Thanks for joining me for Part 3 of this article. Now let's look at some lessons we learned from our scenario of two Internet store owners.
Lessons to be learned:
That's what is great about this booklet. You don't have to lose to learn these lessons. If you read carefully and apply principles I am going to teach you, your online business will be a fortress against credit card theft. Thieves prey on new online stores or lazy merchants.
I hate to be a skeptic, but TRUST will put you out of business on Internet. Apathy will put you out, too.
Here are my steps to protecting yourself:
1. Do not use an automatic verification service for online shopping carts. There are many providers out there who say they will take care of your processing for you. All you do is send your customers to verification/credit card purchase page that provider gives. The money is then automatically deposited in your account. We created our own shopping cart. When we get an order, we're sent an email with a link to click on that takes us to a webpage printout of order. We then take that information, use software our merchant provider gave us and input it there for verification by modem. Your credit card verification should be either by software or by telephone verification. This gives you control of what transactions you allow to go through.
2. Take a good look at order. Does it look strange to you? Is amount a large amount? For example, is someone ordering 200 computer monitors from you? There's probably a 99% chance it's stolen. Is email address they provided from a free email service? Look at ship to and bill to addresses. Are they different? Is someone having something shipped overseas, but credit card billing information is in United States?
3. Call EVERYONE who orders from you. We get 4.9 cents a minute on our long distance, so for 25 cents to call customer and toll free number to bank that issued credit card, we verify EVERY order.
4. When calling customer, explain to them that you have seen a lot of credit card theft on your online store. Make it clear that you want to protect them. Ask them these 2 questions. They will tell you whether or not that person has that credit card in their hand:
A. Please provide me with tollfree number from back of your card. B. Please provide me with bank's name
This conversation with customer also gives you opportunity to check them out and give them comfort of knowing a human being took their order. (You would not believe how many of our online store customers have said they felt better that they got to talk to a real person!)