Store manager holding a tablet looking at stock levels. She is wearing a mask. Fraud protection helps manage and protect inventory.Together, we made it through a tough 2020. While 2021 may still be surrounded in uncertainty, this time of year still is the busiest for retail. Online shopping is still rising in the UK. The Office for National Statistics found that internet sales account for 36 percent of sales in November 2020 compared to 21 percent in 2019. This means we need to have savvy fraud protection.

The challenge for retailers during these busy times as online transactions grow in volume is to manage fraud. They also need to protect their customers. So how can you manage security and risk while ensuring a great personalised experience for your customers in a solely digital environment?

We knew from our own experiences the challenges retailers face. We also wanted to deliver the best customer experience while reducing fraud. With our fraud protection system, we reduced fraud-related costs by $76 million. We also boosted revenue by hundreds of millions more over a two-year period. This system turned into Dynamics 365 Fraud Protection.

The fraud landscape

Online fraud normally conjures up the stereotypical ‘masked hoody in front of a computer’ who has stolen card or payment details from victims. After all, quite a few of us have experienced that dreaded phone call from the bank asking if we just purchased train tickets in Italy, when we’re unfortunately at home doing the washing up.

But the challenge is much broader to manage. It goes beyond transactions and can include account fraud, merchandise fraud and cyberattacks. All of these can occur and be detected across the shopper experience. All the way from the first visit to account logins, at point of payment and post-purchase. And we can’t forget cyberattacks. These are becoming more common, especially online. These risks rise during the holiday and new year season. Last year, the National Cyber Security Centre found that victims of online shopping fraud in England and Wales lost an average of £775 each.

Therefore, it’s important to ensure you take protections across your whole customer journey to not only protect your revenue, but to protect your customers.

Protect against friendly fraud

On top of typical criminal activities, there’s ‘friendly fraud’ such as improper discounts or returns. This is from customers who have made a legitimate purchase then raised a chargeback through their bank to gain a refund. Sometimes with genuine reasons, such as a shared family card where the bill payer isn’t aware of the purchase. But sometimes this can occur when the transaction on the bill doesn’t have sufficient information to remember the purchase being made – a particular problem during the holiday season.

On the other hand, it can also be intentional. Sometimes people who have received their products chance getting their money back via return fraud. The impact of managing this will go beyond the end of the year as chargebacks typically have a 30 – 60 day delay.

A platform that uses AI to deliver insights and detect fraud and purchase patterns helps you gain insights to reduce this. It also empowers store managers and investigators to reduce anomalies in merchandise discounts and returns.

A friction-free customer journey

A woman shopping online. Fraud protection can help improve customer journeysFor retailers, it’s a balance to ensure you have the right fraud protection and a friction-free customer journey. Once you recognise fraud can happen at any part of the customer journey, you can build in protections across the different stages. You will turn your risk management from reactive to proactive and improve customers’ experiences.

Wipro uses Dynamics 365 Fraud Protection to reduce fraud rates by applying AI algorithms to almost 10,000 transactions in real time, streamline bank authorisation, generate fraud analytics across date, time, and location—and scale as needed during busy times.

“We expect to reduce fraud by at least 80 percent,” says Venkata Guru Prasad Kandarpi, Client Partner. “What’s more, we can use it to store and manage all our customer data in one place, which helps us meet compliance and security standards.”

Because customers find it easier – and safer – to buy, you can benefit from increased revenue and increased engagement. You will also boost efficiency and lower costs with operational efficiencies and actionable insights. These efficiencies will also benefit the customer. Your employees will have more time to focus on innovating or personalising the end-customer experience.

Combine strategy and tools for successful protection

It’s important for retailers to have a criminal and friendly fraud strategy combined with tools that protect your business. This includes regulatory and risk protections.

“Integration with the fraud protection system for all payments allows Xbox to focus our efforts on providing the most compelling entertainment and gaming platform.”

Erik Yeager, Director of Xbox Live Store.

By using AI and machine learning to manage processes, detect patterns, and adapt to new challenges in real-time, you can free time up for employees. They can then use this time to deliver new innovations or provide personalised customer experiences. It’s also important to re- and up-skill your employees to ensure they can use these new tools with confidence.

Find out more

Reimagine risk and security

4 ways to build trust and agility

Create amazing customer experiences with fraud protection

Fight the three biggest threats in e-commerce

About the author

Liz Leigh-Bower smiling at the camera.Liz Leigh-Bowler joined Microsoft in 2019 as the Product Marketing Manager for Dynamics 365 Finance and Supply Chain management. Before coming to Microsoft, she started her career as an assistant language teacher in Japan before making a complete change and jumping to finance at Barclaycard. Since then, she has specialised in proposition and product marketing where she can ensure customer needs are put at the heart of business decisions and Go-To-Market strategies. Following her time at Barclaycard, Liz implemented the global payments and banking strategy across Sage Accounting solutions and took up the position as Director for Product and Marketing at Sage Pay with extensive experience in payments, ecommerce and fraud.