(BPT) - The U.S. honored small businesses across the country with National Small Business Week in September and will honor National Women’s Small Business Month in October. While these annual celebrations have been held for many years, some may argue small businesses deserve even more recognition since they serve as the backbone of the U.S. economy, with more than 1 out of 2 Americans either owning or working for a small business, creating nearly 2 out of every 3 new jobs.
It hasn’t been an easy 18 months for them. They’ve been hit hard by lockdowns, a recession and opportunistic fraudsters. Fortunately, many pivoted, embraced digitization and added new secure payment acceptance methods like contactless payments or created online storefronts for the first time.
New practices gained steam, such as Buy Online Pickup In-Store (BOPIS), also referred to as Click and Collect or curbside pickup. This has given small retailers an edge when competing with online-only stores by driving foot traffic into stores for additional sales, eliminating the cost of shipping and improving the customer experience. A survey of consumer behavior and shopping trends conducted by the National Retail Federation revealed 70% of respondents said BOPIS improved their experience.
Even though variants of Covid-19 continue to challenge a return to normal, the latest Visa Back to Business Study found that the vast majority of SMBs in the U.S. (92%) are optimistic about the future of their business. To maintain this optimism, growth needs to continue while fraudsters are kept at bay. The same study found that when it comes to shifting businesses online, data privacy and security are among the top concerns for 30% of SMBs. Fraud hurts the top and bottom line, yet it’s the area that small business owners likely know the least about.
“Small businesses represent the best in people — hard work, ambition, optimism and commitment to the local community,” said Melissa McSherry, Senior VP and Global Head of Data, Security and Identity Products at Visa. “Fraudsters have grown more determined to steal consumer payment information, but Visa is working with financial institutions and merchants to stop them from succeeding.”
For starters, Visa suggests those considering or already employing BOPIS to keep the following tips in mind.
When Customers Purchase Online
1. Separate high-dollar-value transactions for manual review.
- Ask your payment processor or bank if a fraud management tool is available to help automatically identify and separate high-risk transactions for manual review.
- Consider blocking future transactions where the email, payment card number or address were involved in a previous transaction that incurred a dispute.
2. Keep an eye out for unusual orders or multiple payments from one customer.
- Review orders that use the same payment credential, billing address or email in short periods of time.
- Review orders requesting BOPIS at different physical store locations that use the same payment credential, billing address or email.
- Review orders where the same email or phone number are used across transactions, but the billing addresses do not match.
3. Conduct a reverse phone number lookup to confirm it matches the billing information and address listed with the order. If it’s a prepaid or virtual phone number, do some more digging to verify that the transaction is valid.
When Customers Pickup in Store
- Ask for identification at the time of pickup and ensure it matches the billing identity.
- If any red flags arise, process the purchase through a standard POS terminal, in-store face-to-face.
- Provide app or mobile browser-driven customer tools to alert employees when the customer is outside and ready to receive their order or release delivery of an in-store pickup.
- Review the content to be delivered to ensure it matches the order.
- Ensure pickup location has appropriate lighting and signage.
McSherry continues, “Small business owners should work with their payment processor or merchant bank to enable fraud prevention tools specific for online purchases. Cardinal Consumer Authentication Service can engage the cardholder’s bank to help verify the user and purchase is legitimate. Cybersource Fraud Management Essentials helps by offering pre-configured settings to establish rules and automation to simplify efforts like stopping fraudulent purchases and setting aside high-value orders for manual review, through a user-friendly dashboard with information needed to decide whether to accept or reject those orders. This enables fraud experts to do what they do best so small business owners can focus on what they do best — running their business and pleasing customers.&rdquo