Electronic commerce, also known widely as eCommerce, simply refers to the purchase of goods or services on a home computer, laptop or tablet, or mobile phone. Books, souvenirs, travel and leisure are all now available for purchase and consumption online, and business has never been better.
Every minute, American shoppers spend almost $2.5 million on an ever-increasing number of credit cards, totaling upwards of $300 billion every year. In the next five years, sales figures for purchases made on internet-enabled phones alone are predicted to hit almost $150 billion.
The problem that businesses face when conducting online sales is referred to as a “card not present” transaction. Not being able to see the buyer face-to-face can open the door wide to fraudulent charges made by scam artists who have obtained access to personal information.
Companies that deliver goods ordered online do not check identification routinely, and many consumers are resistant to extra security measures because they want their online shopping experiences to be easy, quick, and pleasant.
Thankfully, secure payment options are being developed and implemented. Some websites require the security code from the back of the credit card to be put in before authorizing delivery; others will only deliver to the mailing address registered with the bank in an attempt to prevent fraud.
Secure payment processing consultants and companies that specialize in eCommerce security are finding a willing audience in many online retailers.
Card not present fraud instances can occur right under the nose of internet security experts. In 2010, an eCommerce credit card chargeback ring was discovered: the perpetrators charged several million consumers’ credit cards the barely-noticeable amount of $9 — investigators rarely investigate suspicious charges under $10 — netting millions until they were discovered by law enforcement officials.
Card not present transactions can be risky, but security measures are rapidly being developed that will allow for a pleasant shopping experience while maintaining rigorous security standards.