Retailers battle online fraud with PCI compliance

Article date: Wed, 18 Aug 2010 11:03 GMT

Reshad Hossenally, managing director of Ticket Arena

Discount retailers are turning to PCI compliance to distance themselves from their fraudulent competitors, according to industry experts.

With Cybersource reporting that 85 per cent of consumers look for signs including the padlock logo to check a website is secure, live event ticket retailers and discount websites are taking extra measures to inspire consumer confidence.

Jason Zemmel, managing director of Half Price Perfumes, spoke about the importance of PCI compliance when competing against more established brands at a recent round table discussion. He said, "Premium brand fragrance is an area where you may find yourself competing with stolen or fake items. We are very careful to ensure that we come across in a strongly ethical and trustworthy light."

The panel also discussed the challenges of the web's level playing field when it comes to small businesses in retail.

"If you are serious about trading online, be it as an SME, Marks & Spencer or Argos, you have to follow the same rules," said Zemmel. "While it may be an inconvenience and require a certain amount of extra effort, it is very important that we follow the same standards so that there is a uniform environment for all online retailers, regardless of size. That way you can ensure customer trust and confidence."

With 85 per cent of consumers also admitting to only shopping online at reputable retailers, smaller companies must actively promote their anti-fraud methods in order to attract more consumers online.

Richard Bromley of Ken Bromley Art Supplies said, "When holding customer credit card details, it is a responsibility point to be PCI compliant. By displaying this on our website, it will make customers more confident in dealing with us and increase trust and business."

Reshad Hossenally, managing director of Ticket Arena, added, "As ticketing is such a high risk industry now, even the merchant banks and PayPal have their doubts. For example PayPal, who we have been working with for over a year, take 20 per cent of our daily turnover and hold it for three months before giving it back to us.

"If they don't trust anybody and they have all your background information it makes it even harder for the customer who generally just looks at the front page."

The panel agreed that SMEs must follow the lead of the larger retailers and embrace anti-fraud measures in order to avoid escalating fines and weed out unscrupulous competitors.

The round table discussions are held in association with UKFast with the aim of uniting business leaders to share advice and provide a wealth of ideas for other developing companies. The panel was completed by Graham Boler, consultant at ECSC, Daniel Atherton, managing director of Athernet Solutions, and Neil Lathwood, IT director at UKFast.

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