Black Friday: Watch your card!

20 November 2021 | Banking

Namibia has witnessed an upsurge in online shopping opportunities over the past two years as numerous retailers now offer this option, while a number of new online shopping portals have opened for business, particularly on social media.

This popular way of shopping allows consumers and businesses to maximise shopping sprees such as Black Friday, it also requires enhanced measures to minimise the risk of fraud.

Rivan Meyer, Head of FNB Digital Channels, says that irrespective of whether a business is large or small, it must have measures to detect and prevent fraud for point of sale (card present) and online shopping (card not present) payments. “During Black Friday, retailers that have specials are likely to process more transactions than usual. Unfortunately, the risk of in-store and online shopping fraud is also enhanced,” he says.

Meyer advises businesses and retailers to pay careful attention to warning signs of potential fraud, such as:

• Failure to verify the Card Verification Value (CVV): To minimise the risk of fraud, retailers are encouraged to request a CVV number for online shopping transactions. The CVV number verifies that the person placing the order has their physical or virtual card in their possession. A failure by an online shopper to verify the 3-digit CVV number on their physical or virtual card is a red flag.

• Several unsuccessful attempts to transact: When a fraudster is using a stolen card, it is common for the card to decline several times. This could be due to an incorrect address, expiration date, or mismatched CVV. One or two declines may be common, but multiple declines are suspicious.

• Multiple quantities of the same item: Fraudulent orders will often be made with the intention of reselling or ordering different items from the same category. To protect your business, keep track of ordering trends and be aware of high-value purchases. Especially when the items are in high demand.

In-store transactions

FNB Merchant Services also encourages retailers to consider the following safety measures for in-store transactions:

• Ensure that the supervisor PIN is adequately protected: It’s important to choose a strong supervisor PIN to avoid exposing the business to undue risk. Furthermore, a supervisor's PIN must never be shared or written down, and it needs to be changed regularly.

• Conduct a daily tally of Speedpoint devices on hand: Take note of each Speedpoint device's serial number to ensure that only authorised devices are at the store. Be wary of skimming or the tampering of Speedpoint devices.

• Verify the details on card present transactions: Always verify the card by comparing the last four digits of the card number with the first four digits on the signature pad on the reverse of the card. Take note of embossed card numbers that are unusual or of an uneven type or style and be vigilant when a cardholder presents multiple cards that result in successive declines.

“While seasonal shopping sprees such as Black Friday and the Festive Season are key to profitability, especially for retailers, businesses must be on high alert to avoid incurring losses due to fraud. It is important to remember that fraudsters are always looking for loopholes, so businesses must be multiple steps ahead with adequate safety measures,” concludes Meyer.

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