of the order. If they do not match, a red flag is triggered.
Also, WordPress eCommerce business owners should insist that the credit card processor utilize CVV (Card Verification Value) on all transactions. If they don’t offer this service or if an add-on for this service is too much, consider finding another provider. The CVV requires the user of the card to be in physical possession of the card. Since this CVV code cannot be stored by merchants or processors, if the buyer can provide the proper code, the odds of the buyer being the actual owner of the card greatly increase.
The better records you keep, the more likely you are to catch acts of fraud. If you notice that a repeat customer is constantly using different credit cards, you might want to investigate any new purchases thoroughly. Also, if a customer is shipping products to numerous addresses, you should look into the reasons why.
You will have customers that do this for legitimate reasons, such as sending products to family out of state for the holidays. However, until you investigate these transactions, you can’t know for sure. Your customers will appreciate your diligence in protecting their interests, money, and identity.
Something as simple is checking in on an order to verify its legitimacy might earn you a new, lifelong customer who provides a wealth of word-of-mouth advertising for you, just for looking out for them.
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