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Downloadable products, customer accounts, fraud prevention

What do you do?

5:41 pm on Jan 31, 2011 (gmt 0)

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One of our sites sells software, a lot of it downloadable. Right now we're set up to manually approve customers before they're able to complete a purchase. We have almost zero fraud so it works well at keeping out most of the riffraff. Of course, it's likely that we're also losing some sales because of the delay.

We're trying to think of a way that we can allow people to go ahead and complete their purchase but still keep instances of fraud down. We were maybe thinking of customers being assigned to "level 1" and "level 2". Level one (unapproved accounts) would allow them to complete a purchase but the download buttons would be deactivated. We'd also have authorize.net hold those charges until we have a chance to check them out and approve them. Once the charge and order is approved the download links would become active and a notification would go out to the customer. Level two would just be a regular approved account and orders would go through like they always would.

Too complicated?

Anyone do something different or have any ideas? The way we do it now is easy and uncomplicated but I hate to think of the sales we might be missing. Thanks!
5:25 pm on Feb 4, 2011 (gmt 0)

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You can do the pre-authorization for Authorize.net (and most other gateways). However, when you do the post-authorization / sale, you will probably be charged another transaction fee.

There are other things that you can sign up for to be added to the checkout process - like Maxmind GeoIP, Dial Verify (a company that calls the customer to verify the number), and VBV / MSC. You might also check out the Quantum Gateway as well - it has these features built into the gateway at no extra charge.

Also - the pre-auths - they are usually good for about three-five business days. After that, the hold is returned to the customer but usually you can still do a forced sales transaction - it's just not guaranteed the transaction will be authorized
6:47 pm on Feb 8, 2011 (gmt 0)

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Corey, thanks so much for the feedback! I'll check out those companies you mentioned.

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