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Blog Category: Merchant Risk

Fraudulent merchants are abundant during the holiday season, profiting from consumers’ generous spending during the most lucrative shopping days of the year.  According to a report by ComScore, online retailers are estimated to bring in over $52.2 billion during November and December in the U.S. alone. The volume of transactions in such a short period of time is the perfect breeding ground for fraud schemes that can hurt acquiring banks and payment providers. Not only do the holidays bring an increase in merchant fraud, but they are also a popular time for merchants to add non-compliant goods to their websites, as these can often be very profitable. Monitoring merchants for compliance and fraud is imperative for acquirers and payment providers during this busy shopping season to prevent possible brand damage and financial loss.

The payments industry continues to make advancements in fraud prevention and protection, leaving fraudsters to find more creative ways to cheat the system. One of the fastest growing fraud schemes today is bust-out merchants, fraudulent merchants that rack up transactions, steal money, and then close down shop before being caught. By the time the acquiring bank receives a chargeback notification, the merchant is already gone, leaving the acquiring bank responsible for chargebacks and any additional fees they incur as a result.

Post Categories: Blog, Merchant Fraud, Merchant Risk

Data mapping has increasingly become one o­­f the most important tools to identify and manage merchant risk in the rapidly shifting payments landscape. When reviewing a merchant application and its basic business information, there is much more than meets the eye. Often, there lies an entire network of connections between the merchant and existing domains, directors, IP addresses, third party providers, and risk history. Why does this matter? Well, if it is possible to identify relationships or connections between a new merchant on the web to current or previous entities, it’s possible to gather enough data to predict what risk they present to an acquirer or payment provider. Prediction rather than reaction is essential in mitigating merchant risk and fraud, both at boarding and throughout a merchant relationship.

Post Categories: Blog, Merchant Boarding, Merchant Risk

This week, we sat down with Robert H. Caldwell, Founding Partner of G2 Web Services, to interview him on cyberlockers and marketplace merchants, and the risk they present to the payment system. Read on for Bob’s insights into where cyberlockers and marketplace merchants fit in the payment system, the risks associated with them, and best practices for payment providers to mitigate risk associated with these entities.

The following case study demonstrates how G2 Web Services, a leading payment risk management company, helped a U.S. payment service provider to identify unauthorized aggregation within its merchant portfolio, ultimately reducing its risk and creating new merchant opportunities.

Merchant Aggregation: Understanding the Problem

This particular payment service providers’ portfolio had 2,168 known merchant websites that contained higher risk online adult merchandise. The payment service provider (PSP) was enrolled in G2 Persistent Merchant Monitoring to carefully monitor its merchants for website content compliance. However, the PSP was not monitoring for aggregation, which left it vulnerable to potential violations and financial loss.

Aggregation can easily go unnoticed, as it involves an unknown merchant using a legitimate merchant account to process transactions. Without being aware of these aggregating sites, the PSP was facilitating the transactions of potentially illegal and/or brand damaging goods and services, and opening it up to aggregation assessments from the card networks. Upon learning more about aggregation risk potential and its rise in the industry, they sought help from G2 Web Services to determine the full scope of their merchant aggregation risk.

Post Categories: Blog, Case Study, Merchant Risk

Despite new card network regulations that require acquiring banks to register all their merchants’ service providers, much confusion remains about these requirements and service provider risk in general. G2 Web Services has identified thousands of service providers on behalf of acquirers worldwide, as well as helped facilitate their registration with the card networks. We’ve developed industry knowledge, best practices and tools that can help bring you up to speed.

Post Categories: Blog, High-risk Merchants, Merchant Risk

As the payment industry continues to undergo significant changes spurred by strong innovation and new payment methods, online merchant risks are on the rise, making it challenging for payment providers to stay one step ahead. With an increase in data compromises and government regulations, as well as new compliance concerns, the importance of performing extensive due diligence before boarding a new merchant could not be greater.

Bringing on the wrong merchant can be detrimental to your portfolio, as you could potentially bear the burden of any fraud, card network compliance violations, chargebacks and data breaches, which can cost you extensive financial damage, not to mention legal and regulatory penalties. Unfortunately, many acquirers do not thoroughly investigate their merchants’ online presence and history of risk. The good news is that many of these potential threats can be avoided by ensuring you follow the right steps and knowing exactly what to look for during the merchant boarding process.

The following are five areas of a merchant’s history to pay extra attention to at boarding:

We all know how difficult it can be as an acquirer to monitor all of your merchants’ websites effectively. It is a costly and time-consuming process to do in-house, and regulations are constantly changing. However, choosing to not monitor your merchants can open you up to brand damage, legal liability, and card network assessments.

Here are the “Top 5 Tips to Monitor Your Merchants” from G2 Web Services, a leading provider of payment risk management solutions and expert at merchant compliance monitoring, to help you stay better protected.

Cyberlockers are third party file-sharing – also known as “file hosting” – services. Examples of popular cyberlockers are DropBox, Hotfile, MegaVideo, and RapidShare. While there are practical applications for this type of service – such as transferring documents and photos between friends, or collaborating with remote colleagues – these file sharing merchants can also pose immense risk to acquirers. Cyberlockers have been repeatedly found to be associated with brand damaging, risky, or even illegal content, including violent video and intellectual property rights infringement. This business model is currently largely unregulated and very difficult to monitor, so acquirers should proceed with caution.

Millions of pieces of “Personally Identifiable Information” (PII) are compromised each year due to data breaches, theft by an employee or loss of the data by the company. Yet surprisingly, 69% of small business do not believe that there would be a significant financial impact or harm to their business reputation if they experienced a data breach, according to a recent study conducted by Ipsos Reid. This study also found that:

  • 40% of small business owners have no protocols in place for securing data, a five percent increase from last year.
  • More than 1/3 of the small businesses report that they never train staff on information security procedures.
  • 48% of small businesses don’t have anyone directly responsible for management of data security.
Post Categories: Blog, Data Breaches, Merchant Risk

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