For every order you receive you can either approve it (and ship) or decline it after review. To be effective at order review, a merchant needs to not only prioritize reviewing the right orders, but also applying the right mindset, tools and training. While the apparent goal of reviewing orders is to determine if an order was placed legitimately, the larger goal is to expedite order approval and delivery to your customers. With this in mind, we’d like to share some tips and best practices to help you and your order review staff become more effective and efficient.
1. Prioritize and expedite good orders.
Your true purpose for reviewing orders is not to sniff out fraud and decline orders but to approve and ship as many orders as possible – as quickly as possible. Questionable orders can take time to resolve properly so it can be very difficult to make a good decision when stressed for time. Thus, you want to clear your good orders first and do so quickly so you can create time to focus on questionable orders. Quickly identifying and shipping out good orders first also helps your customers and drives greater loyalty from on-time deliveries.
2. Email age and social media profiles are good indicators of validity.
Knowing what information to prioritize and what tools to use can be really difficult. Two quality data points to start with are email age and the quality of the customer’s social profile. Remember that fraudsters are rational and are also seeking efficiency (just like you) so they’re looking for the highest ROI on the lowest amount of work. Establishing robust social media profiles and maintaining older email addresses takes time and effort. So you’re well-served checking quickly for (1) How old the email address associated with the order is? (2) If there are any social media accounts tied to it? If you find social profiles tied to the email address, check how old and active they are? Fraudsters tend not to invest a large amount of time building a social media profile that will be blacklisted after a fraudulent purchase is identified.
3. Leveraging AVS and CVV.
AVS (Address Verification System) and CVV (Card Verification Value) have been the cornerstone of fraud prevention strategies for some time now. While it is not uncommon for fraudsters to purchase the three-digit number on the back of the credit card (CVV) and the registered billing address (AVS), they are unlikely to ship their package to the billing address for fear of getting caught. However, these checks should not be your sole source of verification as it is important to understand why an AVS failure can happen in a billing/shipping address mismatch for legitimate customers. For example, a legitimate card holder may have moved in-state without updating their billing details (especially if they manage their billing in a paperless manner). Looking for complete AVS failures as opposed to partial failure may help you determine if the card is being used legitimately or not.
4. Don’t assume an ID is valid simply because it was provided.
When reviewing a questionable order, you’re likely to ask your customer for one or more forms of identification, such as a driver’s license or utility bill. In your rush to approve or decline the order you may be tempted to clear the customer if they simply supply such documentation. However, simply producing such documentation doesn’t provide validation. Keep in mind the ID they’ve provided could be fake. While it takes expertise and experience to spot well-crafted fakes your staff can get started by comparing the requested documentation to standard examples available on, amongst other sources, government websites and forums.
5. Consider professional analysis for all, or part, of your order reviews.
When it comes to fraud detection you’re facing a conflict of interest between minimizing losses and maximizing revenues. You’re also dealing with minimal resources that could drive greater value for your company if their efforts were focused on growth or increasing customer satisfaction. Thus, you may want to consider professional solutions and services with the
expertise and the experience to review your orders. Such solutions also have a much broader view of the market and fraudulent activities than you can gain on your own.
With Signifyd, our expertise and speed are backed by a chargeback protection guarantee that eliminates your financial liability for fraud.
While accepting orders incorrectly can lead to a chargeback, incorrectly declining orders will lead to the loss of loyal customers and revenues. Given the many factors against which you’re competing your order review resources could be better leveraged to drive growth and improve customer satisfaction, especially since they may not have the training, tools or data required to effectively detect and eliminate fraud. Fraudsters depend on your willingness to do “just enough” to keep them at bay so it’s time to consider a proactive approach to protect the business you’ve worked so hard to build.