Back to the top




The beginning of a beautiful friendship

The future of payments is far beyond a handshake at POS

The future of payments is far beyond a handshake at POS


The beginning of a beautiful friendship

In the old world the payment part of a transaction was a straightforward matter, a payment made in exchange for goods in a distinct moment in time – imagine two people shaking hands in the market. This seemed to be the case in ecommerce as well, with credit card transactions in place of cash. The evolution of payments and the rise of new forms of fraud such as Chargeback Fraud determine that it is no longer so. These days a payment indeed starts at the point of sale but will be final and secured only at a much later phase where last installment was made or the chargeback or return option expires. Online merchants should understand the opportunities of monitoring the relationship with their customers during that time frame and leverage it to make better business decisions.

New “Starched” payment models are on the rise

Globalization has quickly exposed merchants to higher competition where product differentiation is no longer enough. One of the ways to stand out had been by business model differentiation leading to a constant evolution of payments. No longer a handshake at a deterministic moment in time, we now need to consider payment a continuous relationship only starting at POS. New payment models now offering longer relationships where payment is either differed or split are on the rise. Solutions like split it or Buy Now Pay Later are offered by merchants to their customers as means of differentiation and in many other cases simply because it is the new standard.

Merchants should monitor, Post-Payment relationship with their customers

Merchants shouldering most of the fraud liability along these longer timelines, use risk analysis tools that limit themselves to a snapshot analysis of information available at POS the site of the Handshake. It means they completely ignore all information revealed during the payment relationship far after POS. Instead of a snapshot, online sellers need a “video” capturing and analyzing the evolution of risk long after the initial risk assessment has been made.

For example:

  1. Something is purchased and paid for later; what happens when customer care receives a request for a change of delivery address, does this change the risk evaluation? It seems obvious that such information is relevant to risk after the payment and should be collected and factored.
  2. A payment was split into installments and customers’ satisfaction drops; they might turn into friendly fraudsters.
  3. Or simply the customer tried to cancel an order with no success and is pushed towards falsely denying the transaction.
  4. A recurring payment subscriber is unhappy with a deal and turns to disputing the charge.

Payment risk tools evolve beyond a “snapshot” at POS

Many merchants shore the dynamic aspect of risk by shifting liability through 3D Secure or other forms of insurance, but these are costly measures with negative effects on the topline. FUGU with its innovative post – payment risk monitoring solution offers a way to gain visibility on payment relationship, spreading sensors along the delivery and payment timeline, continuously analyzing signals captured and anticipating fraud on a sequential time award basis. FUGU with post-payment monitoring capabilities is the only solution in the market who can alert merchants when:

  1. Customers update delivery address after the payment, this could have a direct impact on the risk analysis and it is logged and factored.
  2. Customer with a split payment contacts customer care with a complaint, this could lead to a dispute. Fugu logs and factors the action as well as its embedded data, alerting to risk while shoring it with further documentation.
  3. Customer consulting the return policy after delivery, could be a sign of customer considering turning to friendly fraud, logging and factoring the visit can also trigger proactive measures that mitigate and deter fraud.
  4. A recurring charge generates recurring touch points with the customer; these are analyzed and factored to provide a dynamic view of long-term risk.

All these offer merchants ways to mitigate that risk without negatively affecting conversion rates. (checkout our blog post)

The post-payment psychological affect

Turning our focus to the Post Payment is already in itself a shift in the way we perceive the business process, that is a mental operation. By looking at the transaction from the point that until now was considered an end point, allows both the merchant and the customer to see things in a new way that leads to more transactions being completed. Generally speaking, we can consider these changes as psychological and they apply to both sides of the transaction:

The main thing we need to consider here are the psychological effects of rejection. If you have ever been in a situation where your card was declined for no good reason, you are well aware of the odd mix of humiliation and indignation that one feels. This is to say that any decline should be well considered as false positives cause serious disaffection and most likely will lead to life time loss of customer value.

FUGU is highly valuable in this area as the tools it offers make it safe to continue working on the transaction while constantly reducing the probability of chargeback and virtually diminishing the possibility of losing a fraudulent dispute as all communications are analyzed and collected and can eventually be turned over as evidence.

Customer Perspective:

From the customer perspective a distinct shift takes place after the payment, when all the steps taken to make the transaction happen are framed as customer care. This is diametrically opposed to the situation before the payment where all these inquiries and challenges are endured as challenges. After the payment the process is at its most collaborative and offering such customer care can go a long way from driving the customer towards the eCommerce giants, who can afford to be less suspicious for a variety of reasons.

Merchant Perspective:

The most notable shift that FUGU allows from the merchant perspective has to do with fear of fraud. Fear of loss is well founded, even a small amount of disputes can cause major headaches, beyond the material loss the Credit Card industry can be very punishing towards small and medium operations. This leads to a quite justified fear of chargeback that in turn causes merchants (or gateways) to impose strict rules combatting fraud. These rules more often than not, turn out to be “too” effective causing fraud rates to come down while generating an unmeasured number of “false positives”. These denial are perhaps justified without the right tools like the one we offer, that gives you peace of mind, reducing fraud, while enabling more transactions.

How Banks Investigate Unauthorized Transactions and Fraud

Banking institutes work overtime to investigate unauthorized transactions and prevent fraud, and they’ve certainly got their work cut out for them. Particularly now, in the age of digital banking, fraud comes in many shapes and sizes.

To help you better understand unauthorized charges and fraudulent transactions, this post will explore how banks go about investigating these types of nefarious activities.

The Fraud Investigation Process

Do banks really investigate disputes?

Yes, they do. Here are the typical steps banks follow during a fraud investigation:

Investigation request

Some fraud investigations are triggered by a bank’s automated systems, while others are instigated by a customer inquiry. Whichever the case, the commencement of an investigatory process begins with the lodgment of an investigation request.

Evaluation process

The nuts and bolts of bank fraud investigations involve the bank evaluating the evidence and transactional history recorded on their systems. Banks will scour through transactional factors like geolocation, timestamps, device IP addresses, and credit card or account history.


Once an investigation has concluded, the customer will be contacted by the bank and provided with a summary of the investigation. If nefarious activity was detected and unauthorized transactions were carried out, the customer will be refunded the amount missing from their account in full.

In the event that something more sinister has been carried out, such as identity theft, banks will hand over the information to the authorities, and the police will carry out their own investigation.

How Long Do Bank Fraud Investigations Take?

By law, most banking institutes are held to a 10 business day deadline. Within this period, a formal investigation must be conducted to determine whether or not fraudulent activity has been carried out.

Usually, investigations are concluded within this time frame.

If, for whatever reason, an institute needs longer than 10 days to carry out a bank fraud investigation, the bank will temporarily refund the customer’s account with provisional credit.

Refunding Credit Card Fraud vs. Debit Card Fraud

As most credit card issuers offer a zero-fraud liability, the refund process for credit card fraud is fairly simple. If someone gets hold of a credit card number and makes an unauthorized transaction, your chances of getting a refund are very high.

On the other hand, debit card theft investigations are a little different. Sometimes, a debit card or atm fraud investigation process won’t result in a customer receiving a refund, as many banking institutes don’t offer the same level of protection that they offer credit card holders.

Can Fraud Be Prevented?

With many transactions being processed through a business account, fraud isn’t always the easiest thing to keep on top of. Thankfully, with the help of a fraud prevention tool like FUGU, avoiding fraud has never been easier.

FUGU prevents fraudulent transactions by detecting inconsistencies in your online banking and also employs various safeguard strategies that both protect your business accounts and its bottom line.

With FUGU, the threat of unauthorized transactions or fraudulent activities is drastically reduced.

Return Item Chargebacks: What Merchants Need to Know

In most cases, a chargeback is when a financial institution reverses a fraudulent debit card transaction. So are return item chargebacks the same as regular chargebacks?

Misleadingly, return item chargebacks aren’t what you might think they are.

Allow us to explain.

What Is and Is Not a Return Item Chargeback

Unlike a chargeback that an account holder lodges to dispute an illegitimate or fraudulent credit card charge, a return item chargeback is a fee charged to a banking customer once they deposit a check that bounces.

To make things even more confusing, there isn’t even a universally accepted term for this occurrence.

How Banks Define “Return Item Chargeback”

To hear it straight from the horse’s mouth, let’s look at how one of the biggest bank in the US, the Bank of America, defines a return item chargeback on a check. Their returned payment definition is:

We charge this fee each time a check or other item that we either cashed for you or accepted for deposit to your account is returned to us unpaid.

Here are a few more names that you’ll often see banks use to categorize this type of fee:

  • Deposited item returned fee
  • Cashed item returned fee
  • Rejected check fee
  • Rejected item chargeback
  • Bounced check fee
  • Return of deposited or cashed item fee

How Return Item Chargebacks Affect Merchants

Although becoming less and less commonplace, customers will sometimes prefer to pay for your products or services with a check. While depositing a customer’s check, there may come a time when that customer doesn’t have sufficient funds in their account and the check bounces. If this happens, not only will the person who issued the check be charged a fee by their bank, but your business account is also likely to be charged as well.

Fraudulent vs. Legitimate Return Item Chargebacks

Thankfully, return item chargeback fees are fairly easy to spot. Once you’ve deposited a check, the amount designated will appear in your bank account. If the deposited check is returned unpaid, this amount will be withdrawn from your account with the addition of a fee – usually $10-15. For example, if a check worth $189.50 bounces, the bank will withdraw the money plus the fee. So, in this case, a fee of $10 would make the withdrawn amount $199.50.

Unfortunately, though, return item chargebacks are an area of the banking system that nefarious individuals often take advantage of. Therefore, it’s important to keep a keen eye on your business account for any fraudulent activity. If you suspect fraudulent activity happening to your account, contact your bank with the relevant information as soon as possible.

Can Fraudulent Chargebacks Be Disputed and Prevented?

Return item chargeback fraud is not a new practice, but it is a growing threat to businesses. The good news is that there are steps that companies can take to prevent and dispute return fraud.

To read more about how fraudulent chargebacks can be disputed, and ultimately prevented, see our Tips to Prevent E-Commerce Chargebacks.

E-Commerce Chargebacks: How to Dispute Them and 5 Tips for Prevention

A chargeback is a process where a customer can dispute any charge with their credit card issuer, cases are judged by credit card companies, often costing online sellers the goods, the payment, and substantial chargeback fees

Unfortunately, chargebacks have become common in the e-commerce sector. To help you avoid the potential damage posed by chargeback, we’ll break down for you what happens when a customer disputes a charge, and how to prevent chargeback fraud.

Why Could E-Commerce Chargebacks Occur?

E-commerce chargebacks can be caused by several legitimate reasons and for many illegitimate ones, merchants receive the dispute and are required to respond in order not to lose by default.

  • An unauthorized transaction was charged to a cardholder’s account.
  • The goods or services were not as described.
  • The goods or services were not received.
  • The transaction was processed multiple times.

Are All E-Commerce Chargebacks Worth Disputing?

Not all, but certainly some e-commerce charges are worth disputing – particularly if they appear to be lodged in bad faith.

If you deem a chargeback to be illegitimate, as an online business owner, you’re well within your right to dispute them. Legitimate chargeback requests can be handled easily, but illegitimate ones can be troublesome and should not be neglected. In order to prevent fraudulent or unauthorized chargebacks, follow the steps below:

  1. Work within the deadline for filing your chargeback dispute.
  2. Make a record of all your customer transaction details.
  3. Gather evidence related to the dispute.
  4. Submit the evidence to the acquirer.
  5. Use a chargeback rebuttal letter to detail your rebuttal in writing.
  6. Finally, await the decision.

5 Ways to Prevent Chargeback Occurrences

To help reduce and protect against e-commerce chargebacks, or prevent chargeback fraud, here’s a short list of some tips and tricks to help you out:

  1. Customer service

Having a team that can resolve the issue efficiently will prevent chargeback recurrences.

 2. Shipping options

It is important to offer a secure shipping option that ensures the customer feels confident in their package arriving safely.

 3. Customer satisfaction

It is key that you have a positive track record of handling customer disputes. This will ensure that customers will not be likely to file a chargeback.

4. Fraud detection

Have a robust fraud detection system in place, such as FUGU, to prevent chargebacks due to fraudulent transactions.

5. Order and transaction tracking

All orders and transactions should be monitored on a continual basis. That way, if a dispute arises, the transaction or order history is easily accessible and, if needed, a dispute can be lodged.

Contact FUGU Today

Remember, the most common chargebacks are related to customer dissatisfaction, and solving this will go a long way in preventing chargebacks. If you’re looking for a solution to fight chargebacks and ensure that they aren’t a result of your company’s error, contact the Fugu team today to schedule a demo and learn about how our chargeback prevention method can help you.

E-Commerce Fraud: Types, Detection, and Prevention Best Practices

E-commerce fraud, a broad phrase used to describe specific activities involving online fraud or scams, makes use of the internet to obtain traffic in fraudulently acquired assets. This type of fraud poses a serious risk to an online merchant’s business. Not only can e-commerce fraud cause financial loss, but it can also be disruptive to business operations and carry serious legal and reputational consequences.

To help you and your business become victims of fraudulent activity, this post will explain the main types of retail fraud and detail effective e-commerce fraud prevention techniques.

Table of Contents

How Is E-commerce Fraud Committed? 

  1. Payment Fraud 
  2. Friendly Fraud 
  1. iii. Account Takeover Fraud
  2. Prevention of E-commerce Fraud
  3. Stay Safe From E-commerce Fraud

How Is E-commerce Fraud Committed?

E-commerce fraud is committed in various ways. The basic idea involves nefarious actors carrying out criminal deception during an internet transaction, defrauding either the customer, the ecommerce merchant themselves, or a third-party in the process.

The three main types of commerce scams that are frequently leveraged by fraudsters are discussed below:

1. Payment Fraud

E-commerce payment fraud is any fraudulent activity aimed at getting unauthorized access to consumer information and accounts or obtaining goods and services without paying for them. E-commerce payment fraud can happen at any point between the consumer, the merchant, and the bank. For example, a hacker may get their hands on a customer’s credit card details and make unauthorized purchases – an activity known as e-commerce credit card fraud.

2. Friendly Fraud

E-commerce friendly fraud involves the fraudster making a purchase from a store, receiving the product, and filing an unauthorized credit card chargeback – claiming that the product was in some way faulty, damaged, or never arrived. The credit card administrator, in most cases a bank, determines that a legitimate chargeback claim has been filed, refunds the cost of the transaction, and subsequently the fraudster keeps both the goods and the original purchase amount.

3. Account Takeover Fraud

Account takeover fraud involves obtaining sensitive information like passwords, financial credentials, and payment information of a customer at an e-commerce website via various methods (such as phishing schemes or purchased on the dark web) to take control of a user’s account. The method of attack usually involves the perpetrators sending emails, making phone calls, or sending text messages to the victim that carry attached viruses files. This allows them to either change the details of the victim’s account, obtain access to other accounts owned by the user, make purchases using their funds, or even directly withdraw their money.

How to Prevent E-Commerce Fraud

There are several effective e-commerce fraud solutions and e-commerce fraud protection tools that you can employ to minimize the risks posed by e-commerce fraudsters, such as the following:

  • Use a tool like FUGU to help identify and prevent fraud.
  • Leverage SSL (Secure Socket Layer) encryption to protect your customers’ information.
  • Make use of a third-party password manager to keep all your passwords safe.
  • Check the order’s IP address to ensure the purchaser is in the same country as their selected credit card using monitoring capabilities like those possessed by FUGU.
  • Track transaction data, card numbers, billing and shipping addresses, and device signatures with fraud prediction capabilities like those of FUGU.

Stay Safe From E-Commerce Fraud

As online e-commerce transactions become more and more common, it is vital to protect your business from fraudulent activity. Thankfully though, with the fraud management and protection strategies detailed here, you can be sure to minimize and mitigate the risks posed by e-commerce fraud.

Black Friday or Black “Fraud day”? Prevent Chargebacks Ahead the Holiday Peak

The most awaited online shopping events of the year are coming. In 2020, US retailers raked in $10.8 billion on Cyber Monday alone, kicking e-commerce sales indicators. While online retailers are gearing up for this year’s Black Friday, fraudsters are there for the perfect opportunity to defraud e-commerce businesses. A staggering 385% increase in payment fraud marked last year’s holiday season and analysts predict e-commerce fraud attacks to be even more ruthless this year. 

While headline-grabbing, record-breaking sales figures generate huge excitement, merchants should be aware of some common fraud challenges to look out for during Black Friday and Cyber Monday, such as identity theft, account takeover, or friendly fraud. These types of attacks are becoming more frequent, turning into fraudulent disputes after the exciting holiday season. Getting into the busiest days means more traffic and orders for merchants, more opportunities for fraudsters. Merchants loosen their velocity checks to reduce the number of manual reviews and false positives. This results in accepting more fraudulent transactions and traumatising chargebacks. 

The post-holiday season might turn into post-holiday chargebacks trauma. 

Chargeback loss is never immediate. While Black Friday week is peaking, no one thinks about that until “Black Friday Chargeback week” is arriving somewhere closer to January. 

It’s not only the cost of purchased goods and the refund the merchant needs to cover but also the fee from the acquiring bank, which covers the costs of processing the chargeback. These fees tend to range from $20 to $100 but with operation and customer acquisition costs, online sellers often lose 2 to 3 times the transaction amount. Even if the bank decides to cancel the dispute after recognizing a related refund, the online merchant still carries the dispute charges. So preventing them needs to be a high priority for all online merchants especially in the booming sales season.  

Post-payment risk scoring is a saviour against chargeback abuse. 

Securing online business during sales peaks, especially in terms of not killing the conversion, does not look like a piece of cake. For such cases, FUGU developed a new breed of payment fraud prevention solution analyzing consumer behaviour and interactions post-payment. It not only allows us to predict all possible fraud scenarios and secure merchants from threats but minimize false declines and payment churn safely validating legitimate transactions. 

Fugu post-payment risk analysis will alert merchants of potential disputes days and weeks after BFCM allowing them to proactively reach out to suspicious customers and prevent them from filing disputes 

By analyzing a list of signals, such as website visits, mobile interactions, contact form submissions, email openings, transaction changes, or automated customer verifications (KYC), FUGU tracks the entire interaction trail to make it available with one click as a piece of valuable evidence to challenge a fraudulent dispute. 

With all this data collected, FUGU performs a 60% recovery of disputes. 

The FUGU team wishes all eCommerce merchants a happy holiday season, loyal customers and sales increase. And we are always here to cover you from all possible risks and fraudulent disputes. 

Get in touch with our experts or download the FUGU App for multi-tier payment fraud protection.