If you’re managing a business these days, worrying about payment fraud could be keeping you up at night. If so, you’re not alone.
A recent survey from Sift Science of more than 200 companies revealed that 77 percent of business owners worry about losing money to fraud, while 72 percent also worry about turning away good customers. It’s a delicate balance.
Fortunately, there are steps you can take with your bank to keep your money, your information and your customer relationships safer. Follow these tips to safeguard your company from payment fraud, and you’ll go a long way toward the right balance.
First, make sure your bank offers fraud monitoring and detection services that can help you identify potentially fraudulent transactions before they occur. A good suite of treasury management products can offer many tools to protect against fraud. Payments by check, wire, electronic funds transfer or credit/debit can all be made safer through such offerings. Even business e-mail can be made more secure. Here’s how they work:
Prevention Strategy for Checks – Through solutions like Positive Pay, you provide a list of checks you’ve issued, and your bank compares it against checks presented for payment. If any exceptions are detected, you’re notified immediately. You review the check images online, and decide whether to pay or return an item. The bank sends you a summary statement showing which checks have been paid, and which remain outstanding. This makes account reconciliation easy and convenient.
Prevention Strategy for Wire Fraud – As one of the world’s most popular methods for moving money. it’s not surprising fraudsters attempt to compromise wire transfers using sophisticated techniques. To blunt their efforts, banks can implement analytics technology solutions that help flag potentially criminal activities before they hit. Or they can review all wire requests manually, although this can be tedious and cause delays. Either way, you only want to work with a bank that keeps abreast of the latest fraud schemes and is taking adequate steps to protect against wire fraud on behalf its customers.
Prevention Strategy for Electronic Payments – Tell your bank you want to create and maintain a list of Electronic Payment Authorizations (EPAs) to ensure only approved transactions post to your accounts. Your list can also include “blocks” to ACH debit transactions you wish to deny. Having such filters in place will give you around-the-clock electronic payment monitoring, and enable you to identify and view any exceptions.
Prevention Strategy for Commercial Credit Cards – Today’s technologies offer new features that help financial administrators monitor companywide credit card usage through a simple web-based portal. You can open and close cardholder accounts; set limits on where cards can be used and how much can be spent; make payments online; and generate real-time reports. They also include enhanced security alerts—including fraud text alerts—to help keep your accounts even safer. You’ll also want to make sure your bank issues credit/debit cards that embed today’s new chip technology, which provides an extra layer of transactional security. These cards generate a single-use code that authenticates every transaction, helping avoid unauthorized use. Chip cards give business owners more confidence when monitoring transactions for fraud, plus most merchants have already adopted this payment technology.
Prevention Strategy for Business E-Mail Compromise (BEC) – BEC is a symptom of our global data-driven society. These scams attempt to compromise individual or business email accounts as a means of exploiting their bank accounts. Often these “phishing” scams originate outside the U.S., under scenarios where the sender impersonates an executive or an attorney; sends fake invoices; or deliberately copies a company’s brand and style to make false emails look legitimate. A company’s best protection is raising employee awareness, through education and ongoing vigilance. By being able to recognize potentially fraudulent communication, and beefing up your IT systems with the latest protections, potentially disruptive and costly mistakes can be averted.
With the right bank, all these mechanisms are easy to set up and use. And once they’re in place, you’ll regain the peace of mind that comes from safeguarding your accounts, knowing you’ve taken advantage of today’s fraud protection for business.
You’ll also get a better night’s sleep.
To learn more about how you can protect your business from payment fraud, contact Western Alliance Bank to talk with an experienced banking professional.