Tips for Avoiding Fraud
Congratulations on opening your new online store with RPMWare. As a former shop owner and ecommerce veteran I wanted to share a couple tips that may help you avoid shipping a fraudulent order.
Use Live Credit Card Processing
With Live Credit Card Processing enabled RPMWare is able to send very detailed information about the customer and order to your credit card processor. Your processor uses this information (address, phone, IP address, etc.) to proactively protect you from fraud. It's not foolproof, but it is far superior to manually entering credit card numbers into a terminal.
If you don't accept credit cards, or you'd like to work with a better processor, our credit card processing program is the best in the industry. For more information, or to get started today please visit our credit card processing page.
Ship to the Billing Address
Some online stores allow their customers to ship orders to any address they choose. While this makes sense for sites like Amazon, it isn't as important in our industry. By default your RPMWare website will only allow customers to enter one address during checkout and I suggest you keep this setting.
Most credit card processors have programs in place to protect merchants (you) from fraud; however, these protections are typically void if the order is not shipped to the customer's billing address.
Note: If a customer insists on shipping to an alternate address advise them to contact their credit card company and add the address to their account. It only takes a couple minutes, protects you, and saves your customer a little headache the next time they ship to that address.
Ease Into International Shipping
Shipping international orders is a significantly more complex than shipping domestically. In addition, due to the cost of freight, most international orders are larger than the average domestic order.
If you choose to ship internationally start slowly and have a plan. Most fraud protections are limited to the US and Canada; it's more difficult to track and prove receipt of items shipped abroad; and it's nearly impossible to recover items sent overseas.
Most merchants that ship internationally have strict policies governing international orders. Many require international customers to pay via cashier check or wire transfer and hold orders until funds have cleared.
Watch for Multiple Payment Attempts
Your RPMWare website will prompt the customer for an alternate payment method if the transaction is declined. Maybe he used the wrong card, is over his credit limit, or mistyped the CVV2 number. There are plenty of reasonable reasons for a transaction to be declined, but honest customers typically only need one or two retries to fix the issue.
Proceed with extreme caution while processing any order that has more than two or three payment attempts.
If It Seems Too Good To Be True, It Probably Is
Fraudsters are a bold group. They generally place large orders and choose expensive overnight shipping.
An order with high-ticket items and/or expedited shipping isn't always fraudulent – in many cases they are from your best customers. That said, these orders deserve extra attention. The effort you invest in placing a call to the customer and verifying information with your credit card processor will ultimately pay off.
Be Careful. Be Smart.
There is nothing better than reviewing orders on a Monday morning. While you were busy relaxing your online store was busy making you money. It's exciting, but don't let that excitement cloud your judgment.
There are risks to everything in business and how you choose to process orders is ultimately your decision. Just remember: a valid $100 order will put $20 in your pocket, a fraudulent one will cost you $100.