A Startup Canada Podcast Hosted by Dr. Sean Wise

| November 6, 2018 | Business Planning

Guy Charpentier is the Manager of Customer Fraud Management at Mastercard. His day to day involves protecting Mastercard’s customers against global security breaches while following the latest fraud trends. Guy performs in-depth reviews of both consumer and third-party risk management practices to safety and security of the Mastercard Payment Network.

This also means protecting the space for businesses and entrepreneurs. Guy is behind the latest and most innovative ways to protect small businesses so they can focus on leading their businesses and growing their profits.

What role do digital business owners play in protecting their business against fraud?

GC: As a business owner, they are going to know what is and is not normal within the context of their business, and the service they are providing to customers. They can tell when somebody comes to purchase something from their site and will recognize trends in customer behaviour. As the owner of an online store, you recognize normal buying quantities, normal delivery options and recognize when a shopper is pushing the boundaries. These are things that people like myself when we are looking at fraud situations, can point out and bring to the attention of the business owner.

How often should online retailers review their transactions in order to see if there are any outliers?

GC: Everyday businesses should review every transaction, they should apply that rationality to them. They need to be sure that the transactions are normal for their day to day business. When transactions do not look normal, that’s when greater questions should be asked, and more investigating should occur.

What are the most common security breaches Canadian small businesses can fall prey too?

GC: The tactics, the types of frauds, there can be an absolutely dizzying array of variations. For a small business, it is important to keep in mind what it is a criminal might want. The business has something that they value, and they will effectively look for scenarios that are the easiest opportunity to get it.

Online e-commerce businesses struggle with those looking for card information, personal identification information from both the business owner and their customers, and potential business documents like trade secrets. And they hide behind the anonymity the internet provides to try and achieve these goals.

What are the best ways entrepreneurs can protect their business from fraud?

GC: It really depends on the type of segment that you’re in. If you have a physical storefront, the first thing you should do is ensure you have the technology, like a chip and PIN capable devices for your business. Ensure that you have a clear understanding of what is expected of you during every transaction, and that each staff member understands the responsibility when accepting payments. It is important to note if the customer’s chip or swipe doesn’t work, and you have entered the card manually. Most employees, when in the situation of making the sale and helping the customer, or doing something different, will choose to serve the customer. And criminals take advantage of that, so it is very important your employees are educated when processing sales.

Are there more opportunities for fraud as you scale your business? 

GC: The larger you get, the more likely it is you will be a target for fraud. Larger scale means larger profile, more people, more business opportunities, new markets and new products. That carries new risks, if it is not addressed and incorporated into your development plan, you’re going to get slammed with fraud and losses. To ensure that you retain the same safety, you need to have the same vigilance you had when it was just the entrepreneur. It is your company, you need to make sure that everyone knows and addresses the risks. It is about developing a company culture, managing risks and avoiding them.