The development of technology and growing internet presence have created a lot of opportunities for modern-day businesses. There is hardly an industry sector left that hasn’t experienced the benefits, but among them, ecommerce has benefited the most. Considering it hasn’t even existed until the nineties, ecommerce has revolutionized how we shop during this short time. In 20 years, ecommerce has reached $5 trillion in sales, and the industry will continue to grow with the help of new technological developments. As reported by Australia Post on growth in online shopping, Australians have even set a new online shopping record with 9.3 million online purchases made by March.
Unfortunately, even the ecommerce sector hasn’t managed to escape the dangers of the internet, such as cyber-attacks, fraud attempts, and money laundering. Criminals always look for new opportunities for exploiting people and companies, and their growing internet presence has given them a chance to reach more individuals and organizations than ever before. While in the past, ecommerce hasn’t been targeted by money laundering as much as with other types of fraudulent attempts, the situation is turning. Their usual hunting ground, financial services, has updated their cybersecurity strategy, making it easier to prevent money laundering, but leaving criminals looking for a new solution. It is time to step up and learn what you can do to prevent it from ever affecting your business and customers.
Money laundering in ecommerce
Money laundering is nothing new in the retail industry. Physical stores had to deal with it for a long time before ecommerce was even present, from overpaying retail cards and asking for refunds or purchasing high-end goods. But, eCommerce development has allowed criminals to update their malicious activity and move money faster and simpler. Money laundering happens when cybercriminals and fraudsters use your businesses to process their illegitimate funds and, by doing so, convert them into “clean money.”
According to the SEON’s guide on AML fraud, the global anti-money laundering (AML) record was set in 2020, with $706m in fines handed out by authorities. In order to avoid them, you should start taking proactive steps to prevent money laundering risks.
How can you stop money laundering from affecting your business?
As ecommerce continues to grow in popularity, so will the threats it faces, from ecommerce fraud to money laundering. They no longer have the option of ignoring the dangers, hoping it won’t affect them, as every business faces the real danger of becoming a victim. This is why ecommerce businesses must start taking proactive steps and set up their defense strategies, from identifying risks to preventing them. Just imagine the consequences you would face if your business were involved in money laundering. Not only that you would be helping criminals to continue with their horrible actions, such as human trafficking, organized crime, or terrorism, but you would also have to pay anti-money laundering fines. Luckily, that can be prevented.
Technology is a big part of our lives today. A report by Monterail explains that frontline workers believe technology plays a critical role in customer service today. Why not use it to protect us from criminals and fraudsters?
1. Implement AML solution
In today’s world, implementing AML solutions is essential for any business dealing with financial transactions. These solutions can handle a higher volume of transactions, helping you to determine the legitimacy of the transactions efficiently. Thanks to the machine learning aspect of it, it does it while causing minimal user friction. They can also help you to follow AML regulations and remove compliance risks. While implementing an AML solution is a step in the right direction, for the best results, it should be combined with anti-fraud solutions and KYC (Know Your Customer). This allows you to prevent fraudsters from even attempting their malicious activities.
2. Comply with regulations
Any business dealing with payment information needs to ensure they stay compliant with the Payment Card Industry Security Standard (PCI DDS). This set of requirements ensures that companies securely store clients’ credit card information and keep them safe from fraudsters.
3. Employee awareness and training
Your employees are one of the biggest elements in your business, and they can help you fight against criminals and fraudsters. Educating them about recognizing signs and red flags connected with money laundering and what to do when they encounter it will significantly increase your chances of stopping it.
4. Conduct regular risk assessments
Your journey to a protected company doesn’t end with implementing a cybersecurity policy. Fraudsters are continuously updating their efforts, trying to exploit any weakness they find, and it is up to you to ensure that doesn’t happen. By conducting regular risk assessments of your business, partners, customers, and third parties, you will be able to patch any vulnerability as it arises.
While the growth of ecommerce has offered numerous benefits to businesses, it also brought the risk of money laundering. If companies want to remain successful and compete in the busy market, they need to stay a step ahead of fraudsters and protect their business.