I’ve been working in online marketing since 1998—the early days, before the bubble burst. So, I’ve seen a thing or two. As a business owner and former lead generator, I personally know the downsides of fraud. Fraud effects everyone in the online marketing chain and it has cost our industry an awful lot.
The number of online transactions is increasing, so companies of every size must be attentive in safeguarding themselves against online fraudsters and bad actors. Focused fraud control measures are crucial to distinguish the good customers from the bad. It could even determine whether companies are profitable or not. But, choosing those measures isn’t as simple as it sounds. With a wide range of outsourced fraud protection and managed service solutions available, each with their own features and benefits, merchants, networks, lead buyers and lead generators need to know how to make the right choice for their businesses. So, how do you weed through the fluff to get what you really need?
Transparency. Is the fraud protection company you are using or the ones you are considering using transparent? What I mean is, do their solutions tell you exactly what is wrong with the data? If not, you’re not getting the whole story. For example, I’ve seen reports and API responses from vendors that indicate the lead is “risky” or “somewhat risky” or has an “IP issue”. What does this mean? How can you identify the fraud if you only have some vague description of what might be the issue? If you can’t identify the issue, you can’t fix it. This is very relevant in the world of chargebacks with affiliates. These vague responses are not acceptable for an affiliate and only makes them mad about not getting paid for the lead(s). It doesn’t help anyone fix or improve anything.
Alliances. It’s not enough for a fraud protection company to have all the technology in the world if they are not part of a fraud alliance or network. Sharing with others (and receiving from others) known fraudsters, spammers and cyber-criminals will help suppress these bad actors. No company can do fraud prevention alone. Proprietary systems are great, but, we cannot live in a silo when it comes to fraud prevention.
Works Well With Others. How well does the system integrate with other platforms? Make sure your solution provider integrates harmoniously with your back-end systems, third party lead management providers, affiliate networks, shopping cart platforms and web forms. If they don’t, what’s the point?
Easy to Use. Many companies only focus on dashboards with pretty charts and graphs. Although dashboards can enhance the user experience, they don’t matter if the integration is so complicated that it takes a ton of tech time and maintenance. Be sure the service provider has easy to implement integration documents
Hopefully, you’ve seen a theme here. Black boxes, silos and vagueness are extinct business strategies and the companies who use them in preventing fraud and have a limited lifespan for truly suppressing fraud.