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Businesses need quick ways to respond to fraud during COVID-19

During COVID-19 we’ve seen the mass digitisation of many industries. With countries around the world going into lockdown, while highstreets and physical stores close for business, many companies have found themselves entering the digital domain for the very first time.

Numerous restaurants have taken the leap into providing takeaway delivery services, while retailers that previously only had a physical presence are now selling goods using new websites and apps. Other industries that were well established in the online space, such as gaming, have also seen a sharp rise in transactions, while people are stuck at home and are looking to entertain themselves.

However, although this looks like positive, transformative change for many businesses as we head towards ‘the new normal’, there are great number of companies that are being caught out by fraud in this bustling online space. This is because fraud usually increases alongside online activity and while businesses have been fast to react to the virus and move their operations online, they don’t have the solutions in place that enable them to respond to fraud at the same speed.

Fraud trends being experienced during the pandemic

During COVID-19, the main trend we’ve experienced when it comes to fraud is an increase in the amount occurring. From friendly fraud to criminal fraud, account takeover and identity theft, the sheer number of transactions taking place online while people are shielded by online anonymity has made the internet a fertile ground for cybercrime.

Sadly, we’ve also seen the financial pressure placed on people due to furloughs and job losses contribute to the problem. These people are being targeted by phishing scams that offer financial aid and false employment websites that steal identities. The false accounts created using these details are then used to commit fraud across a number of sectors, from retail to online entertainment.

What’s more, this problem is further perpetuated as those who are feeling financial pressure are looking for ways to make money and some are turning to fraud to do so.

All online businesses must be prepared for this sudden spike in fraud, however most have been so preoccupied with dealing with the migration to the digital world and are now playing catch up to put in place the fraud prevention tools they need. This is already costing businesses money, and failure to act now will be just as threatening as COVID-19 has been to their business in the first place.

The problem with current fraud solutions

Although there are some very effective fraud solutions available in the market, there is a lag in the sector as many are depending on archaic legacy systems, which has left the entire industry stuck in a rut. The current platforms that most fraud prevention companies are providing take weeks to implement, rely on multi-year contracts and require sperate solutions for different sized businesses.

The slow integration times of these platforms yields them ineffective during COVID-19, as companies are feeling the full effects of fraud before the solution is fully implemented. This could be highly damaging for many businesses, especially in our current economic climate, following a decline in cashflows during lockdown.  

A new way to approach fraud prevention

Yet, there is a solution to these issues. At SEON, we’ve been helping companies tackle fraud head-on during the pandemic thanks to a new and unique way integrating fraud prevention solutions – via a Google Chrome extension.

By integrating fraud tools this way, businesses can have them up and running in a matter of minutes. This is vastly different from the usual several week process that takes place.

In addition, the flexibility of such solutions means that they can be used by companies of all sizes, while fraud prevention businesses can offer rolling monthly contracts and free trial periods due to their ease of integration. This relieves some of the pressure being experienced by fraud managers and staff during the crisis as not only can they respond to fraud near-immediately, but it removes the need for them to make any large and drastic decisions regarding contractual agreements.

As we head into the new normal, so too must the fraud industry. Merchants need new and effective ways to combat cybercrime as the online environment undergoes this period of rapid transformation. Many businesses will be relying on solutions being flexible, easy to use and that can be quickly integrated into their business structure.

 

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