As a small business owner, it is in your best interest to make your store internet-friendly and that often means facilitating e-commerce transactions. One of the biggest hurdles that e-commerce store owners face is the growing risk of online fraud. Horror stories about misuse of credit card information, scam accounts of fictitious buyers, diverted payments and more make customers jittery about making payments online. Being able to guarantee a perfectly safe online payment system is the only way to ensure that you maximize your internet sales without risking yourself or your buyers.
Protecting customer information
The very first step you need to take is to ensure that there is zero risk of data breaches where sensitive customer information stored on your servers is lost to fraudsters. Such incidents can have a two-fold impact on you. First, you are sure to, at the very least, lose the customer whose data has been compromised. Second, a fraudster using stolen data could be buying products from you with money that is not his, which means you could end up being liable for refunds. Secure all the data stored on your systems with proper encryption and security features to curb these risks.
Check on customer details
One simple way to prevent online fraud is to verify the details given by the customer, including his physical address. This is especially true if the shipping address differs from the billing address. In fact, it is smart to pay extra attention to any unusual requests from your customer, say a rush delivery or a request not to call the recipient to verify since the item is a ‘surprise’. In any case, once the order is placed, give a call to the customer and check if it is genuine and if he accepts the payment mode chosen. Store data about customers you have had good and bad experiences with so that you have a reference point when you get orders from them in the future.
Verify credit cards before processing orders
Today, there are some effective fraud detection services that help small businesses verify credit card transactions by cross referencing with the location, email, or IP address. This kind of service typically reviews each transaction and warns you when fraud is suspected. Another simple way to check if a customer’s card is genuine is to call the bank and verify the facts. If you have reason to think that the card number has been stolen, ask the customer to fax or email a scanned picture of the front of the card.
Pay attention to shipping too
Many sellers face losses because fraudsters claim refunds for ‘packages not delivered’, even though they have received the item. One good way to prevent this kind of scam is to insure and track your package. This way you are covered if the package really gets lost or damaged in transit. If it’s the customer trying to scam you, you can produce the physical records to show he received it. Make sure that you use a delivery confirmation system when the package is handed over to the customer.