Operating a business in the modern world is full of challenges and opportunities. Along with producing great products and services, it’s important to protect yourself financially. The reality is, businesses lose money through fraud all the time, so you’ll want to stay on your toes when it comes to financial matters. Rather than hoping for the best or dealing with problems after they occur, proactive fraud management can help to protect your interests and safeguard your reputation.
Business fraud comes in all shapes and sizes. Fraud is any dishonest and illegal act perpetrated for financial advantage. It involves concealment or misrepresentation of the truth, either through a commission or omission of known facts. While fraud has always existed, new technologies have led to a sharp rise in the number and type of threats.
Fraud management is about recognizing the need for protection and making appropriate plans. While it’s important to deal with the effects of fraud after the event, sound long-term financial management involves a more proactive approach. Preventing fraud is much easier than recovering your losses after the fact.
Types of business fraud
Modern businesses face a wide range of potentially fraudulent activities. Any individuals you deal with may commit fraudulent acts for their own benefit, including customers, employees, and other stakeholders. Common types of fraud include friendly fraud, bankruptcy fraud, insurance fraud, asset misappropriation, corruption, financial statement fraud, employment fraud, and identity theft.
The most common types of business fraud can be broken down into three separate categories, with different prevention and management strategies needed for each type:
- Chargeback fraud – Also known as friendly fraud, this occurs when the customer requests a chargeback from their bank after receiving goods or services. Friendly fraud can be greatly minimized with programs like 3D Secure and chargeback alert notification systems.
- Genuine fraud – This type of fraud has lots of different faces, including the use of stolen credit cards, account takeover, and asset misappropriation. Corruption schemes also fall into this category, which is when an employee uses their position within a company for their own benefit, to the detriment of the employer
- Affiliate fraud – Also known as performance marketing fraud, this is a common type of fraudulent activity faced by online businesses and digital marketers. Affiliate fraud involves any dishonest activity that attempts to generate commissions from an affiliate marketing program, including all activity explicitly forbidden under the terms and conditions.
Business fraud often exists within communications and payment systems, which is why it’s so important to enter into a professional relationship with a payment processing provider. For example, it’s possible to minimize chargeback fraud with alert notification systems, reduce genuine fraud with financial reporting systems, and remove affiliate fraud with data management systems.
Essential features in a fraud management system
Fraud prevention involves thoughtful planning, considered implementation, and detailed reporting and analysis. There are many ways to minimize fraud by implementing different procedures and controls. The following elements are critical:
- Set up reporting systems for employees
- Implement tight internal controls
- Ensure the integrity of financial records
- Ensure deep integration with bank systems
- Design a robust customer relationship management (CRM) system
- Ensure access to a pre-chargeback alert system
- Implement smart automated processes
- Set up an ongoing relationship with a payment processor
It’s important to prevent and manage fraudulent activity quickly before it creates ongoing problems for your business. Proactive fraud prevention is the key to sustainable long-term financial management. Setting up a long-term relationship with a secure and trusted payment processing partner is the best way to minimize your losses and protect your business for the future.
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