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When we tell businesses that getting to know their customers is vital, it’s not just so that they can provide the best possible customer experience for them.
Getting to know your customers is most crucial when it comes to helping businesses identify enemies disguised as customers.
Fraud is becoming increasingly widespread since the dawn of ecommerce and as it becomes more and more sophisticated, we need greater visibility to fight malicious activity on our websites.
The UK's online retailers experienced a rise in the number of bad orders last year, with an average of 1.9% of orders turning out to be fraudulent.
This is the headline finding from Cybersource's UK Online Fraud Report, which surveyed 200 etailers about the incidence of fraud and the challenges of fraud management.
I've been asking the report's co-author Dr Akif Khan about the issues facing the UK's online retailers as they attempt to combat fraud.
57% of merchants see online fraud as the greatest threat to their business, while they expect to lose an average of 1.8% of their income to fraud.
This is one of the findings from Cybersource's 2010 UK Online Fraud Report, which surveys consumers and retailers about how fraud affects their business and shopping habits.
Two-thirds of online retailers say they feel threatened by payment fraud, something which threatens to hold back e-commerce growth in the UK.
The stats come from payment provider Sagepay, which surveyed 1,000 retailers, also revealed a lack of awareness of what they need to do to meet the industry standards (PCI DSS) on payment security.
Make no doubt about it: the criminals are winning the war when it comes to online fraud. This is one fight that isn't even close.
From credit cards to identities, theft and fraud on the internet has been a boon to criminals of all shapes and sizes.
Lack of trust and security concerns are still holding people back from shopping online, though consumer confidence has grown significantly over the last few years.
According to a consumer survey (pdf) carried out by the Office of Fair Trading, nearly one in three are put off from shopping online. For 30%, lack of trust was the biggest reason, followed by concerns over personal security (20%) while 15% said they did not trust companies that sell online.
While online shopping is safe for the vast majority of customers, there are still some people who are so concerned about fraud that they are reluctant to enter their card details on an e-commerce site.
According to a Get Safe Online survey (pdf) from last year, 14% of people in the UK are deterred from using the internet due to fear of online crime, so what can e-tailers do to combat such concerns?
According to CyberSource Ltd., the UK subsidiary of electronic payment provider CyberSource Corporation, online fraud is a growing challenge for online businesses in the UK.
Although the total rate of fraud increased by 'only' 2.6%, one in 8 online merchants in the UK are now losing 5% or more of their online revenue to fraud and 37% lose at least 1%. All told, more than 40% of the merchants surveyed as part of CyberSource's 5th Annual Fraud Report saw fraud levels increase online last year.