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Small Businesses Use Too Little Fraud Prevention for Mobile Payment Systems

By ThreatMetrix
ThreatMetrix®, The Digital Identity Company®, is the market-leading cloud solution for authenticating digital personas and transactions on the Internet. Verifying more than 20 billion annual transactions supporting 30,000 websites and 4,000 customers globally through the ThreatMetrix Digital Identity Network®, ThreatMetrix secures businesses and end users against account takeover, payment fraud and fraudulent account registrations resulting from malware and data breaches.
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A LexisNexis and Javelin Strategy & Research report says small businesses accepting at least one type of mobile payment from apps, point-of-sale systems or browsers maintain fewer fraud-prevention solutions than larger companies.

The report is based on a survey of 1,139 risk and fraud “decision makers and influencers” at both small and large companies using a variety of payment systems

Drawing upon the report,’s Will Yakowicz writes that smaller mobile merchants on average use two different types of fraud-prevention technology while larger businesses use an average of four. The technologies range from signature authentication, check verification services and transaction and customer profile databases to IP geolocation, real-time transaction and browser/malware tracking.

Sadly for smaller businesses the study finds that fraudulent mobile transactions end up costing three times the value of the actual product stolen! The reason? Payment-processing fees, fraud investigation and costs for restocking stolen goods.

Why spend money for fraud prevention when the cost is greater than what’s stolen? Maybe because cybercriminals are also aware that small businesses generally have less protection. So who are they more likely to attack more often? And, when customer satisfaction and reputation come into play, at what point does it become more cost-effective to have as much protection in place as possible?

Dennis Becker, vice president of corporate markets and identity management solutions for LexisNexis, observed that “Mobile payment options and point-of-sale hardware are providing more business opportunities for small merchants. Despite the surge in retailers using mobile payments to conduct business, we’ve found in our study the unfortunate correlation between the size of the business and the impact of mobile fraud on their business.”

Below are prevention techniques the study suggests ought to be put in place:

• Thorough authentication of mobile device transactions.

• Tracking fraudulent activities by every possible channel. Currently, about half of mobile merchants track fraud only by the payment channel.

• Maintain open communications with financial institutions and other mobile merchants to better understand the evolving nature of fraud threats and solutions. Consortia such as the Merchant Risk Council provide forums for sharing expertise and assessing concerns.

By ThreatMetrix Posted