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Protecting Your Business From Payment Fraud

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80% of businesses have been targeted by payment fraud.

This fraud can be hard to spot and may involve checks, credit cards, or electronic payments. It's crucial for your business to choose its accepted payment methods carefully and train staff to recognize unusual activities. Prevention is the key to protecting against payment fraud.

Strategies for Minimizing Check Fraud Risks

Checks, although an older form of payment, are still widely used and vulnerable to fraud. To effectively prevent check fraud, businesses should adopt a cautious approach. Firstly, consider limiting check acceptance to clients with a proven credit history. This approach relies on building a trustworthy relationship with clients over time, ensuring a lower risk of fraudulent checks.

When accepting checks, it is critical to request photo identification to verify the identity of the person issuing the check. Implement a policy where employees are trained to compare the details on the check with the identification provided, paying attention to names, addresses, and signatures. Additionally, use verification services that can instantly inform you if a check is likely to be fraudulent or if the account has a history of insufficient funds.

Preventing Credit Card Fraud: Best Practices for Businesses

Credit cards are a common payment method but come with inherent fraud risks. To combat this, one of the most effective tools is the use of EMV terminals. These terminals provide enhanced security by requiring the card to be physically present and verifying the cardholder with either a PIN or a signature. This process, known as chip-and-PIN technology, significantly reduces the risk of counterfeit card fraud.

Encourage contactless payments which use the same secure technology but speed up the transaction process. Regularly update your payment processing systems to ensure they are equipped with the latest security features. Train your employees to look for signs of tampered or cloned cards, such as damaged chips or magnetic strips.

Implementing stringent policies for online and phone transactions is also essential. Use address verification services (AVS) and card verification values (CVV) checks to verify the cardholder's information. Regularly monitor for unusual transaction patterns, such as multiple transactions in a short period or high-value transactions, which could indicate fraudulent activity.

Empowering Employees in Fraud Prevention and Legal Awareness

The choice of payment methods in a business comes with various legal implications and fraud risks. It's important to not only understand these yourself but to ensure your employees are also educated. Provide regular training sessions on the latest types of payment fraud and how to detect them. This includes understanding the basics of secure transaction processing and recognizing suspicious customer behavior or transaction patterns.

Discuss the legal consequences of failing to detect fraud. This understanding emphasizes the importance of vigilance. Also, familiarize the team with the business's fraud response policies, like whom to contact and what steps to take in the event of suspected fraud. Simulate fraud scenarios as part of training to help employees better understand how to react in real situations.

Recognizing the Warning Signs of Payment Fraud

Training employees to identify red flags of fraud is a critical line of defense for businesses. Educate staff on indicators such as orders that significantly deviate from a client's normal purchasing patterns. For example, an unusually large order from a new client or frequent high-value orders over a short period should raise suspicions.

Look out for discrepancies in billing and shipping information. A mismatch between billing and shipping zip codes can be a warning sign, as can requests for expedited shipping on high-value items. Pay attention to inconsistencies in orders, like mismatched product types or quantities that don't make sense for the client's usual needs.

Encourage employees to be cautious with transactions conducted solely via phone, email, or text. In these cases, it's more challenging to verify the identity of the person on the other end. Regular training and awareness updates can help staff stay alert to evolving fraud tactics and better protect the business.

Utilize Resources to Help Protect Your Business from Payment Fraud

As you tackle the challenge of protecting your business against payment fraud, remember that prevention and informed strategies are your strongest allies. You may also want to consider our fraud mitigation tools, designed to help you easily monitor payments and help keep you ahead of threats to your business' finances:

  • Positive Pay monitors check payments before they hit your accounts. Checks are compared against a list of payments authorized by your business and matched on details like payees, account numbers, check numbers and dollar amounts. When checks do not match, someone at your business decides whether they should be paid or returned.

  • ACH Block & Filter provides an essential added layer of security towards safeguarding your assets by automatically blocking or filtering out unauthorized ACH transactions. You can either block all incoming debits with ACH blocks, or designate a list of authorized debits/credits with filters. If the ACH originator is not on the authorized list you provide, we will return unwarranted transactions.
Unsure where to start? Connect with a Treasury Management Specialist today for expert guidance to ensure your business is well-protect against payment fraud. Helping to protect your business is a top priority.