- By Rafael Lourenco, EVP, ClearSale
We’re a society obsessed with getting feedback on everything from bagels to B2B vendors because we know that more information, especially up-to-date information, helps us make better decisions. This is as true in fraud prevention as it is in any other field, perhaps even more now that large-scale data breaches and increasingly sophisticated criminal practices have made it easier for thieves to manipulate valid data to commit fraud. Here’s why online retailers who want to stop the rising tide of e-commerce fraud should look for data that’s properly contextualized and subject to regular feedback about its validity.
Three levels of data, three levels of usefulness
In general, there are three levels of data sources available to businesses for use in marketing research: demographics, fraud prevention, and other business processes. Each level has its own limits of usefulness.
At the first level, the database is a straightforward collection of a type of data point, such as names, addresses, or phone numbers. Having a data point alone is simply a snapshot in time that shows, for instance, that a particular email address existed a certain number of months ago, but not what billing address or phone number were used with that email address in a valid online transaction. In these databases data points are relatively static, free of context, and only move in one direction—from the data provider to the business client. There’s no feedback from client to provider about the validity of the data, so it’s impossible to be certain that all the data is valid.
At the second data-source level, the provider adds context for multiple related data points. For example, a hotel chain sells data that includes guest emails, phone numbers, and billing addresses. The chain validates the data through its reservations process to ensure that the customer’s email and phone number are related. This is more helpful than simply knowing that the email and phone number exist. However, the information is still only moving from data source to business client. The lack of feedback leaves a knowledge gap that fraudsters can exploit, and it precludes total reliability for users. For example, by making a booking with the email and phone data at the hotel chain and adding new payment information, criminals can set up the valid email and phone data for use in future fraud with stolen credit card numbers.
At the third level of data source, providers find out whether the data is fraudulent or valid—for example, do account bills go unpaid or are they paid without fraud claims? In cases of verified fraud, the data providers know how all the multiple data points (such as card number, billing address, email address, and phone number) are associated and they can determine how that combination of data was exploited to commit fraud. Most important, data providers at this level know when the data has not been associated with fraud and is reliable. With this two-way flow of information from source to client and back, the data not only has context, but it’s constantly evolving as it is used. This makes it a much stronger and more reliable resource.
Evolving data context matters more and more
These different data-quality levels matter to all businesses, especially for fraud-prevention use cases. That’s because while a one-percent data error rate in marketing databases results in misdirected mail or email advertising, a one-percent rate of completed fraud in e-commerce is a big problem in terms of revenue loss, product loss, and chargeback ratios. A contextualized, evolving data source that shares information in both directions with clients is a much more reliable tool for spotting fraudulent orders.
That’s likely to be even more true in the future because consumer data breaches are fueling a gap in database quality. Consider the Equifax breach that exposed personal information for some 145 million North American consumers last summer. That story has faded from the headlines, but the stolen data could be used by fraudsters for years to come—especially Social Security numbers, which are virtually impossible to change. How will such breaches affect data source quality?
At the first and second levels, fraudsters can use stolen data to affect single-data-point and one-way data sources. For example, thieves can link stolen billing addresses to their own mobile numbers. Over time, as more breaches occur, more thieves corrupt the data and the data information remains one-way so databases at levels one and two will deteriorate cumulatively over time. Meanwhile, the level three data sources are sharing information in two directions to validate their data over time. Ongoing quality maintenance by third-level data sources plus the declining quality of the other two types of data sources will result in greater differences in reliability for end users, especially fraud-prevention programs.
What does all of this mean for online merchants who want to protect their businesses from fraud? High quality consumer data situated in context and continually validated by two-way communication is a key to successful fraud prevention. As thieves become more sophisticated about corrupting valid data, and as more corruptible data falls into the hands of criminals, data providers and end users must share information to maintain data quality and usefulness.
Lufthansa adds more summer holiday destinations in bet on recovery
BERLIN (Reuters) – Lufthansa is adding more holiday destinations to its summer flight schedule from Germany in anticipation of a strong rebound in bookings, it said on Thursday, betting COVID-19 vaccines and testing will soon make vacation travel possible.
Germany’s largest airline said it was planning to add around 20 new destinations from Frankfurt and 13 from Munich to locations such as the Caribbean, the Canary Islands and Greece.
COVID-19 vaccines and testing, along with strict hygiene rules at airports and on planes, will be prerequisites for travel this summer, it said.
“We expect many countries to relax travel restrictions towards the summer as more and more people have been vaccinated,” Lufthansa board member Harry Hohmeister said in a statement.
Hohmeister said the airline, which secured a 9 billion euro ($11 billion) state bailout last year, expects a sharp increase in demand once restrictions are lifted.
Concerned about more transmissible coronavirus mutations, many European Union countries have reinstated border controls in what is normally a passport-free travel zone.
“There is a great yearning for travel and we believe that the summer months will reflect this,” Hohmeister added.
In Britain, holiday bookings soared this week after the government laid out plans to gradually relax coronavirus restrictions, giving battered airlines and tour operators hope that a bumper summer could come to their rescue.
Plans for relaxing coronavirus travel restrictions have not been announced yet in Germany. Chancellor Angela Merkel is due to discuss lockdown options with the head of the regional governments next Wednesday.
Lufthansa, which said in January it was losing a million euros every two hours, is due to publish its fourth quarter results on March 4.
($1 = 0.8187 euros)
(Reporting by Riham Alkousaa and Ilona Wissenbach. Editing by Mark Potter)
TRUiC Evaluates The Latest Additions to Registered Agents in the US
The US is still the top choice for new businesses that have a global focus. That is not to say that they are all physically located there. Despite the pandemic creating challenges for startups seeking investment, many are still steaming ahead. More and more, companies from Europe and Asia dominate Amazon and other distribution chains in the US via a US registered entity that relies on a registered agent. What should you know about registered agents?
When forming an LLC, there are a few additions to registered agent services in 2021 that could be extremely helpful to ensure that you always maintain your privacy, never miss important mail, and make you aware of legal obligations that may occur without being too costly or complicated. When you are launching a startup as an entrepreneur, it is vital to decide which registered agent service as they act as a point of contact between a business and a state and will greatly benefit your small business in the long-term.
In short, a registered agent will primarily act as your business’s main channel of communication with your states’ government. A non-profit, corporation or LLC can appoint a registered agent service to receive government correspondence, compliance documents on behalf of the business, and service of process – which is arguably the most important role of a registered agent as this informs an entity or individual of an impending lawsuit against him/her or the company.
Suggested video – What is a Registered Agent by TRUiC:
Next will be a review and comparison between the features of the best online business services of 2021 to see which is the top registered agent service when forming an LLC:
Assisting in the formation of over 800,000 businesses, partnerships with experienced legal professionals like Rocket Lawyer makes for a great option to serve as your registered agent service, all thanks to their 100% satisfaction guarantee. Although their services cost slightly more, they can still provide a full year for free if you subscribe to their Accelerate legal service plan for $49.95/month. Additional benefits include:
- The company is supported by Google Ventures
- Norton Web Security Protection & Information website
- Legal Services Pan which includes consultations with business attorneys
Classified as high-quality registered agent services and boasting over 150,000 customers served since 200, Incfile offers lower prices and a free subscription for one year with any incorporation filing purchase. They also provide their clients with a user -friendly website, that is protected by Norton Web Security, and free information available in their Learning Centre.
Northwest Registered Agent
If industry experience and premium customer support are important to you then the following might be the best service for you. Established in 1998, Northwest Registered Agent has made a name for themselves and is one of TRUiCs’ top picks as they are known to being the most friendly LLC service available. Not only do they provide the best email/phone support, but they also locally scan every document you receive, ensuring that you will never miss paperwork and eradicating surprises.
Whilst getting great customer support and a unique dashboard, Harbor Compliance’s registered agent services will also offer discounts to their customers who pay up-front for multiple years and service to those in multiple states. Plus:
- Website protection by Norton and Trustwave
- Free compliance guides and whitepapers
- Document delivery and scanning on the same day
After careful consideration of many other registered agent services, ZenBusiness has been rated best. This small business formation service was founded in 2015 by a team of entrepreneurs who cracked the code to the barriers that others continue to face today and help their respective clients launch their businesses successfully.
Not only will the start of your enterprise go smoothly, but they will also help you stay compliant with government laws, accept service of process and other tax and legal documents, and provide you with an overall peace-of-mind so you can focus all your time and energy on running your business.
Although LegalZoom is the costliest of these options, they had to be mentioned as this registered agent service has extensive experience and capabilities with an informative and North Secure Website and a broad range of business services. Boasting with a large platform of nearly 4 million customers, LegalZoom may be more convenient for you if you have other legal services operating through them as well.
Why should you designate a registered agent service for your business?
By appointing a suitable registered agent service you will be able to maintain your privacy, be alerted to legal obligations that may crop up without breaking the bank or complicating things, and these registered agent services will ensure that you never miss a beat when it comes to crucial paperwork and delivery of important documents. There really aren’t many downsides to working with an online registered agent service provider, and the penalties for not having a registered agent heavily outweigh the cost.
This is a Sponsored Feature.
Transatlantic startups 2021: How To Choose a US Incorporation Specialist
- Start-ups created over 3 million jobs in the U.S. alone in the past 12 months.
- The highest five-year survival rate for new businesses is mining, at 51.3%.
With the high rates of US startups and the pandemic-imposed inability to travel abroad to take care of business in person, company formation services have seen peak demand. Below we discuss the latest about this trend and how the market responded.
An Incorporation Specialist (which can often be referred to as a registered or statutory agent depending on your state), is a corporate entity or professional individual that voluntarily and overtly accepts to undertake personal responsibility over a plethora of legal documents and formalities on behalf of your business.
This is commonly carried out during the official filing of your business’s Articles of Organization and- as further analysed below, can provide a plethora of benefits for you and your business. Such benefits include ensuring that a sufficient level of corporate and legal compliance is always being carried out by your business’s practices, and can save you a significant amount of both time and effort. Consequently, choosing the right incorporation specialist is extremely important.
Suggested video – LLC Formation in the US:
US Start-ups: A Quick Overview
Most commonly, persons erroneously associate the word ‘start-up’ with businesses of a relatively small business size- operating with a team of maybe just 5 different employees and often involving a prolific amount of chaos and disorganisation. In fact, however, a corporation can go on to operate for several years before evolving into a larger-scale business type- a matter further analysed below.
The ‘definition’ of a start-up can encapsulate a surprisingly large number of corporation types, and businesses tend to predominantly ‘evolve’ into large-scale business modules by either: a) opening more than just one office, b) becoming acquired via an acquisition or a takeover, or c) encompassing a total revenue of over $20 million.
Despite the rather ‘loose’ definition of a start-up, the fact is that over 90% of such aforementioned companies end up going bankrupt within their first five years of operation. This is one of the key reasons that make choosing an effective incorporation specialist for your business a crucial task. A prolific, eminent incorporation specialist can provide a plethora of commercial and structural benefits, and undeniably bring in the best llc services for your business start-up.
Choosing the Right Incorporation Specialist
As briefly touched on above, choosing the right incorporation specialist can go a long way in securing both: a) peace of mind, and b) a sufficient level of legal compliance for you and your business.
In ensuring you pick the right incorporation agent for you and your business, always ensure you:
- a) Choose an eminent, nation-wide provider– this is particularly essential if your business operates in several states as working with a variety of different specialists can commonly yield inefficient results- due to an abundance of unnecessary paperwork and a significantly increased risk of a legal document or a potential annual renewal falling ‘through the cracks’ and being missed.
- b) Choose a professional service- this can go a long way in ensuring you do not have to constantly worry about having to file an update with a relevant government agency every time your contact information or office location changes- saving you a prolific amount of irreplaceable time. Additionally, by picking a professional service to represent your company, you are much more likely to see a consistent level of document filing and legal compliance and avert any legal crisis where your legal documents are not made available to you in time.
- c) Evaluate the service’s software– your incorporation specialist needs to offer a reliable operating software that can consistently ensure a timely and efficient transmission of your relevant legal documents is available in the format of your preference. This way, you are likely to see a holistic reduction in your business’s paperwork and significantly improve your company’s overall internal communication.
As touched on above, your incorporation specialist can serve as a crucial part of your business. Picking the wrong service provider can lead to disastrous results- especially in relation to missed subpoenas or late annual renewals. Multiple US states should be considered and their respective benefits ought to be compared. Given the potential risks, it is absolutely essential to ensure you accord an adequate amount of time and effort into choosing the best incorporation specialist for you and your business and consequently save a prolific amount of time and effort in the long run.
This is a Sponsored Feature.
Shift to sun, ski and suburbs gives Airbnb advantage over hotels
By Ankit Ajmera (Reuters) – Airbnb’s quarterly results are likely to show the pandemic may have helped the home rental...
Britain to introduce greener gasoline at petrol stations by September
LONDON (Reuters) – Britain is set to introduce E10 gasoline, a motor fuel blended with 10% renewable fuels, by September...
Oil holds close to 13-month high, supported by sharp drop in U.S. output
By Julia Payne LONDON (Reuters) – Oil prices remained close to 13-month highs on Thursday, with profit-taking limited by an...
GameStop shares rise in early trade before being halted
By Aaron Saldanha and Thyagaraju Adinarayan (Reuters) – GameStop Corp shares shot higher in early trading on Thursday before a...
Lufthansa adds more summer holiday destinations in bet on recovery
BERLIN (Reuters) – Lufthansa is adding more holiday destinations to its summer flight schedule from Germany in anticipation of a...