Organisations must have the right systems in place to give customers the confidence to carry out transactions if the success of e-commerce is to continue, according to a panel discussion at the E Commerce Expo in London today.
The panel highlighted the growing importance of fighting online fraud in ensuring that e-commerce continues to flourish.
"The message about what people need to do to be safe online must be provided. Businesses must take note that there are tools out there that can help ensure that sites are protected," said Patrick Garvey, fraud and risk manager at Royal Bank of Scotland.
Mahmoud El-Azzeh, a retail product specialist at identify verification firm 192 Business agreed, arguing that companies have plenty of opportunities to install systems that protect customers.
"Online merchants have the power in their hands to speak to people to find out about what systems could work for them," he said. "A customer's first experience on a web site is vital, so getting it right is crucial to ensuring future sales."
Mike Wyeth, a security advisor to the board of Shop Direct Group, believes that companies should draw attention to their efforts to prevent fraud and secure customers' financial details.
"Sometimes businesses think that if they display information on their efforts to combat fraud they are somehow suggesting they have a problem with the issue, but actually it shows they are taking it seriously," he said.
El-Azzeh suggested that data sharing between e-commerce sites could be used more effectively to combat online fraud.
"Data should be shared between merchants about the types of threats and fraud they see. At the moment this data sharing is not large enough, so threats merely operate outside the retailers that do share information," he said.
Wyeth added that businesses should also work with local police authorities to flag up any instances where fraud appears to be organised crime.
"Mentioning the words 'serious' or 'organised' often gets the police's attention, and this can help not only recover goods acquired fraudulently but gather the devices through which the fraud was committed to help combat it in future," he said.
However, Wyeth noted that there can often be conflicting responses from police when reporting online fraud which engenders a lack of clarity about how the issue should be dealt with.
Tony Neate, director of Get Safe Online, stressed that, while online fraud is rising, it is still small relative to overall online sales.
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