Protect your business from fraud

Keep your transactions safe.

Fraud prevention

Visa offers a variety of materials to support your fraud prevention, security and risk management efforts. Learn the steps to ensure the legitimacy of every Visa card, cardholder, and transaction.

Swipe the card through a magnetic card reader, insert the card into a chip-reading device, or wave the card in front of a Visa payWave contactless payment terminal to request the transaction authorization. 

Note: Many Visa cards have a chip that communicates information to a point-of-sale terminal with a chip-reading device. If a chip-reading device is available, preference must always be given to chip card processing before attempting to swipe the magnetic-stripe. The card should remain in the terminal until the transaction is complete.  

While the transaction is being processed, check the card’s unique design features and security elements, if possible. Make sure the card is valid and has not been altered in any way.  

Obtain authorization and, if required, get the cardholder signature on the transaction receipt.  

Adhere to your merchant store procedures and respond accordingly.  

Compare the name, last four digits of the account number, and signature on the card to those on the transaction receipt.  

Authorize every transaction, and include the card expiration date in every authorization request.

  • An invalid or missing expiration date might mean the customer doesn’t have the actual card in hand. Ask for more information if you receive an authorization but still suspect fraud.
  • Ask for the name of the bank that appears on the front of the card.
  • Contact the cardholder with any questions.
  • Confirm the order separately by sending a note via the customer’s billing address rather than the “ship to” address.  
  • First-time shopper
  • Larger than normal order
  • Order that includes several of the same item
  • Order with many big-ticket items
  • Rush or overnight shipping requested
  • Shipping to an international address
  • Transactions with similar account numbers
  • Transactions placed on multiple cards all shipping to a single address 
  • Multiple transactions on one card over a short period of time
  • Multiple transactions on a card with a single billing address, shipping to multiple addresses
  • Multiple cards used from a single IP address
  • Orders from Internet addresses that make use of free e-mail services  
Handing card

Chip-activated terminals

A unique, one-time authorization code protects chip card transactions.

Learn about Visa Chip Cards

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Verified by Visa

The cardholder enters a password to verify their identity, which is confirmed by the card issuer in real time.

Learn about Verified by Visa

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Address Verification Service (AVS)

Check the billing address with the card issuer.

Learn about AVS

Card and computer

Card Verification Value 2 (CVV2)

A three-digit number is imprinted on the signature panel of all Visa cards.

Learn about CVV2  

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Services for processing online payments, streamlining fraud management, and simplifying payment security.

Go to CyberSource  

Merchants should establish procedures for responding to suspicious transactions. Your sales staff should be familiar with these procedures and receive regular training on them.

Card-Present Merchants

If your sales staff is suspicious of fraud, they should follow the established procedures, which could include asking for identification in accordance with the following rule:

A merchant may request cardholder identification in a face-to-face environment. If the name on the identification does not match the name on the card, the merchant may decide whether to accept the card. If the cardholder does not have or is unwilling to present cardholder identification, the merchant must honor the card.  

For suspicious MO/TO transactions, you should:

  • Ask the customer for additional information: For example, ask for day and evening phone numbers and call the customer back later. Some merchants ask for the bank name on the front of the card.
  • Separately confirm the order with the customer: Send a note to the customer’s billing address, rather than the shipping address.
  • When requesting additional information to verify orders, telephone order employees should use a conversational tone so as not to arouse customers’ suspicions. If a customer balks or asks why the information is needed, employees should say they are trying to protect cardholders from fraud.  

For suspicious transactions, e-commerce merchants should establish effective procedures for cardholder verification calls. Contacting customers directly not only reduces fraud risk, but also builds customer confidence and loyalty. Your verification procedures should address the need both to identify fraud and leave legitimate customers with a positive impression of your company.

  • Use directory assistance or Internet search tools to find a cardholder’s telephone number. Do not use the telephone number given for a suspect transaction.
  • Confirm the transaction, resolve any discrepancies, and let the cardholder know that you are performing this confirmation as a protection against fraud.  
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Learn how to prevent fraud

Visa can help you protect your business

Visa card acceptance guidelines
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Smart security choices: small business edition

We keep our focus on your security, so you can focus on your business.

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