Tag: Federal Trade Commission

Every ecommerce customer counts. It doesn’t matter whether you sell gaming services or mobile ringtones, you know how much time, money, and people power your company invests in attracting and capturing the target market. But if you’re going to deploy the tactics that complete the sale, it helps to know about these four types of digital consumers:

The Credit Card Free – Nearly 30% of consumers do not have a credit card. Some are unable to obtain one, while others simply don’t want one. But what really matters to you is that these are customers who simply cannot shop online unless they purchase a pre-loaded debit card, use an alternative payment method that taps into their bank account, or ask a friend/family member to make the purchase.

The Cost Conscious – Other consumers in your target market have credit cards, but prefer not to use them. Perhaps they’re hesitant to pay interest fees to the banks. Maybe they don’t like to run the risk of high late fees.

The Security Conscious – Each year, consumers and ecommerce businesses lose billions to online fraud. But what’s more interesting is that ecommerce merchants lose 6x more revenue to the fear of fraud than actual fraud, according to the Federal Trade Commission.

The Unbanked – About 9 million U.S. households are unbanked, which means these consumers cannot (or, in some cases, will not) access traditional banking services, like checking accounts or credit cards. Instead they pay for transactions in cash or by using money orders.

Ecommerce merchants who want to capture these customers need to consider adding alternative payment methods (APMs) to their shopping cart options. APMs, like ILD Teleservices’ Bill to Phone, allow consumers to charge their purchase to their phone bill—and that allows digital merchants to attract consumers who aren’t willing or able to shop with credit cards online.

To learn more about the hassle-free, convenient APM that will lift your bottom line, contact the alternative payment experts at ILD.

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?

fear-face

Ecommerce merchants lose more revenue from the fear of fraud than from actual fraud—6x as much revenue to be exact, according to the Federal Trade Commission. Eye-opening figure, isn’t it? And digital consumers have reason to be wary of sharing credit card or bank account information for online transactions. More than 11 million U.S. adults were victims of fraud in 2009, the highest level since 2003. The good news is there are tactics digital merchants can implement to make customers feel safer when shopping online.

So how do merchants take the fear out of shopping ecommerce stores?

  1. Offer alternative payment methods (APMs). One of the easiest ways to give consumers peace of mind is by giving them shopping cart payment options that don’t ask for sensitive information. Third party payment processors provide alternative checkout options, such as Bill to Phone (LEC billing), which allows shoppers to charge purchases to their phone bill. No matter which APM you choose, invest in a third party payment processor with a platform that integrates smoothly into your current system for a seamless checkout—a feature that will boost customers’ confidence in the transaction.
  2. Invest in an SSL certificate. This security software encrypts information transmitted between the customer and the digital merchant. Remember to feature the security logo or seal prominently to let shoppers know you’re doing your part to keep online shopping safe.
  3. Outline an easy-to-understand privacy policy. Customers want to know what you’re going to do with the information they’re sharing, whether it’s their email address or credit card number. Post the privacy policy in clear language that the ecommerce shopper won’t need a legal expert to interpret.

What tips can you share for taking the fear out of ecommerce shopping?