You use a mobile phone for everything from reading Uncle Milt’s football predictions on Facebook to catching up with the office—so; of course, you want to shop online using your mobile phone as well. Although, if you’re like nearly 80% of consumers, you probably worry about online fraud. In fact, identity fraud reached a new high in 2009, costing consumers an estimated $54 billion.

If you shop online from a desktop or laptop you may already know how to buy safely, from making sure you have a secure, encrypted connection to using alternative payment methods that don’t require you to share a credit card number.

However, when it comes to completing transactions via mobile, savvy online shoppers should take extra steps to protect sensitive information, like bank account numbers or credit card information. Here are 4 need-to-know mobile shopping safety tips:

  1. Set a secure password for every shopping account you use. Most online stores request or require consumers to set up a password-protected account. Choose complex, hard-to-guess passwords that include numbers, letters, and, if possible, symbols.
  2. Lock the phone so others can’t access it without a password or other security measure. If you haven’t already done so, check out the smartphone’s manual to make sure you’re aware of all its security features and how to enable them.
  3. Don’t open unsolicited emails or social media messages. Our mobile devices are often a great way to find deals, coupons, and specials on the go. But be wary of clicking onto unsolicited messages that may lead to malicious websites.
  4. Always verify the authenticity of the ecommerce store you’re purchasing from. Mobile devices feature smaller screens, sometimes hiding full URLs. Cybercriminals use URLs that begin with a legitimate online store name but instead take you to a malicious site.

Mobile shopping is convenient, but it also exposes us to identity theft just as easily as shopping from the home desktop. ILD Mobile Phone Billing allows you to buy gaming services, streaming movies, downloads, and more by charging purchases directly to your phone bill. What’s more, a notification is texted to the main billing phone number, allowing you to reject the purchase, if necessary.

Shop with safety. Shop with convenience. Shop with ILD’s Mobile Phone Billing.

I don’t know about you, but I am very suspicious when purchasing ANYTHING over the internet.  Yea, I know, I know… I’m on a secured website and the merchant takes every precaution to protect my identity… blah…blah…blah.  You know as well as I do, nothing is guaranteed and identity theft continues to be a major problem with cyber criminals constantly finding new ways to get your personal information. According to newly published data from the U.S. Bureau of Justice Statistics, U.S. households experienced about $13.3 billion in losses tied to ID theft in 2010. Protect yourself and your family!

ILD provides a safer alternative for online purchases with our Home Telephone Billing option.  How can I be sure the creepy neighbor’s kid isn’t going to charge the latest online game’s secret maps and an arsenal of cyber guns to my phone bill you ask?

Well, ILD verifies the consumer identity before we bill to the phone.  First we make sure the name, address and phone number match exactly to what is on file with the telephone company.  If the information provided does not match we do not allow billing to your telephone number.

Yes, we understand that your name, number and address can be easily obtained using the local telephone directory or internet search.  That is why we gather additional information at the time of signup which includes the Merchant website address, the IP Address of your computer, and personal data such as your birth date, mother’s maiden name and/or social security number.  ILD verifies this additional information using the industry leader in credit and identity verification, LexisNexis.    LexisNexis compares the data provided during sign up to a variety of records (public and government) to verify your identity.   This again, must be a match or it’s a “no go” to billing.

And similar to the credit card companies, ILD is passionate about consumer protection.  If you are charged for a product that you did not order or authorize ILD will open an investigation.  ILD will credit fraudulent charges and work with the Merchant to ensure future fraud is prevented for all consumers.

Just like that – Bill to Phone is simple, convenient, and most of all safe alternative to a credit card.

For more ideas from ILD Teleservices to get the most of your billing, contact Laurice Neely at 210-592-0881 to set up a personal one-on-one evaluation and solution session.

Laurice Neely is Executive Director, Alternative Payments for ILD Teleservices.  She is a guest blogger and can be found on Twitter @lauricen

It is no secret that current times are tough!  Generating revenue these days is hard enough and it’s important that businesses spend their sales resources on selling their product and services to consumers who actually pay their bill.

At ILD Teleservices, we develop secure alternative payment tools to help our Merchants identify billable clients before making a SALE.  ILD merchants can now prequalify their leads and save up to 75% of their sales costs.

#1 – Don’t purchase a lead list until you validate billable accounts

Why pay for a lead that is not a billable account?  Using ILD Teleservices’ bill to phone payment option, merchants can pre-validate accounts to ensure they are billable.  Lead generators can pull data by specific geographic region.  At ILD, we take those lists and create a custom file for merchants based on billable accounts.  The file contains all of the telephone exchanges that are approved for billing in the designated area.  This list can be provided to the lead generator, so the merchant pays only for qualified leads in the areas where they are approved for billing.

#2 – Validate telephone numbers to ensure they are active

A lot of money can be wasted in the telemarketing sales process by calling phone numbers which have recently been disconnected by the phone company, transferred to a VoIP or cable provider.  Merchants that use iValidate get the most current data to ensure the telephone numbers are currently active and billable.  ILD’s iValidate system pulls the real time telephone number account status from the telephone companies and provides an indicator if the number is billable.

ILD’s iValidate platform is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week so you can validate your lead in real-time prior to making the sales call.

For more ideas from ILD Teleservices to get the most of your billing, contact Laurice Neely at 210-592-0881 to set up a personal one-on-one evaluation and solution session.

Laurice Neely is Executive Director, Alternative Payments for ILD Teleservices.  She is a guest blogger and can be found on Twitter @lauricen

Credit Card FraudUsing a credit card for online purchases always make me a bit skittish.   Yes, I realize that millions of transactions occur daily with no issues.   However, every time I enter the card number, the CVV code, the expiration date and promise that I read the 62 page terms and conditions, I have visions of opening my monthly statement and finding a list of purchases including but not limited to first class tickets, a shopping spree at Versace and a 7-day stay at the Four Seasons Hotel in New York City.  The thought of working with the Fraud department to reverse these fraudulent charges makes me think long and hard how much I really want to make the purchase.

There is a much safer option now available for online purchases and that is Mobile Phone Billing.  This option has three easy steps: 1) I enter my Mobile number and billing zip code on one screen, 2) wait a few seconds for a text message on my phone containing a unique PIN number, 3) enter the PIN number on a second screen and I am done.  Because the PIN number is generated at the time of purchase and is only good for a few minutes for that specific transaction, the opportunity for fraudulent charges to my account are virtually gone.   The charges show up on my monthly mobile bill and I have an easy safe alternative payment option!

The fraud risk is mitigated by the unique PIN text.  My account and credit is protected, the merchant is protected, the phone carrier (billing entity) is protected and the scammers, fraudsters and thieves are shut out.

ILD’s Mobile Phone Billing option is available today for items that are consumed on the internet; this includes online games, streaming movies and TV, periodical subscriptions, technical support, ID theft protection, web conferencing, satellite radio, and the list continues.  Oh – and for parents (and merchants) that are nervous kids may go a bit crazy on the gaming sites – a text is sent to the main billing telephone number so they have an opportunity to reject the purchase!  Just by including this alternative billing option to your checkout page, will increase sales.  It provides  a billing option for consumers who refuse to use credit cards and consumers that do not have credit cards (29% according to a survey on Creditcard.com*).   The added benefit is protecting your revenue from credit card chargebacks on fraudulent credit card charges!

Image Courtesy of Report-Online-Scams.com.

ILD Turns 15

Anniversary Showcases Business Evolution Reinforced By Groundbreaking Digital and Social Media Solutions.

ILD Corp., a global leader in digital back office solutions is proud to announce that today is the company’s 15 year anniversary.  Originally a call center for telephony services, ILD has grown into one of the largest digital back-office support providers in the United States. Best known by the company’s brands, RollCall Business Conferencing Solutions (conferencing and webcasting services), ILD Teleservices (bill to phone payments), ILD Call Center and Social Strategy1 (social web services),  ILD Corp. continues to serve over a thousand national and global enterprises. 

“Reaching this milestone is a true testament to our employees and our partners. Over the years, hundreds of individuals have worked together to make ILD what we are today, and we’ve very proud of the achievements that have taken place since we founded the Company,” said Mike Lewis, Chairman and CEO. “It’s an important time to pause and acknowledge the accomplishments of the past, but even more importantly it is a time to focus on continually improving our operations and developing new and innovative services to ensure a long and bright future for each of our business units.  In this technology savvy world, we continue to evolve our businesses and service offerings with the needs of the digital age.”

President and Chief Operating Officer Dennis Stoutenburgh added, “We’ve introduced new innovative services to our product portfolio, which are all on a strong growth path. We’ve made a commitment to provide the latest technology, the most experienced people, and with this, our customer service levels are higher than ever! Investing in technology has streamlined our processes and made us quicker, more efficient and more competent in offering the technical expertise and insights that our customers have come to expect from us.”

ILD is part of the INC 5000 list and has also been named one of the Best Companies to Work for by Florida Trend Magazine.

Click.

That’s the sound of customers leaving your ecommerce store. There are plenty of reasons customers abandon purchases, but one of them may be a limited menu of payment options.pay_per_click

Here are 4 reasons bill to phone payment, which allows customers to charge purchases to their phone bill, is a smart addition to your ecommerce site:

  1. Keep existing customers: Consumers are tightening their financial belts. For some, that translates into cutting credit card use to avoid rising interest rates. For others, it means no longer sharing credit or financial information online because of the fear of high-cost identity or credit card fraud. Bill to phone provides a way to do business with customers who are no longer willing to pay with traditional methods.  
  2. Attract new customers: With a bill to phone service, new customers may be more willing to give you their business because they’re offered credit card free/bank account free payment options. In addition, this alternative solution provides access to millions of underbanked consumers.
  3. Maintain subscriber rates: Whether you’re selling a subscription for videos for cats (yes, there is such a product) or online gaming for the Hannah Montana set, you want to maintain subscription rates long term. Give consumers a simple, no-brainer alternative by allowing them to charge subscriptions without the hassle of credit cards. What’s more, you benefit from a constant revenue stream.
  4. Tap into billing expertise: Adding a third party payment processor is a good first step, but there’s more to bill to phone than an easy to use portal or seamless integration into your current system. Maximize revenue opportunity and minimize exposure to bad debt by tapping into payment expertise. The right payment processor will provide seasoned experts able to offer advice on how to make the minor tweaks that boost your bottom line.

 

Don’t let the click of customers leaving your ecommerce store ring in your ears any longer.  Contact ILD Teleservices, a leader in bill to phone processing with contracts that cover nearly every North American phone company and with a U.S. based team ready to guide you through the process.

The products are chosen. The inventory is ready. The staff is hopped up on caffeine. Let the 2010 holiday shopping season begin! The National Retail Federation expects a 2.3% increase in consumer holiday spending this year. No matter what your usual preparations for the fourth quarter might be, it’s possible your online store is missing the hottest thing in ecommerce this year: alternative payment solutions.

www.marketingpilgrim.com

www.marketingpilgrim.com

Here’s why you should add alternative payment options, like bill to phone, to your ecommerce site:

  1. Ecommerce merchants are beginning to recognize there’s a huge market in the underbanked, those consumers with poor access to banking facilities. Estimates vary, but some sources believe as many as 40 million Americans have little or no interaction with conventional financial institutions. That means a portion of your target market may not own credit cards or have access to a bank account.
  2. Consumers are more risk averse. Identity thieves stole about $54 billion dollars in 2009, according to Javelin Strategy and Research. The fear of identity theft and credit card abuse may make some consumers hesitant to submit credit card information over the Internet.
  3. Consumers are more money conscious. Just because consumers have credit cards doesn’t mean they’ll use them. Why? As interest rates rise, more consumers may cut back on card use to avoid paying bloated rates. In addition, the economy has forced others to come to terms with their debt load, and, as a result, they may work to actively reduce the amount they borrow from banks and credit card companies.

Get on the “Hot” list this year by offering consumers an alternative to credit cards and bank account based payments like Pay Pal. A bill to phone payment option allows consumers to charge your online content and services to their phone bill. When they pay the phone company—using whatever payment method they normally use—they also pay for your products.

The tinsel, gift wrap, and cheesy TV holiday specials will be here before you know it—and, hopefully, so will the consumers. Learn more about adding bill to phone options to your ecommerce store by contacting the alternative payment experts at ILD Teleservices.

Bill to Phone & ILD Teleservices – A Consumer Affairs Guide

ILD Teleservices“ILD Teleservices.” You see it on your phone bill and wonder: Who are they? Why are they billing me? Is this right? Well, look no further. This guide will give you the 411 on why you might be seeing our name on your phone bill and how we work with vendors to provide a safe and reliable alternative to using a credit card for purchases.

Why “ILD Teleservices” appears on your phone bill

ILD is a third-party payment processor, acting as a link between merchants and consumers. When a consumer purchases a product or service and chooses the Bill to Phone payment method the merchant submits the information to ILD who, in turn, submits the charge to the consumer’s phone company. The consumer simply submits payment for the purchase with their monthly phone bill payment.

If a charge appears on your bill, it’s because someone in your household may have authorized a merchant to charge your phone bill for products or services, such as ring tones, video games, or Internet services. If you have questions or need help with a charge, please contact our help center.

Why Bill to Phone is a payment option consumers trust

  • It’s hassle free. With Bill to Phone there are no long credit card numbers to type in or super-small security codes to read. At checkout, customers simply enter information that’s unique to them, such as their phone number and the last four digits only of their Social Security number.
  • It’s peace of mind. Because you’re not entering sensitive information like a credit card number, you lower the risk of online fraud and identity theft. Bill to Phone is simply a safer way to pay for the online goods and services you want.

Why ILD Teleservices is a payment processor consumers trust

Consumer protection is a priority at ILD. Before we agree to partner with a merchant, we do a stringent background check on the company as well as its key personnel, such as officers and owners. Our team also works with third-party investigators to examine potential partners.

We also offer a help center to resolve customer issues, whether it’s canceling a subscription or disputing a charge for a service you never received. What’s more, the resolution center keeps customers in the loop by allowing them to check on the status of credits.

ILD Teleservices is a respected alternative payment processor. For more than 13 years, we have been a leader in finding payment solutions that work for both merchants and consumers. In addition, we offer businesses a range of services, including audio and web conferencing and social media strategy.

More questions?

For more information about ILD or ILD charges listed on your phone bill, check out these links:

ILD Consumer FAQ

ILD Help Center

ILD Contact Information

ILD Teleservices | Chipping Away At Chargebacks

Chargebacks hurt ecommerce business. A chargeback is a customer-initiated refund that is enforced by the customer’s bank or credit card issuer. They’re initiated for any number of reasons, including technical issues (non-sufficient funds, processing errors, etc.), quality-related complaints (customer claims the goods/services weren’t as promised), or fraud.

No matter why chargebacks are initiated, the fact is, if you’re an ecommerce merchant, they hurt. The process forces you to reimburse the cardholder and pay pricey fees to the bank. What’s worse, chargeback rates may actually dictate the payment forms you’re allowed to accept from customers. For example, most credit card companies require merchants to keep their chargeback levels below 2%–with some requiring even lower rates. Businesses with higher chargeback rates stand to lose their merchant status.

Ecommerce merchants can reduce chargebacks by implementing best practices, such as providing accurate product descriptions and clearly defining a return policy. There is, however, another tool for reducing costly chargebacks: go alternative.

No, we’re not talking about flannel shirts and grunge rock. Instead we’re talking about adding alternative payment methods, like bill to phone, to the shopping cart process. When customers choose this option during checkout, they simply authorize the merchant to bill the purchase to their monthly phone bill, taking the credit card transaction out of the equation entirely.

But ecommerce merchants can’t stop there. It’s critical to find a bill to phone processor with the ability to provide real-time verification of the customer’s identity and account information. By validating personally identifiable info, such as home phone number and the last four digits of the customer’s Social Security number, you eliminate a higher number of the fraudulent orders and information errors that trigger customer-initiated refunds.

Don’t let chargebacks chip away at the bottom line you work so hard to build. Reduce chargeback rates by talking to the bill to phone payment processing team at ILD.

Consumer‘s Guide: Why Use Bill to Phone?

guide_book_imageWhether it’s an online dating service subscription or a funky ring tone, you want to have access to online services. In the past, most ecommerce companies asked clients to pay with a credit card. The problem? Not all of us feel comfortable sharing that information on the Web, potentially increasing our risk of credit card and identity fraud.

The good news is that an increasing number of ecommerce sites are adding the bill to phone payment option, which allows you to have the online products and services you purchase added to your monthly phone bill. Why should you consider clicking on the bill to phone payment option?

Protect your identity

We’re all concerned about credit card fraud and identity theft—and with good reason. More than 11 million Americans fell victim to identity fraud in 2009, according to research firm Javelin, the highest level since the company began the report in 2003. The study authors advise that consumers use caution when sharing sensitive information online.

One way to reduce how much of your personal credit information is shared online is by using bill to phone payment options when available. All that’s required to complete a transaction is information about your phone account—no credit card required. While no payment method is 100% safe from fraudsters and identity thieves, using alternative payments can lower your risk.

Save your money

If you pay the phone bill with a check or with direct draw from a bank account, bill to phone allows you to completely avoid credit card interest rates. In fact, an April 2010 New York Times piece predicts that credit card interest rates will continue to rise in the near future. By adding billing for downloads, subscriptions, and other services to the phone bill you save hefty interest fees—and that’s money you can use to do anything from bulk up your savings account to treat yourself to that e-reader had your eye on.

Simply your life

From taking care of the kids to managing a busy career (and perhaps both!) your life runs 24/7. Paying for the things you need and enjoy shouldn’t be a hassle. Bill to phone allows you to pay for products and services when you submit your monthly phone bill payment. There are no extra bills to handle or extra due dates to remember.

Bill to phone is a hassle-free and convenient way to pay for online services—whether it’s finding Mr./Ms. Right on a dating site or defeating the Dark Lord on your favorite online video game. If you have a question about an ILD charge on your phone bill, visit our support center, which features online tools and merchant information, or call 800-637-4009.