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December 7, 2020

Reducing Fraud Risk During the Holidays

The holiday season is a fun and festive time, and a great opportunity for businesses to boost their sales for the year. However, this time of year also brings the risk of fraud. Luckily, there are actions you can take to help protect your business. Here’s a look at how to reduce your risk of fraud during the holidays.

Accept EMV cards

Even more secure than a traditional credit card with a magnetic stripe is the EMV card. Also known as a chip card, an EMV card stores data on an integrated circuit, or chip. This makes payments more secure as well as helps to prevent chargebacks and fraudulent transactions. Rather than being swiped through the card reader of a payment processing machine, the EMV card’s chip is inserted into a chip reader. However, it’s important to note that EMV cards also typically have a magnetic stripe that can be swiped. If you accept EMV cards, make sure the customer uses the chip rather than the magnetic stripe. If a customer seems eager to use the stripe instead of the chip, there’s a chance the card is fraudulent. Click here to look at some of our payment processing equipment that can accept EMV cards.

Ensure your team is prepared

Another great way to reduce the risk of fraud is to make sure your employees are familiar with the proper processes. This can include a variety of transaction-related procedures, such as asking to check the customer’s ID when they pay using a credit card to make sure the names match. It’s also important for employees to know your store’s policies on returns, including how much time a customer has to make a return or exchange, and whether or not they need to show their receipt. This may seem basic, but it can help prevent fraud.

Look for unusual purchase activity

For in-person purchases as well as online sales, it’s crucial to pay attention to the transactions taking place. Transactions that are apart from the norm may be a sign that fraud is taking place. For example, unusually high value orders can be a sign of fraud. The use of international shipping addresses, multiple transactions on one card in a short matter of time, and orders with expensive items or large quantities of a specific item can also be signs of fraudulent activity.

Avoid chargebacks

Reducing your risk of fraud can also help you avoid chargebacks. One way to achieve this is by verifying the customer’s information during an online transaction. An Address Verification System (AVS) will compare the customer’s address and zip code to the data that their bank has on file. Another helpful tool is Card Verification Value (CVV) match, which requires customers to enter the three-digit code on the back of their card. This helps make sure the buyer actually has the physical card in their possession.

About Merchants Bancard Network

Merchants Bancard Network is here to help you have a successful holiday season. Want more tips on how to reduce your risk of fraud? Click here to contact us.