Don’t Accept Chargebacks as a Cost of Doing Business
E-commerce, despite the dire contemporary state of the economy, is booming. But with greater sales returns — by a jump of approximately $500 billion by 2019 — and increased mobile sales, come greater risks. An often-overlooked aspect of e-commerce today is the multifaceted and ever-changing ways in which fraud can put a company at risk, as well as the rising costs it takes to mitigate these micro-crises in order to prevent them from growing to the macro level, as well as the added concern of chargebacks.
A chargeback occurs when a fraudulent purchase has been made and the consumer who did not actually make the purchase requests reimbursement. This is bad for business because the company is both financially responsible for giving the consumer back their lost cash as well as biting the cost of the good or service wasted or sent to the cyber-criminal, the shipping costs, and the other related operational costs.
Additionally, chargebacks can occur when a customer did not receive the thing they purchased, they did receive the thing but it was damaged or not as described, or they simply regret making the purchase.
Needless to say, fraud and chargebacks can cost companies a lot of revenue; $80 billion annually. Training and hiring staff fluent in understanding fraud prevention and chargebacks alone accounts for almost half of related operational expenses, and management of the aforementioned can take up to a fifth of the operational budget.
What are the different types of fraud?
Knowing the most common types of frauds and chargebacks upfront can help a company in the long run because they know what to look for and how to accommodate their customers, as well as ensuring their employees are well-versed in dealing with them.
Credit Card and Card Testing Fraud
These types of fraud occur when a person attempts to use stolen credit card information to commit theft (also known as identity theft). The business is, after the transaction is approved, responsible for ensuring the customer is who they say they are and can be financially responsible for reimbursing the slighted party. Additionally, credit card numbers can be tested until a certain combination works, but the above still applies. This can easily result in more chargebacks as customers rightfully deny that they were the ones who made the initial purchase.
This occurs when a person buys something online, receives the good or service, and then erroneously claims that their credit card was stolen when it was not in fact used fraudulently. 60–80% of chargebacks are caused by friendly-fraud.
One of the more common types of fraud, phishing occurs when a website or email acts as some kind of credit or otherwise legitimate institution and acts as though they need information for verification — usually, this information is credit card info and personal details that can then be used to make a purchase.
5 must-take actions to prevent fraud & reduce chargebacks
- Always require AVS (Address Verification) and CVV when accepting payments. It’s a pretty standard practice but you’d be surprised at how many people don’t have it implemented. Both are additional security measures specifically targeted at reducing fraud.
- Keep an eye out for suspicious activity. Obviously, if you have recurring issues with a particular party or entity, that should raise some red flags. Keep an ongoing list of confirmed fraud attempts and make sure your records are meticulous to make sure it doesn’t happen again. Fake phone numbers, expedited shipping when billing and shipping addresses differ or when large quantities of an order have been placed, or when somebody purchases an unusually large or high-priced order are some more suspicious activity to keep your eyes open for.
- Ensure the IP location matches the billing address. This might be something to discuss with your e-commerce platform provider, but you need to make sure that, for instance, an overseas IP isn’t shipping to somewhere in Montana. If your e-commerce platform doesn’t offer this kind of protection, it might be time to find a new one.
- Know your targeted audience, demographic and customer base. Generally speaking, your customers should follow a relatively set standard in regards to demographics and patterns. Orders from customers that don’t normally fit this might be a cause for alarm — granted, you don’t need to do a severe search into every new customer that falls outside your intended audience because that would eat up operational costs and could potentially deter new customers from sticking with your brand. But knowing your customers certainly can’t hurt.
- Limit the number of declined transactions, because normally fraudulent purchases are made through multiple attempts at guessing certain combinations of information.
Don’t accept chargebacks as a cost of doing business.