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AMR Hair & Beauty is one of Australia’s fastest-growing suppliers to the beauty and personal care industry. Its model of developing affordable, quality products under its own exclusive brands has seen it expand across the country since its 2004 launch. More recently, the company has also established a strong online business.
Online sales and the move to omnichannel marketing are crucial ingredients in the success of most contemporary businesses, large or small. Unfortunately, these digital transactions also expose businesses to the risk of fraud.
Before AMR moved to Square and Risk Manager, online fraud was costing the business “close to about $100,000 a month” says founder and CEO Ammar Issa.
“It was burning us,” he says. “Phony buyers using stolen credit cards purchased on the dark web would attempt to order AMR products before the stolen card was canceled by the original owner and a chargeback issued by the card provider.
In all honesty, we tried, I think, four or five providers before moving to Square. And they’d all tell us they’ve got fraud protection in place, but unfortunately, they were just taking the money back out of our settlements.”
“For example, an order might be paid in full today but, four days later, we would notice the settlement wouldn’t come in full because they had deducted some orders that came back as a fraud risk.”
AMR implemented Square Risk Manager and its 3D Secure features in January this year. Since then, they have not had a fraud dispute. Square Risk Manager provides eCommerce sellers like AMR with tools like 3D Secure so they can make informed assessments about risky transactions before sending goods.
Risk Manager allows Square eCommerce sellers to create rules from their Dashboard to trigger fraud alerts or to automatically decline suspicious payments.
“You just go into the Dashboard and it’s super easy. You can set up a rule to say, ‘Anyone without a CVV can’t place an order.’ Or anyone whose credit card billing address doesn’t match their delivery address can’t order.”
“You can set up an alert to email you and that the order gets placed on hold until you approve it manually and validate that the address is different for a reason.’ We can contact the customer and say, ‘Hey, can you provide us a copy of your ID next to your passport, just to make sure that the order’s genuine.’ We give them a path to send it but, basically, we don’t have to do much there at the moment because Square flags suspicious orders before they even get to this stage.”
Ammar says minimising risk through fraud detection is the single most important thing for him when choosing an eCommerce solution and payment provider. Customer trust comes a close second.
“It [the eCommerce platform] has to be accepted or used by a lot of people. And we were so lucky because a lot of hairdressers [AMR’s wholesale customers] accept Square payments and sellers. So everyone tends to like Square because they’re already using it in-store themselves.”
While Risk Manager’s protection tools do not extend to physical sales transacted over POS, Ammar says that Square’s portable hardware and POS tools – its support for brick-and-mortar retail, which remains of the utmost importance to AMR – were a big factor in choosing to go with the payment provider.
“It’s our stores that are really growing, so they pick up where online has left off … You’ve got to have a merchant facility; the good thing about Square is they cater for stores as well as online, whereas a lot of people cater for online but not for stores.”
Ammar is impressed by Risk Manager’s integration with the Dashboard as well as the reports he receives.
“With Square, because we’ve got our stores connected, we probably check the Dashboard more than we do our own ERP [enterprise resource planning] system. Because it gives you great information and good analytics, that’s the sort of thing we look for.
“At the end of every month, we receive a report by email saying this is what your store’s done, how many transactions, how many people walked in, who’s using the loyalty program. Normally I would send automated emails straight to junk but these are the ones I want to read because they give me more useful data than any analytics my business can provide.”
While payment disputes are relatively rare, Ammar is reassured to know that Square has a large team working end-to-end on the dispute process to make it as simple as possible.
“They keep you informed every step of the way. You’ll get an email about everything, and you’ll receive updates on your dispute. We go into one platform, basically; we get an email saying this order has been disputed, then we go into that portal, upload the invoice, upload the tracking number – it’s super, super simple to upload evidence that we sent the order.
“And you can keep track of every single one. I can go back for the last two years and tell you every single dispute that has happened and what the outcome was.”
How to enrol in Risk Manager
- Go to Payments > Risk Manager from your online Square Dashboard.
- Click Get started
- Select the business location(s) you wish to activate with Risk Manager, then click Enrol in Risk Manager.
Once you have activated Risk Manager on your account, you can begin to create rules and set up alerts for your online payments. Note: Risk Manager can be added to any business location, but will only apply to online transactions.
Although this tool is designed to help prevent payment disputes, the risk of a payment dispute is present with all card payments. Sellers will continue to be liable for all payments they accept and the disputes they receive. Square is not assuming liability for payments, regardless of the risk evaluation that is delivered.
This article is for informational purposes only and does not constitute professional advice. For specific advice applicable to your business, please contact a professional.