e-tailers face fraud risk

e-tailers face fraud risk

Retailers looking to deve- lop online business are more exposed to the risk of e-commerce fraud thanconsumers according to e-commerce solution specialist Activ Australia.

Activ Australia has an Australian payment gateway that will officially launch this month, and joint managing director Simon Lavers said that while consumers are generally considered to be most at risk, exploitation of merchants is an area of online fraud often ignored.

Lavers said that among the potential risks for merchants wanting to sell to Australia's 3.5 million Internet usersare:

Purchasers attempting to use stolen credit cards or non-existent card numbersSites coming under attack from hackers trying to access customer records such as credit card detailsAn unscrupulous competitor causing a rival business site to crashAttempts to amend details on goods offered for sale, such as reducing the pricesCard holders denying the receipt of the goods and/or services they have purchased.

"If a site is improperly devised and implemented, then any of these things could happen," Lavers said.

But with online business estimated by Forrester Research to reach $US1.3 trillion by 2003, Lavers said that, despite the risks, the available turnover is just too big for e-tailers to ignore. "The obvious conclusion is that retailers must structure their e-tail outlets to maximise new turnover but to keep exposure to a minimum."

He said that fraud screening consists of making as many checks on your potential customer's bona fides as possible. "For instance, the chance of risk is increased when customers are purchasing goods using untraceable mail from the Freemail suppliers.

Payment gateways

"If that user is online from an IP address registered in a country that differs from the delivery of the goods, then warning bells should sound.

"It is also significant how many credit cards a single shopper uses or how many transactions they affect within a certain period," he added.

Lavers said that there are a number of payment gateways in Australia, and that merchants should choose one that has a direct relationship with at least one of the major banks.

As well as developing an Australian dollar payment gateway, Activ Australia also represents Cybersource International in Australia.

Activ Australia (02) 9284 4200

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