Archive for July, 2011

Donate online

Whether you’re the director of a non-profit or a business professional serving on a board, you know how challenging it’s become to fund the mission. With the funding well drying up, organizations are more and more reliant on building strong support from the public. One strategy to make it easier for donors to give is to add an online giving alternative payment option, such as phone billing, which charges the donation to the supporter’s phone bill. Here’s how it works to boost online donations:

  1. Convenience. Donors have big hearts and busy lives. A non-credit card payment method is a low-hassle option because there are no credit card numbers or security codes to enter, making it easier to give on the fly.
  2. Safety. No matter how passionate a supporter might be about your cause, the threat of identity theft may make them think twice about sharing their credit card or bank account information over an Internet connection. Phone billing doesn’t require donors to share any sensitive info online, giving the supporter peace of mind.
  3. Value. Charging a donation to a credit card increases the cost of the transaction to the giver; after all, they’ll likely pay interest and potentially other fees. Adding an alternative payment method eliminates those costs, which may just translate into a bigger donation for you.
  4. Choice. Credit card payment options are fine and dandy—as long as the supporter has a credit card. In fact, nearly 30% of households in one 2010 study reported they didn’t have a credit card. Don’t turn away donors simply because they don’t have plastic. With phone billing, the giver needs a home or business phone number. That’s it. The option opens up whole new markets to help support your cause.

Whether your group mentors kids, funds scholarships, or provides job opportunities for veterans, adding an online giving alternative payment method, like phone billing, makes it as easy as possible for you to get the support you need.

ILD Teleservices is an experienced third-party payment processor with a phone billing platform that’s easy for you to integrate and easy for supporters to use. Learn more about how to increase online donations using our Bill to Phone service.

eShopping

The thrill of digital shopping. You love that ecommerce allows you to purchase anything you want, from ringtones to dating services. You don’t love that merchants require you to share sensitive financial info, like credit card numbers, over an Internet connection. Identity fraud is a very real threat that costs each victim an average of $5,000 in stolen money plus up to $1,400 in costs to resolve the damage.

But you can significantly reduce exposure to cybercriminals with these online shopping tips:

  1. Consider installing a firewall on your computer. Tech-savvy criminals can hack into a computer system even if it has anti-virus software. Consider installing a personal firewall, which blocks outside attempts to access your data.
  2. Don’t freely share more information than is necessary. Most digital stores need your name, address, phone number, and perhaps email address to process an order. There is no reason for an ecommerce business to ask for your bank account information or full social security number. (Be aware that some online businesses may ask for the last 4 digits only of your SSN to verify your identity.) Give the digital store only the essential info it needs to deliver its goods or services—no more.
  3. Don’t shop on a public computer. Sharing credit card information on a library or Internet café computer greatly increases the risk a cybercriminal can access your data. Remember, a cybercriminal can be someone in another country—but it might also be the guy in line behind you who is watching your screen.
  4. Go credit-card free. There are newer and safer ways to pay for online transactions. An alternative payment processor, like ILD Teleservices, allows you to pay for digital goods and services without sharing credit card or bank account info. ILD’s Bill to Phone actually works by charging the transaction to your phone bill. It’s simple and it’s safe.

And that’s how online shopping should be: simple and safe. It should not expose you to the risk of identity theft. To learn more about how ILD Teleservices’ Bill to Phone payment service works to reduce consumers’ risk of identity theft, check out our website.

Review Your Bills

 

We encourage consumers to review their bills each month, from credit cards to utilities and phone bills. So, we are re-running a blog post from last year, where we provided some best practices we’ve picked up along the way.  Here it is:

 

In this economy, every penny counts—and that makes it especially frustrating to discover a charge you didn’t authorize on your phone bill. The good news is you can reduce the risk of becoming a cramming victim. Here’s a guide to help you prevent those unauthorized telephone charges.

Cramming hurts consumers.

Cramming occurs when your telephone bill is charged with services that weren’t ordered by you or anyone else in your household. Unauthorized charges range in monetary amounts, but can be as little as a few dollars. If they go undetected, they add up over time, putting a ding in your wallet. The charges can be for a variety of services, such as web hosting, club fees, or phone calls.

Protect yourself from cramming.

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) recommends these steps for reducing your risk of cramming:

  • Review each line of your phone bill every month.
  • Read the fine print before providing your phone number and other information to enter contests and other promotions. Fraudsters may use your entry form as an authorization to enroll you into a service so they can bill the charges to your phone account.
  • Be wary of signing up for a “free” club or service or of claiming a “free” prize; you may be inadvertently signing up for a fee service that’s charged to your telephone bill.
  • Contact your phone company to ask about the blocking options they offer. A block will prevent a certain type of service on your phone line. For example, a third-party service block stops any third-party payment processors from billing your account.

ILD protects consumers from cramming.

ILD Teleservices is a third party payment processor. Merchants use our Bill to Phone service to allow consumers to charge purchases directly to their phone bill. As a result, consumers do not need to share sensitive financial information, like credit card numbers or bank account numbers, reducing your risk of identity and credit card fraud.

We are committed to protecting consumers from unauthorized charges. For example, ILD only works with merchants after the vendor successfully passes a screening process that includes extensive background checks and a business plan review. After we take on a merchant, we continue to monitor their activities and customer satisfaction levels.  If ILD receives excessive complaints about a merchant, we take immediate action to rectify the problem or, if necessary, terminate our business relationship with the company.

Call us if you have questions.

ILD’s U.S. based customer service team is available Monday through Friday from 7 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. (CST) and Saturday from 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. One of our associates will answer your questions or help find a resolution.

The Hidden Cost of Ecommerce Fraud

Identity Theft

As an ecommerce pro, you’re probably already familiar with the hard stats that detail how much revenue digital fraud costs merchants. For example, here are a few numbers from the CyberSource ecommerce fraud survey:

  • Digital merchants lose about 1% of revenue to online fraud, although some sectors, like consumer electronics, report higher fraud rates.
  • 62% of merchants say “friendly fraud” is on the rise.

But the cost of digital fraud is actually higher than stats suggest. Consider a survey from the Federal Trade Commission that revealed consumers’ fear of fraud robs ecommerce of more revenue than actual cases of fraud—in other words, fear of cybercrime stops customers from spending money on sites just like yours. Which begs a critical question…

Does the fear of digital fraud stop you from generating revenue?

Perhaps you’ve hesitated to launch a new product for fear of diving into a high-risk market? Maybe you’ve avoided marketing to a specific audience because you don’t want to risk downgrading your merchant account status?

You might be losing revenue from current customers as well. The CyberSource survey found merchants reject 2.7% of orders—not because they were fraudulent, but because the merchant suspected fraud. How much revenue has your digital store lost in rejected orders that were actually legitimate?

The fear of fraud should not prevent your business from growing.

An ecommerce fraud management strategy will reduce the fear that prevents you from building business. One fraud management tactic is to invest in payment processing partners who offer real-time validation of a customer’s identity. While it might cost more per customer, your brand will be able to conduct transactions with more confidence—and that generates more revenue.

What are your experiences? Have you seen the fear of fraud stop an ecommerce biz from expanding business or capitalizing on an opportunity?

Reduce Chargebacks from Friendly Fraud

Friendly fraud. Despite its name, there’s nothing friendly about a reversed transaction that costs a digital merchant time and money.  Friendly fraud is when a consumer makes an ecommerce purchase, receives the goods or services then initiates a chargeback. But there are tactics that help ecommerce merchants reduce the rate of friendly fraud.

Learning how to reduce chargebacks from friendly fraud starts with asking yourself these 3 questions:

Will the customer recognize my company on their billing statements? When a consumer reviews a billing statement, whether it’s for a credit card or a phone bill, they may be suspicious of an unfamiliar or ambiguous name, even if they’ve already received the product or service. Always ensure the name that appears on the bill will be identifiable to the customer. If you partner with a third party payment processor, post an easy-to-see note on your website that notifies customers that the processor’s name (for example, “ILD Teleservices”) will appear on the billing statement.

  1. Can the customer find my ecommerce store’s contact info easily? Customers who are already frustrated may not have the patience to hunt for the small-print 800 number buried at the bottom of the web page. Make contact info prominent so the customer will be more likely to contact you first, instead of the bank or card issuer. Remember to list your customer service hours as well.
  2. Is my digital store’s return policy ecommerce friendly? A liberal return policy not only attracts prospects who may be wary of shopping online, it also makes customers more likely to return a product or cancel a service instead of initiating a chargeback.

Disputes are going to happen. But by implementing simple ecommerce best practices, such as identifying your third party payment processor or making returns easy, you will start reducing chargebacks from friendly fraud—and start controlling your costs.

Do you have tips for how to reduce chargebacks from friendly fraud?