The uncertainty of 2020 saw more shoppers than ever before buy online. Unsurprisingly, many Australian SMEs have moved sales online or improved their existing digital experiences for customers.

The start of a new year is a great time to reflect on the impacts COVID-19 is having. The ABS shows retail turnover for November 2020, including online sales, rose by 7.1% month-on-month and is up 13.3% compared to the same time last year. But what does a rapidly increasing online sales mean in a world where cyber threats are a serious issue?

While a report by Australia Post reveals online sales alone jumped by almost 17% in November 2020, online shopping scams also edged upwards late last year with over $8 million lost to fraud throughout 2020.

Here are some steps you can take to minimise the chances of fraud in what could be another record-breaking year.

Look for suspicious activity  

A bulk order of items that aren’t usually bought in bulk could be a sign someone is using a stolen card to purchase items for resale. Similarly, orders purchased with multiple credit cards could also signal theft.

‘Friendly fraud’ can also occur when a customer places an order before calling to dispute the transaction. You can prevent these scams by keeping a record of your customers’ order history and communication.

Use two-factor authentication

Verifying customers with a simple username and password is rarely a watertight solution. Introducing two-factor authentication is an effective way to shore up payment security because it layers two different methods of authenticating your customers such as requesting a username and password before sending the customer a unique PIN code via SMS.

Integrate biometrics technology

Biometrics technology can be integrated with your two-factor authentication process to become what’s known as ‘multi-factor’ authentication.

Biometric markers to verify a person’s identity – such as voice recognition, facial recognition, or fingerprints are unique personal identifiers that can’t be hacked or replicated by criminals.

Use a payment gateway with accurate fraud prediction capabilities

Sophisticated payment gateways have access to consumer behaviour data to make real-time payment authorisations while blocking transactions that bear hallmarks of fraud. But it’s also essential to avoid false declines where legitimate transactions are mistaken for fraud. False declines can affect your bottom line and dampen your customers’ online experience.

2021 is the ideal time to pick up the pace with your business’ fraud protection strategy. After all, with revenue in eCommerce expected to continue to grow, there’s no turning back from consumers’ increasing reliance on digital sales.

Brendan Albury

Brendan Albury is Product Analyst for Live eftpos.