Tag: digital merchants

Ease Jittery Shoppers’ Financial Concerns with Alternative Payment Methods (APMs)

The volatile economy is causing many consumers to be more mindful of their wallets. Will they have a job in 6 months? How high will credit card interest rates rise? These are the discussions millions are having around their kitchen tables. In fact, the August 7th Bloomberg Consumer Comfort Index showed that consumer confidence dropped to its second-lowest point of the year.

Digital merchants who want to succeed in these uncertain times need to take action.

One of the simplest paths to easing consumers’ concerns and making their decision to spend money on your ecommerce store easier is by offering alternative payment methods (APMs), like phone billing. This payment alternative works by allowing consumers to purchase digital goods and services, like downloads or Internet services, by charging the purchase to their phone bill.

Phone billing saves consumers money.

Shoppers spent less on credit cards during July 2011, according to a First Data report. As credit card companies increase interest rates and impose steeper penalties on late payments, plastic is becoming a less attractive way to pay for ecommerce products.

Digital merchants who add a phone billing option to their shopping cart give consumers a no-additional-cost way to complete the transaction. Shoppers aren’t forced to pay interest or fees to banks in order to get the goods and services they want. It’s a win for the customer; and that means it’s a win for you, too.

To start integrating consumer-friendly phone billing into your ecommerce store, contact ILD Teleservices, a leader in the third party payment processing industry. Our Bill to Phone alternative payment method offers timely settlements, increased customer satisfaction, and an easy-to-integrate interface. Learn more today.

Credit Card Fraud

Is the cardholder legitimate? Is the credit card valid? For years, these types of questions have dogged the digital merchants who rely on card-not-present transactions to do business. And while credit card sales aren’t likely to disappear in the near future, there are strategies merchants can implement to manage the risk of fraud. Here are four to consider:

  1. Invest in the right third party payment processor. A payment partner should be more than the “system that handles the money.” The right processor will understand the risks of operating in the digital space as well as provide the tools and expertise to reduce fraud exposure. For example, ILD’s Bill to Phone, which charges transactions to the customer’s phone bill, offers a real-time verification system that validates the customer’s identity.
  2. Develop risk management procedures. Implement the internal controls that lower your brand’s risk of losing revenue to cybercriminals and “friendly” fraud transactions. Review everything from the sales order process to real-time customer identity verification.
  3. Educate staff. Those risk management procedures won’t be worth much if employees aren’t familiar with them. Teach staff about your company’s fraud prevention tools and strategies. New and established employees should also understand how to follow the risk management procedures you’ve implemented.
  4. Review risk management plans on a regular basis. Fraud reduction and prevention is not the work of a single day or week. Criminals find new ways to steal from businesses. Payment processors develop new fraud prevention strategies. To maximize return on a risk management plan, regularly review the strategies and tactics.

ILD Teleservices is a trusted third party payment processor for a range of industries, from telecommunications and ISP to gaming and home security. Our Bill to Phone alternative payment method allows you to build predictable revenue streams while reducing your exposure to fraud. To learn more about our ecommerce payment solution and real-time customer identity verification, contact our team.

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?

Protect Yourself From Identity Theft

From Osama Bin Laden phishing scams to PlayStation Network’s hack, consumers have become increasingly aware of the risk of providing sensitive information, such as credit card numbers, online. But you don’t have to say “good-bye” to wary customers when you offer easier and safer alternative payment methods.

The risk of identity theft discourages risk-averse consumers from ecommerce shopping.

A 2010 study by the Identity Theft Resource Center found:

  • 87% of consumers had “significant” concerns about personal information (such as credit card numbers, etc.) being stolen in a business data breach.
  • 41% will NOT use a payment method that requires them to provide access to their bank account.

Digital merchants who rely solely on traditional payment methods, like credit cards, or alternative payment methods (APMs) that request bank account info, like some PayPal transactions, could be sending business to competitors who offer less risky checkout choices.

The right alternative payment method gives customers the peace of mind to shop safely.

Not all APMs are created equally. For example, some platforms allow customers to shop without a credit card, but they must share their bank account information instead—and, not surprisingly, some view that as an even riskier method of ecommerce shopping.

If you want to expand your digital store’s market to welcome risk-averse consumers, then it’s time to consider adding an alternative payment method like LEC billing. This simple checkout alternative allows customers to charge their purchase to their phone bill.

For more information about expanding your digital market to reach risk-averse consumers, contact the ILD Teleservices team about Bill to Phone. Our LEC billing will provide an online shopping experience that creates less risk for your customer and more revenue for you.

Lift Your Business

Most digital merchants are familiar with offering a credit card payment option to their ecommerce customers. If you’re trying to decide how to incorporate alternative payment methods (APMs) that lift your business, check out our tips:

Define your goals.

The first step in choosing a profitable ecommerce payment method is to define the problem you’re trying to solve. Here are some possibilities:

  • Do you need a payment alternative for the risk-adverse customer? These are the consumers who avoid sharing bank account or credit card info online to avoid the risk of credit card fraud and identity theft.
  • Are you trying to reach the unbanked or underbanked sector? These groups have little or no access to traditional banking institutions, relying instead on businesses like check cashing services.
  • Is your ideal customer a college student who hasn’t been able to get a credit card?
  • Do you need a simple way to retain customers or maintain subscriptions?

Find an experienced payment processing partner.

Invest in an alternative payment processor who wants to do partner with your business and help it grow. Ask if your potential APM provider will:

  • Provide an interface that’s easy for customers to use and easy to integrate into your current infrastructure
  • Provide metrics to help you analyze your business so you can make profit-building decisions
  • Give you access to the markets you’re currently not reaching, whether it’s the security conscious or the unbanked
  • Offer a professional staff with the experience to walk you through the implementation process
  • Provide a customer verification system to reduce uncollectibles and chargebacks

ILD Teleservices is a Florida-based APM processor with the tools and support to expand your business and enhance profit potential. Contact us to learn more about Bill to Phone, an easy, secure, and reliable payment alternative that allows customers to charge digital goods and services directly to their phone bill.

Online Shopping - No Credit Card Required

Whether you’re having trouble getting credit or just want to avoid the hassle and cost of owning a credit card, you might find it tricky to shop online without that seemingly magic piece of plastic. The good news is that digital merchants and online service providers are making it increasingly easy for consumers to shop online, conveniently and safely, without credit cards. Here are 3 options to pay for items and services online without a credit card:

  • Prepaid cards – Available at discount or drug stores, these debit cards are offered in specific denominations. Once you’ve used the prepaid balance, the card no longer has value. Another challenge with prepaid cards is that you may not have one handy when you need it.
  • Gift cards – Purchase gift cards to use on a retailer’s ecommerce store. Although it’s one way to get around paying by credit card, the challenge is that you can sometimes only find gift cards for major retailers, which means you’re out of luck if you want to purchase services from an Internet service provider or join an online dating site.
  • Bill to Phone – Know your home phone number? Remember the last four digits of your Social Security number? That’s all you need to use the Bill to Phone payment option, which allows you to charge games, downloads, and other digital merchandise and services directly to your phone bill. With Bill to Phone, you pay no interest fees and you reduce your risk of identity theft because you’re not sharing sensitive financial info over the web.

 You can only use Bill to Phone if the online store offers it at checkout. Don’t see Bill to Phone as a payment option? Tell the merchant you want a credit card free alternative.

ILD, one of the nation’s leading alternative payment processors, allows you a credit card free way to buy products and services online. If you have questions about an ILD charge on your phone bill, please visit our customer care center.

Save Money

Save money. Make money. In the simplest terms, those are the two things every digital commerce professional needs to do on a daily basis. One way to trim expenses and boost revenue at the same time is to invest in a comprehensive alternative payment processing platform. Here are 3 ways an alternative third-party payment processor will save money and increase revenue:

  • Reduce exposure to unbillables – Bad credit card numbers, expired cards, and closed bank accounts eat into an ecommerce merchant’s bottom line. A good alternative payment platform offers verification tools that reduce unbillables by validating a customer’s identity real time.
  • Provide real-time access to information – The ability to access accurate information 24/7 speeds up decision making. A full-service alternative payment processor provides the tools you need to be nimble in the digital space. Billing analytics, combined with an easy-to-use merchant dashboard, help identify trends to maximize profit potential and pinpoint chargeback and unbillable risks. 
  • Offer a turnkey solution – You’re busy running a business and don’t have the significant time it takes to build an ecommerce payment solution from the ground up. Look for a payment processor with the tools to streamline deployment so you can start accessing new markets quickly and seamlessly.

Is there an APM that does all this? Yes: Bill to phone by ILD Teleservices. Our digital commerce payment processing allows customers to charge goods and services directly to their phone bill. For consumers, it offers a “credit card free” way to buy the things they want. For digital merchants, bill to phone provides a complete APM system designed to lift the bottom line.

 From a turnkey payment platform to real-time analytical data, ILD Teleservices has the tools you need to thrive in the digital marketplace. And we offer more than tools—we’ve also processed more than 1 billion transactions and partnered with more than 150 merchants, which makes our experienced team an ideal extension of your ecommerce team. Contact ILD Teleservices today.

revenueOpportunity is knocking for ecommerce stores and digital merchants. Are you listening? Check out these 4 opportunities that allow you to access more customers and increase revenue by adding bill to phone payment alternatives to your checkout process:

More than 25 % of American consumers are unbanked (do not have a checking or savings account) or underbanked (they have a checking or savings account, but prefer other financial transactions such as check-cashing or money order services) (Federal Reserve).

When you give consumers the option to bill purchases to their phone bill, it allows them to pay with whatever method they choose—whether it’s sending a money order or dropping by the local phone company office to pay with cash. The result is that you gain access to an even larger customer base—one that’s not limited to credit card users or bank account holders.

Only 35% of ecommerce merchants offer alternative payment options (E-commerce News).

It’s possible as many as 65% of your competitors do not offer alternatives to credit card payments. Perhaps it’s time to differentiate your brand from the rest of the pack by providing an easy and effortless alternative: bill to phone. This option gives consumers a payment method that reduces the risk of fraud and eliminates the hassle and cost of paying by credit card or through a merchant account.

Ecommerce merchants lost an estimated $3.3 billion, or 1.2% of their revenue, to fraud (CyberSource).

When you implement a bill to phone payment solution, you benefit from security measures that reduce your risk of loss. For example, consumers using this alternative method are asked to provide their address as well as the last four digits of their Social Security number to verify their identity, reducing your exposure to bad debt.

Identity thieves stole $54 billion from U.S. consumers in 2009 (Javelin Research).

Fraud doesn’t just impact you; it impacts the customers you serve as well. In fact, shoppers who fear credit card or identity fraud may avoid shopping online altogether. The bill to phone solution allows customers to charge services to their telephone bill, which means they don’t need to transfer sensitive personal or financial information over the Internet—giving them more peace of mind.

Open the door for opportunity by offering alternative payment methods to your ecommerce customers—contact ILD Teleservices for a no-risk consultation.

Today, ILD Teleservices launched a new verification system for merchants.  The enhancement of the iValidate service offering will now include a personal identification service in addition to the current name and address verification.

Read the Press Release here.  http://ildteleservicesnews.com/

As the credit card industry makes changes, consumer behavior is changing, too. Although online shopping shows a steady incline, the form of payment is where the behavior is changing.  Credit card usage is becoming less and less popular as the choices are now moving towards debit cards and alternate forms of payment.

A recent study by Javelin (Online Retail Payments Forecast 2010-2014) showed in 2009 e-commerce grew 10.8 percent but was comprised of more debit card usage and other forms of payment.  Also, consumer’s comfort level has steadily increased with 63 percent of U.S. consumers saying they buy online and it is expected that by 2014 online shoppers will increase to 78 percent.

In the study it says that online purchases made via major credit cards is expected to decline from a peak of 58.8 percent in 2008 to 39 percent by 2014. In 2009, online payment services (i.e. PayPal or Google Checkout) comprised 51 percent of online purchases, surpassing gift cards (41 percent), store branded credit cards (27 percent), prepaid cards (17 percent), online credit services such as Bill Me Later (17 percent) and store-branded debit cards (16 percent).

Has your comfort level increased with making online purchases?  Do you still see limitations in the forms of payment offered online?  Are you like most Americans, and are trying to limit the amount of purchases you charge to your credit cards?

At ILD Teleservices we’re seeing merchants add the bill to phone alternative to successfully increase shopping cart conversions.  These digital merchants are offering their buyers a way to purchase items and have the charges placed on their local phone bill, referred to as LEC Billing.  ILD is the back-end clearinghouse that makes the transaction possible.