Yale Holder’s Guide to Safeguarding Your Business in the Digital Age

Small Business Canada

Yale Holder, the Vice President of Customer Experience at Moneris, provides critical insights into the escalating issue of fraudulent activities among Canadian businesses in an enlightening interview with CanadianSME Small Business Magazine. With a notable 13% increase in fraud in 2023, Yale outlines the most prevalent types of fraud currently impacting businesses, emphasizing the simplicity yet damaging effects of schemes like Mail Order/Telephone Order (MOTO) fraud and refund fraud. Yale’s expertise shines through as he offers actionable advice for businesses to fortify their defenses against these threats, advocating for the use of secure online payment gateways, vigilance against terminal theft, and awareness to prevent account takeover fraud. His emphasis on adopting secure payment methods and integrating technology to combat fraud underscores Moneris’ commitment to safeguarding businesses through innovative solutions like Moneris Online powered by Wix. Yale’s guidance not only serves as a roadmap for businesses to navigate the complexities of fraud prevention but also as a testament to the importance of continuous investment in fraud prevention measures to stay ahead of ever-evolving fraudulent tactics.

Yale leads Moneris’ Customer Experience (CEx) strategy and operations as the Vice President, CEx. He has more than 15 years of experience supporting large organizations in IT, Telecom and FinTech and has held multiple roles ranging from product development to business operations. He has an MBA from University of Toronto (Rotman) and a Computer Engineering degree from McMaster University.

Yale, with Moneris data indicating a 13% increase in fraudulent activity among Canadian businesses in 2023, could you outline the most prevalent types of fraud currently impacting businesses? How significant is the rise in fraud, and what patterns are you observing?

    Fraud comes in many different forms. Often when we think about the fraud businesses face it’s the most sophisticated and attention-grabbing schemes that come to mind first. In reality, it’s the simplest forms, like mail order/telephone order (MOTO) fraud and refund fraud, that are the most prevalent. And it’s these relatively simple types of fraud that heavily contribute to the double-digit increase in fraud cases.  

    The increase we’ve seen is also significant. Regardless of type, all forms of fraud can hurt the businesses Canadians rely on every day. What’s important to remember is that merchants can take actionable steps to mitigate the risk of fraud and safeguard their operations. While March is Fraud Prevention Month, the trends we’re breaking down and best practices we’re sharing should be thought of and used year-round when it comes to keeping businesses safe from fraudsters. 

    Image Courtesy: Moneris

    Given the variety of fraud types, from Mail Order/Telephone Order (MOTO) fraud to terminal theft and account takeover, what actionable tips can you offer businesses to safeguard themselves against these threats?

      The biggest risk associated with MOTO fraud comes from the lack of chargeback protection when you manually enter card details. Instead, request payments in-person or use a secure online payment gateway. Moneris Checkout is a great example as it integrates with a variety of fraud prevention tools, like 3D Secure 2.0, which shifts chargeback liability to the card issuer.

      When it comes to terminal theft, fortunately incidents are relatively uncommon, however, losses can be significant if action isn’t taken. Best practices for businesses would be to avoid leaving devices unattended, process transactions in-sight of your security monitoring system, and consider storing devices out of sight when closed. If your terminal has been stolen, we encourage you to contact your processor as soon as possible as they can offer support with deactivating the terminal to prevent further loss, guidance on filing a police report to help recover the stolen device, and sending a replacement device to get businesses on their feet faster.

      Finally, for account takeover fraud, look out for phishing and social engineering schemes. Business owners should exercise caution if they receive an unsolicited phone call or email requesting sensitive information, such as banking details. Since scammers may use an altered caller ID or email to appear more legitimate, never provide sensitive information if you are unsure of the request. 

      While it seems like a lot of information to digest, there are a couple of principles to help these tips stick. First, businesses can cover their bases against almost all types of fraud by simply incorporating healthy payment practices, which begin with only accepting secure forms of payment. Second, many of the fraud prevention tips you would think of as a consumer also apply to businesses. For example, using secure passwords and keeping them safe, exercising caution – if something looks suspicious or seems too good to be true it probably is, and if you ever encounter fraud seek help as soon as possible. 

      Image Courtesy: Moneris

      MOTO fraud has been highlighted as the most common type of fraud. Could you explain why it’s particularly prevalent and what specific steps businesses can take to minimize their risk of falling victim to this type of fraud?

        Nearly three-quarters or 74% of all reported cases were tied to MOTO fraud. Why? Taking card details over the phone or by mail and manually entering them poses a high risk for chargeback fraud because there are no secure ways to verify the transaction. If a cardholder disputes a charge where those card details were manually entered, business owners are left with the loss – there is no recourse. 

        It’s a concerning finding from our data, but it is reassuring that the most common type of fraud across Canada can be stopped by only accepting secure forms of payment. Instead, request payments in-person using chip and PIN or tap. If in-person isn’t possible, use a secure online payment gateway like Moneris Checkout, which integrates with a variety of fraud prevention tools. Layering best practices and solutions are also effective, ecommerce fraud a saw a 7% decrease in share of total incidents last year based on reported cases to Moneris. 

        For businesses that have observed a decrease in fraudulent activities, how important is it for them to continue investing in fraud prevention measures?

          It is encouraging to see that some regions have seen decreases in incidents of fraud. However, business owners have to remember that fraud is constantly evolving, and staying ahead of fraudsters means staying on top of fraud trends. Fraud is often a crime of opportunity. Implementing layers of protections, which include healthy payment practices and fraud prevention solutions help protect businesses by limiting or even eliminating the vulnerabilities that fraudsters look to exploit.

          As we break down the data, it’s also worth keeping in mind that many cases of fraud often go unreported. As a result, fraudulent activity is almost always higher than the data indicates. For businesses that do encounter fraud, we encourage them to contact their payment processor.

          Image Courtesy: Moneris

          With the launch of Moneris Online powered by Wix and other new solutions, how is Moneris leveraging technology to aid businesses in fraud detection and prevention? 

            Embracing technology gives us and our merchants a significant advantage over fraudsters when it comes to detection and prevention. Moneris Online powered by Wix is a great example of how we make the integration of technology easier for business owners. 

            Through Moneris Online powered by Wix, merchants can easily integrate with Moneris Checkout, which is the best practice alternative to MOTO transactions. In addition to enabling the use of fraud preventions tools like 3DS 2.0, merchants also have access to solutions like Kount Essential. As a quick overview, Kount Essential uses information from billions of purchases and analyzes hundreds of variables to assess risk and automate order decisioning on behalf of the merchant to reduce fraud exposure. 

            Ultimately, the best fraud prevention strategy is a layered approach. Combining secure card acceptance and solutions is your first line of defence. Moneris is also there to proactively support merchants, whether that’s through ongoing educational awareness campaigns or by simply being there when a merchant calls in. Moneris exists to support businesses across Canada, and offering support when our merchants experience fraud is just one of the ways we are there to help.

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