E-Commerce Payment Rules That Every Small Business Should Follow
Our increased reliance on the Internet as a means of consumption and banking has brought with it an increase in fraudulent online activity. Even bigger retailers like Amazon or Google are not immune. It’s only natural that consumers all over the world are choosing to be more careful when placing online orders. Consumers are curbing online behaviors as a means of reducing the risk of leaking personal data or having their identity stolen.
This increased vigilance is hurting small online businesses, who are still bound by monthly sales quotas. What are some avenues companies can turn to as potential alternatives to credit card payments? When it comes to e-commerce, there are some measures that small businesses can take to navigate the unsafe waters of online transactions.
Always Check the Background Data of Your Customers
Whether you’re pursing new or returning customers, your team should be trained to spot unusual activity from buyers on your website. What are some warning signs? Let’s review:
- Wrong credit card data input: The credit card processor will give the customer a “denied transaction error” message. After three wrong attempts, the credit card will be blocked by most e-commerce security plugins. However, fraudsters may still try to convince you to let them make the purchase by saying that they made a typo or that the CCV number was blurry due to card damage. Always check essential information that only the customer can access (e.g. phone number, previous orders placed, questions made in previous chat sessions, etc.) and warn potential fraudsters that you are obligated to report suspicious activity.
- Bot-speed page switching: Though users can go back and forth between your different products, bots act differently since their time reaction is, obviously, far superior to that of humans. That’s the main reason server protection systems like CloudFlare do such important work for our website. However, if a chat operator spots a user jumping from product to product without staying a couple of minutes on each page, try to engage the user in a chat session to detect a potential hack attack via bot.
- Many orders placed within minutes: Why would a regular user place five or more separate orders to buy items at your store when they can purchase it all in just one order? Fraudsters tend to test stolen credit cards by making tiny purchases at different sites as a way to verify the value of a credit card. If your team spots a user making several orders with a credit card on the same date, you should report that suspicious activity to the card’s issuer.
Place IP-Based Bans to Common Fraudster Locations
Though it may seem unfair to generalize, research tells us that many Asian or African countries take the lead in fraudulent practices on western e-commerce sites. This might be due either to loose regulations towards e-commerce transactions and hacking activities or simply because of poor oversight. Regardless of the scenario, it isn’t hard for a company to spot which locations should be IP banned due to suspicious activity, especially if you don’t ship to these areas.
By suppressing the source of fraudulent activities, you are not only protecting your business’ interests, but you are also protecting the data that your customers confidently submit to your website’s forms. You should also consider applying a firewall to prevent future attacks.
Consider Alternate Paying Methods
A common practice to use for e-commerce websites is to offer more than just one payment method. Despite the practices that should be implemented to protect your credit card purchases, some people still prefer other payment alternatives than just inputting their credit card data on your website. Which ones should you pick?
- PayPal: Undoubtedly, this is the world’s leading choice for electronic payments. It’s easy to use, can be linked to a user’s bank account, and disputes can be made if there is any suspicious activity or if the user is claiming a refund. Safe for both customer and business owner, PayPal should be one of your e-commerce paying methods.
- Bitcoin: More companies and users are adopting this cryptocurrency as a payment method. Several countries also are ditching credit cards for Bitcoin due to the versatility of its use—and for you, it all remains digital and fool-proof.
- Gift Cards: Redeeming codes that can be purchased directly from your website or retail sellers like Amazon, Walmart, etc. can also be the answer to your e-commerce business. Industry giants such as Nintendo are using this method for users who get location-bans to credit card usage.
Other attractive payment alternatives can be seen at this detailed guide by Entrepreneur.com. Unfortunately, there is no end in sight to cyber-crime practices. Fraudsters keep developing techniques for more precise and deceptive attacks on corporations and small business. Stay tuned to the latest finance and tech news, which will provide tips to implement at your business. Good luck!