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Online shopping Credit Card payment processing is simple, but watch out for fraud

Making sure you can collect your money

Fraud is a nasty word and something that can cause your business to lose money. Here we cover some of the ways you can lower your risks while doing business online.

Now that you have made the sale, and the consumer has provided you with their credit card, how do you know that the credit card they have provided you with is valid? How do you know that the consumer has sufficient credit to cover the purchase they are trying to make? In order to determine the answers to these questions, you need to submit the credit card and transaction details into the credit card processing network (Visa, MasterCard, Amex, or Diners). You can do this manually for small volumes, or you need some software, a service which will take your transaction details, submit it into the processing network, and have a reply back to you in a matter of seconds. This is done via "payment gateways" and "payment processors". The payment gateway will take your transaction information, forward it into the proper credit card network and let you know if the transaction has been approved or rejected. If approved, you can confirm the sale with the consumer and start the order fulfillment and shipping process. But you have no assurance that the person using the card is authorised to make the purchase.

Besides checking the credit card number, expiry date, and credit balance, there are many other things you can do to make sure you are not dealing with someone who will take your product (or money) and run! Another method of lowering fraud is to check the address of the consumer and make sure it matches the address details for the corresponding credit card they have provided. This is called "AVS" address verification, and is supported by many of the credit card networks. For a good discussion on AVS and other methods to lower risk of fraud, please see the following: Australian Institute of Criminology, Fraud Prevention

Be very careful with "Sender" email addresses from free providers such as hotmail and yahoo. Never ship expensive merchandise before phoning the buyer.

See STAY SMART ONLINE  for tips on credit card fraud prevention.

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