New eCommerce Businesses and Optimal Transactions

New eCommerce Businesses and Optimal Transactions

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In the past 6 months, the COVID-19 pandemic has affected the majority of small and medium businesses to shut down their doors, implement social distancing measures, and has impacted their revenues in considerable ways. It is reported that over one-third of SMEs have moved their business online for the first time in April 2020. While that move hunts for revenue in that channel, they will be competing with established eCommerce businesses with honed in the navigation to process through customers.

Challenges for new businesses online

Aside from the barriers to get up and running with an eCommerce site, processes need working out, different reports to generate; the merchandising and the online experience the business would like to project is going to be a challenge. Not only the store has to project its brand via advertising, SEO, and promotions – the conversion section of the website of processing a basket is especially sensitive. Here is where the “right gateway” with the “right tools” can make a significant difference.

The New Risks

While in brick and mortar store risks for credit card fraud is lower than online due to the physical nature of producing a physical card, showing your face and risking a challenge if something does not go to plan – online fraud is a lot easier since databases of CC-Numbers/Exp-date/CCV/Address are hacked, sold, and fraudsters try to obtain goods/services with them. Using VPN’s they hide their locations and try to fake where they are to try and get past gateway settings. All these shenanigans can’t be applied in high-street retail stores, but online, fraudsters are crafty and hungry to test out any new store that might have their guard down.

Gateways and Capabilities

As most SME’s will be familiar with credit/debit card processing, the online risks differ from retail when it comes to tools and how to filter out risky transactions. Where banks leave the burden of that risk on the business, doing a good job all the while getting a customer processed easily and quickly requires best practices from the industry and a gateway that can have the tools to match what conditions you would like to impose on CC transactions.

Strong Customer Authentication (SCA) can significantly reduce risk where a PIN Code is required when you transact with a debit/credit card, which is sent to their mobile. This is known as “Two-factor authentication” and is enabled through the 3DS (3D Secure) feature. 3DS version 2 has improved capabilities that allow you to control features with the right conditional balance to achieve a frictionless checkout while minimizing fraud.

SCA Exemptions

SCA is not implemented in most retail brick-mortar stores, thus it will appear to be a point of friction for an online experience. Shopping cart abandonment will increase where SCA is in use, yet the cost of fraud (stolen CC details) will be reduced. Using tools such as Shipping Address/Billing Address being the same not requiring SCA where if they differ, requiring SCA may give the balance you are looking for.

Transactional Types

Different types of transactions like PayPal, ApplePay, GooglePay all have different Gateway/settings to get familiarize yourself with. Where you might find that your chances are greater to close out a basket by having additional forms of payment, it also increases the risks of fraudulent activity, as well as some payment methods, are riskier. AliPay and WeChatPay cover the Asian side of the world, where Visa/MC/Amex is global – determining where your clients reside, applying the right payment method make it more specific to the user base, and thus reducing risk.

Flagging with Conditional Tools

Part of a new activity for an SME is to set your gateway to flag transactions that fit certain criteria. As an example – if the same CC is used for different accounts on your site. Check your gateway’s flagging settings, and understand their conditions well so as to ensure you can review behavior that’s outside of your business norms of transactions.

Data Analysis

The amount of data will accumulate fast given that you are now capturing clients' online – marketing data, on-site client data, order data, transactional data, and the correlations and reports between them all to analyze. Make sure that you capture the patterns of any fraud that slips through, and understand how it made it past your settings. Monitor customer behavior out of the norm with greater scrutiny as fine-tuning your setting to be the least hassle for real clients is important all the while stopping the fraudsters to get through.


Between selecting payment methods, Gateways, and your eCommerce system checkout process – there is a lot that can affect a frictionless checkout process. Getting to know your Gateway’s settings well is crucial, working on your checkout pages (one-page checkout being very popular) is just as important. The goal is that you want as many customers to transact their baskets, legitimately.

For background on "Shopify Payment Gateways & Countries" see the link displayed.

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