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Keeping Payments Secure During COVID-19

It’s no surprise that online sales have spiked due to the global pandemic caused by COVID-19. As brick-and-mortar stores shut their doors, consumers were quick to turn to online spending. Nearly 50% of global consumers have been increasing their use of online payments during the pandemic, and they don’t plan on slowing down.  

Online shopping has kept consumers happy and safe by eliminating physical payments while still being able to shop. Unfortunately, that also means there is a lot more opportunity for fraud. To help keep businesses secure, one needs a whole arsenal of fraud prevention methods at their disposal. 

The People Still Need To Shop  

Just how much has this global pandemic affected consumer spending habits online? From February to May 2020, Canadian online sales surged a staggering 99.3%! During this time, businesses that had to close their physical doors were quick to go digital. In turn, platforms and software providers saw an influx of companies signing up online.

Things are moving fast for online businesses and the software companies that help them operate. It is critical to have a seamless payment process for the software and the business alike. Online payments are becoming more convenient, but that doesn’t mean security should be an afterthought. 

More Payments, More Fraud Potential

Unfortunately, in times of distress, fraudsters and criminals can find more opportunities. As many people have switched to work at home rather than the office, online invoice and email scams seem to be the fraud method of choice. From just April to May 2020, businesses reported a 200% increase in payments from fraudulent emails or invoices.

Now it is darn near impossible to stop this fraud at the source. The key to preventing payment fraud is putting the measures in place to ensure the payment never makes it through. 

So What Can You Do?

For platforms and software companies that have payments built-in, they should lean on their payment provider for payment fraud protection. With Bambora, there are several options we recommend that can help mitigate the risk of fraud:

  1. Confirm payment identities: This one is a staple. The verification methods AVS and CVV can confirm the payee has all the necessary confidential information required to make a payment. 
  2. Encrypt payment data: In other words, tokenization. We encrypt every piece of payment data from a transaction into a token and store it on our PCI-Level 1 certified server. This token is also excellent for repeat customers (convenience & security in perfect harmony – ideal for purchases during COVID).  
  3. Add more muscle at the checkout: One of the most secure credit card payment methods is 3D Secure. It’s almost like a secret handshake if the person buying doesn’t know it, chances are its fraud. 
  4. Monitor any abnormalities: A Bambora specialty, Risk Scoring works by setting a risk threshold for variables within a transaction. Bambora then monitors all transactions for anything that crosses that threshold and sends alerts or rejects transactions right away if anything is suspicious.  
  5. Validate payments: Those simple math or word-based problems at the end of a payment form, known as CAPTCHA, can stop fraud from bots. Sometimes, all it takes is a little human intuition to prevent fraud. 

These options can help businesses stay secure when processing payments; however, there are no guarantees. As COVID goes on, online payments will continue to increase, and with it will come fraud. 

The best way to stay safe is to keep on top of the latest security measures you can enable for your customers. That is exactly what Bambora is here for – to help educate and make sure your customers are equipped to handle whatever comes next. For more information on fraud protection tools, please contact our experts.

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