Many small companies face the problem of their customer information being sought after by hackers all around the world. According to research and statistics, 1.2 billion usernames and passwords from small business merchant accounts faced a date breach in 2016. This is a wakeup call for such companies to take their data security seriously.
As a business, the ability to process credit and debit cards online is truly critical. High risk businesses also face a potential for higher fraud risks. While there are fraud protection and monitoring practices that should be implemented, most entrepreneurs ignore them.
Want to thrive with fraud protection?
Here are top 8 tips that will enable you to protect your high risk merchant account against fraudulence activities:
• Choose a secure eCommerce platform
Your eCommerce site should be on platform that uses the most sophisticated object-programming language. There are many open source platforms that may not be highly secure. They may be attractive as they are highly affordable. However, you should always choose wisely. It is important to ensure that your eCommerce platform is inaccessible to attackers.
• Don’t use forwarding addresses
If your product goes out for delivery, after being purchased from the platform, it should always get to the right individuals safely. Do not accept shipment to forwarding addresses as the actual location of the receiver cannot be verified. This paves way for fraudulent purchases. However, if you use a carrier that requires the recipient’s signature upon delivery, then you will be able to create a concrete paper trail in case any problem arises.
• Check IP addresses and physical addresses
As a business, you will have purchases from all over the world. In order to keep fraud at bay, the golden rule of thumb is to always verify the IP or physical address of the customer. Ensure that the answer to all of these questions is ‘yes’.
a) Does the phone number and billing shipping address have the same zip code?
b) Does the IP address county match the shipping address country?
If you are not certain about the answer to these questions, then you should probably reach out to the customer and get an understanding.
• Request CVC2 and CVV2 codes from all customers
Many high risk merchant accounts face the biggest fraud risk. Therefore, the use of CVC2 and CVV2 codes will make a transaction legitimate. By requesting this, you will be able to reduce any fraudulent purchases that may be encountered. All credit cards feature these codes on the back, as such; your customer will be able to identify them easily. Whether your clients are using; Visa, MasterCard or American Express cards, they will all have unique codes that will easily set them apart.
• Use a secure connection for online checkouts
Websites that are highly secure often have the strongest secure sockets Layer (SSL) authentication. This helps in the authentication of your business identity. It further protects your company and customers from getting their important information stolen. SSL certificates also let your customers know that your website is safe. In order to determine whether your clients are genuine, you can easily compare the addresses entered online and those that have been filed with credit companies.
• Do not store sensitive data
If you choose to store thousands of records on your customers then you will be exposing them to fraudulent activities. Business owners should purge old records from their database and keep a minimal amount of data that is simply enough for chargebacks. If you have nothing to steal then you won’t be robbed, as such, sensitive information should not be carelessly stored. The risk of a breach outweighs the convenience of your customers at check out.
• Require strong passwords
It may be your responsibility to keep customer information safe on the back-end but you can also help your customers to practice safety by requiring a minimum number of symbols or characters that should be used as passwords. Complex login makes it hard for criminals to breach your high risk merchant accounts. As such, this will ensure a high level of safety.
• Set up system alerts for suspicious activity
If you notice multiple and suspicious transactions coming through from the same IP address then it is important to set an alert notice. Orders placed by the same person using different credit cards should also have an alert. This will make it easy for business owners to determine whether clients are making genuine transactions or not.
Layering your security is one of the best ways to keep your high risk merchant account safe from any fraudulent activities or hacks. Employees should also be trained to thwart any attacks. With these strong practices, you will be able to protect your high risk merchant accounts at all times.

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