What are Manual Reviews and How Can Merchants Make Them as Efficient as Possible?

Sydney VaccaroFraud PreventionLeave a Comment

What are Manual Reviews and How Can Merchants Make Them as Efficient as Possible
Manual reviews are a human-centered practice of checking flagged business transactions to determine whether or not they are fraudulent. Regardless of the rise of new technologies, the position of human expertise in the manual review of orders for possible fraud can not be replaced.

Preventing online fraud and chargebacks is a persistent challenge for online merchants. With card-not-present (CNP) fraud costs rising exponentially, online merchants have it rough. The good news, however, is that fraud-detection technologies are evolving fast to catch up with ecommerce growth alongside dealing with the increasing intricacy of fraud attacks.

Regardless of the rise of new technologies, the position of human expertise in the manual review of orders for possible fraud can not be replaced.

While many merchants think of manual reviews as conventional, the process has evolved significantly. Today's manual reviews are faster, more cost-effective.

What are Manual Reviews?

Manual reviews are a human-centered practice of checking flagged transactions to determine whether or not they are fraudulent. The human reviewer determines whether a transaction is a threat or not. If yes, the order is not fulfilled. If the reviewer establishes that the order is not a threat, it is allowed to continue in the process.

How Do Manual Reviews Work?

A manual review is a procedure that you can achieve with either in-house or outsourced human reviewers. Your reviewers perform manual checks on orders to establish whether they are authentic or fraudulent. Manual reviewers accept low and zero risk orders and decline high-risk orders. The contribution of manual reviews is critical to establish "in-between" orders by weighing options.

Equipping Your In-house Fraud Detection Team

You must equip your fraud detection team with the ultimate tools and strategies to detect suspicious activity. These tools can include manual reverse lookup tools, link analysis tools, and strategies on how to look at order size and credit card details.

Outsourcing Manual Reviewers

If your company doesn't have the knowledgeable reviewers, you can outsource to a third-party vendor. The majority of vendors out there incorporate both manual and automated checks to screen your orders. If your vendor chooses to decline an order, you can perform additional checks to be sure of possible frauds before declining.

How Merchants Can Make a Manual Review Process

The importance of the human element in fraud detection is irreplaceable. In some instances, manual reviews may slow down transactions, creating friction between the customers and your business. However, this is not sufficient to abandon manual reviews; they are crucial to your business.

A well-planned manual review strategy should reduce friction, approve authentic orders, and stop fraud. This is the ultimate method of creating a manual review process.

Training and Maintaining Personnel

Training your manual reviewers is key to having a holistic review team. First, you need to have a team of employees ready to perform the task. The success of the manual review process depends on your personnel. Without proper training of your staff, your company will likely lose revenue, either deterring real customers or failing to detect fraudsters.

Finding the Right Candidates

Hiring a capable team, just like any recruiting endeavor, is challenging. Finding knowledgeable candidates is not an easy task. Even the training program might not fully guarantee quality. To get the right people for the job, look for a mixture of talent and experience. If you cannot find some, consider outsourcing.

All manual review team members must be detail-oriented, possess analytical skills, and have the ability to check for anomalies in transactions.

Factors to Consider When Adopting the Manual Review System

It's not a guarantee that your manual review process will work for your company. Consider these factors when going for manual reviews:

  • Whether it's in-house or outsourced manual reviewers who will handle your fraud detection system
  • Is your company at high risk for fraud attempts (easy to resell or valuable products)
  • The average time your team will take to review a single transaction
  • The percentage of fraud that your agents will have to detect to make up the cost differences
  • The number of customers that your reviewers can reject in the process
  • The type of tools that your in-house team or vendor will use
  • The method of payment when outsourcing manual reviewers
  • Whether your vendor will perform manual reviews on a 24/7 basis

Pros and Cons of Manual Reviews

Manual reviews are good for your business. However, depending on the type of business, they can have a downside. Some of the pros of manual reviews include:

Helps You to Detect True Fraud

True fraud is a real menace to merchants. There is no way you can win a true fraud case except by declining the orders.

True fraud is when a scammer obtains debit or credit card credentials and uses them on your online store to purchase goods or services. This form of identity theft can be detrimental to you as you might end up losing merchandise, transaction amount, and incurring a dispute fee. Merchants cannot gain the transaction amount back from true fraud disputes.

With a manual review process, your fraud detection team can detect true fraud and decline orders, while still accepting valid orders. A good manual review process can protect your revenue and the quality of your customer experience.

Some of the cons that come from manual reviews are:

The Cost of Manually Reviewing Transactions is Significant

For some businesses, your manual review system might be detrimental. Putting too much pressure and cases on your reviewers might cause them to ignore some processes to reduce the work log. This often leads to mishandled transactions, making the whole process obsolete. Merchants can avoid this by creating precise front-end fraud filters that only send the few transactions it cannot assess to the manual reviewers.

Bad Customer Experience

Slow review processes or misjudgment might send away legitimate buyers. Some customers are very impatient, and a slight delay might create a bad experience. Many customers may avoid returning to your store and even leave behind bad online reviews that might hurt your business. Slow review processes can chase repeat customers who are a key pillar for your business.

Making Manual Reviews as Effective as Possible

By creating the most accurate front-end fraud filters, merchants can minimize the number of transactions that go to manual review. By doing this, manual reviews can quickly assess a limited number of cases or focus on high ticket cases.

The only way to get your front-end fraud protection as smooth as possible is to use feedback loops. A feedback loop is when a merchant takes data from various feedback sources: dispute data, manual review team, etc. and uses it to make their front-end fraud filters as accurate as possible. With this information, merchants can take action and implement process changes to prevent more true fraud without increasing false positives.

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