“I would say Riskified changed our lives.”
Eileen Shulock, VP eCommerce at Kirna Zabête
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It’s official: Riskified is one of the best places to work in New York City!

Fortune unveiled their top workplaces list for 2018, and we joined the small and medium businesses group. The rankings are based on employee surveys conducted and analyzed by Great Place to Work, and a total of 50 NYC-based companies are chosen.

“We’re extremely excited to be named one of the best places to work in New York,” said Eido Gal, our co-founder and CEO. “From day one we made employee satisfaction a priority, and this recognition shows that we’re on the right track. We hope that this announcement will help us continue to grow here in New York, but more than anything we’re thrilled to see that so many colleagues are happy to be part of the Riskified team.”

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U.S. state and local governments now have the right to claim billions of dollars of your hard-earned revenue. On June 21, 2018 the Supreme Court decided to take away a decades-old shield that exempted online retailers from collecting sales tax in states where they have no physical presence.

The exact nuts and bolts of enforcement have yet to be worked out. It may be another 60 days before details emerge on how states will amend existing laws or enact new ones, but it’s certain to change the face of eCommerce. Which begs the question – how does this impact retailers? Here’s how:

  • Merchants that have already been collecting state taxes: Good news – your competitors will now have to do the same. The playing field just got leveled.
  • Merchants with brick-and-mortar stores: Even better news – you’ve been collecting everywhere you had a physical presence. Your competitors that only operated virtual stores now share that same sales tax liability.
  • Merchant that haven’t been collecting: Uh oh. Your expenses are about to go up.
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It has mostly flown under the radar – so don’t worry if this is new to you – but the EU recently adopted a new regulation regarding privacy called GDPR.

I kid.

Clearly the EU’s GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation) has been all over the news for years now, and we’ve heard a huge amount about it since its May 25th implementation. You probably even received a number of emails about updates to security and privacy policies. Like many companies, Riskified also took some major steps to ensure GDPR compliance. We thought we’d lay out those details in a blog post so that consumers and merchants alike can better understand how we process data and what we do to keep that data secure.

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The Merchant Risk Council’s 2017 Global Fraud Survey showed that the average online store declined 2.6% of all incoming orders due to fear of fraud, including 3.1% of all orders worth over $100. For a $25 million business, this means rejecting orders worth more than $600,000 annually. But the true cost of declines is actually far higher than just the lost sales revenue.

To understand the full cost of declines, one must consider all the factors involved in a holistic risk management approach – which includes the sales and marketing investment that goes to waste when a good order is declined. Whether online media, SEM, or social media campaigns, eCommerce companies invest considerable funds and energy in customer acquisition and retention – bringing users to the website, bringing them to checkout, and trying to ensure they become repeat customers.

Expedia Inc, for example, invested $5.3 billion in marketing in 2017, equatable to more than 50% of the entire group’s annual revenue. If their decline rate was average, one could say 2.6% of that marketing budget, or ~$140 million was lost due to fear of fraud. Add the lost lifetime revenue from good customers whose order was wrongly rejected, and you start getting an idea of how costly declines can be.

In this post, we share our approach to calculating the true impact of declines on your business.

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Online electronics retailers have plenty to be excited about. Global eCommerce electronics sales are projected to surpass $300 billion in 2018 – a 10.7% increase from the previous year. But taking advantage of this surge in sales is not a given, and electronics merchants will have to adapt to meet the rapidly evolving needs of their online shoppers. In particular, nurturing customer loyalty and offering an omni-channel multi-touch shopping experience will be critical going forward. Riskified’s new report has tips to help retailers keep pace in this competitive environment, and shows how shoring up fraud operations is key to achieving these business objectives.

In this blog post, I’ll share some of our findings on eCommerce trends in the electronics vertical. The complete report can be accessed in our resource center.

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Data is essential to every aspect of managing an online business, and eCommerce fraud prevention is no exception. Without in-depth analysis, it’s of very little value. We dug into our data, as we often do, looking to find insights into fraud patterns and shopping trends, and created the following interactive map. It’s based on data from more than 20 million online purchases that were shipped to a US address in 2017. The data is broken down by county and color coded according to risk of fraud.

Hovering over each county reveals the share of mobile purchases and international orders (by IP and/or credit card BIN). We encourage you to explore the map and dive into the data. You can enlarge your screen and zoom in to access smaller counties.

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Stealing from an eCommerce retailer is tricky business. It’s not like walking into a store and walking out with a backpack full of stuff. In the case of an online shop, each transaction provides merchants with multiple data points, and if those don’t make sense, then services like Riskified decline the transaction. And so, for fraudsters who want to make good on the “investment” they made in stolen credit cards, creativity is required. Like a raptor testing the fence for weak points, fraudsters try a huge variety of tactics to find a way to get through merchants’ defenses.

They’re a clever bunch, and staying ahead of them requires quickly learning their approaches. It’s far from a comprehensive list, but here are three of the more creative fraud attacks we saw in the last year.

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Riskified recently hosted another meetup in NYC, at the famed Jue Lan Club in the heart of the city’s Flatiron district. The event, themed “Think Globally, Sell Locally”, took place February 22nd, and featured an expert panel of eCommerce professionals sharing the strategies and tactics they’re using to drive international growth in their organizations.

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Fraud is becoming more and more sophisticated, as cybercriminals try and keep a step ahead of fraud management solutions. This arms race is likely responsible for the recent surge in ATO – account takeover – attacks, a form of fraud which is particularly difficult to detect. In 2016 ATO led to $2.3 billion in losses – well over a third of the total fraud losses that year.

Not only are ATO attacks tough to spot, they can also cause a lot of harm beyond just stolen goods and chargebacks. Customers often leave their credit card details saved in their store accounts, trusting merchants to guard it. And if a bad actor gains access to their account, the customer is left to deal with the fallout of having their personally identifiable information–PII– stolen, which reflects very poorly on your brand. In this post, we’ll dig a little deeper into what ATO attacks actually look like, and provide some tips to help protect your customers’ data, and your own products, from sophisticated ATO fraud.

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In 2017, the average merchant had roughly 1.5% of their revenue consumed by false declines. These are orders that are perfectly legitimate, but end up being cancelled by merchants who either have strict rules in place, or are just uncomfortable with one or more data point in the order.

So who are the people most often behind these false declines, and how can merchants identify them and start accepting more of their orders? In this blog post we’ll look at five cases from Riskified’s order database which represent five archetypes we’ve identified as being wrongful victims of risk-averse merchants. These cases illustrate some of the most common reasons behind false declines, along with some tips for corroborating their “risky” orders. Names and details have been changed to protect their privacy.

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