Tag Archive | "Fraud"

How Mobile Payment Solutions Work: Part 2

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How Mobile Payment Solutions Work: Part 2

You’ve now learned a lot more about how mobile payment solutions work online and what they’re good for. But before you implement them as a method of payment on your site, there are a few final considerations that you would need to keep in mind. This will let you know what you can expect if you want to use mobile billing with your online business.

Everyone Gets a Share of the Action

Getting the funds from the customer’s mobile account into your hands may seem simple in theory, but the reality is far more complex than that. There are thousands of mobile carriers around the world. In order for a payment processor to be able to collect money from them, they need to go through some rather complex networks of financial agreements and clearinghouses. Of course, this means that they will discount a fee for each transaction made. So you can’t really expect to get the full $5 if a customer makes a $5 purchase on your site. Due to the fact that billing to a mobile is far more complex than billing to a credit card, the fees charged to merchants are usually very high. For each transaction, you can expect to receive only 40 to 70% maximum of the total amount that was actually paid for by the customer. Now there is a possibility that the system will change in the future and more efficient networks will be set up to deal with collecting the payments and forwarding them to the merchants, but for now, high transaction fees are simply part of the game and it will probably stay that way for a few years at least.

Getting Paid is Slow

Don’t expect to get the money in your bank the next day, or even next week. In fact, settlement for all transactions can take anywhere from 30 to 90 days after they were made. This is because the payment processor needs to collect the funds from each mobile phone carrier before they’re able to pay you as a merchant.

On the Bright Side, Fraud and Chargebacks are Low

When a customer disputes a mobile billing transaction with their carrier, due to the low amounts involved, most simply have a policy of crediting the customer the amount they’re disputing and giving them information on how to cancel the subscription. This happens quite often when a teenager buys a few dozen songs or items for an online game and then claims not to know anything about it when his parents get the mobile bill. Therefore, unless there is evidence that a merchant attempted to mislead customers about the cost of the transactions or otherwise deliberately engaged in malicious business practices, chargebacks, although theoretically possible, are very rare.

With all the information presented here, you should have a clearer picture of what accepting mobile payment entails to you as a merchant and can now make a better decision as to whether or not you will want to accept them on your website.

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Reports of Deliberate Click Fraud on Facebook Ads Getting Attention

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Reports of Deliberate Click Fraud on Facebook Ads Getting Attention

Yesterday, we’ve taken a simple look at what invalid clicks are and some rather innocent ways in which they could be generated. But what about the more serious cases, which would be downright click fraud on Facebook? The issue has received a lot of attention, as Facebook’s stock seemed to sink and a few high profile advertisers have openly criticized the social networking giant’s advertising platform. Some have even gone as far as saying that they won’t use Facebook Ads anymore and will be looking for other ways to generate traffic to their website.


Deliberate click form can also come in many forms. The most simple one is simply paying a user to click on ads, like some of the “paid to click” sites do. They would usually pay people (usually $0.01 per click, even less) to click on ads that are posted on certain sites.


But this could also be the action of a competitor that deliberately wants to push you out of the game by using up your advertising budget. If you’re a small business and receive several dozens invalid clicks that way, this will undoubtedly leave you with a very bad user experience at Facebook Ads.


Clicks coming from automated systems, commonly referred to as bots, have been recognized as an issue among Facebook advertisers. Now bots aren’t exclusively used to commit click fraud and could have plenty of genuine uses. Their main purpose is to crawl thousands of websites in order to search fro information or to collect (scrape) data, which would later then be republished on other websites. But when a bot visits a site, then there is of course the very real chance that it would end up clicking on an ad. Even though Facebook prohibits the use of bots on their site, this doesn’t mean that some of the more “blackhat” marketers don’t use them. If you’ve seen the reports on the millions of fake Facebook accounts that are active, you should know that many of these accounts aren’t simply someone with too much time on their hands creating a separate persona so they could troll or annoy other users. Many of these are used for the purpose of running automated harvesting software, deliberately inflating the number of “likes” a page has, or posting spam comments and sending out spam messages to users.


Now what has Facebook done to address the problem that invalid clicks have and their potential to have a negative effect on the company as a whole? Unfortunately, a lot of marketers that use the site’s advertising services would say “not enough”. Tomorrow we will lean a bit more in details about what some advertisers are complaining about, as well as what Facebook has said in an effort to retain many of their advertisers who spend money with them and essentially keep the site running for everyone. You will be shown some ways you may be able to better protect yourself, as well as what’s in store for the future of Facebook advertising.

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Click Fraud Fears May Have Bad Impact on Facebook

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Click Fraud Fears May Have Bad Impact on Facebook

Anyone involved in online marketing will know that Facebook’s main source of revenue would be ads that are placed in different areas of the site. In the majority of cases, advertisers pay on a “pay per click” basis, meaning that they would pay a certain amount every time someone clicks on their ads. Obviously, this is nothing new and has been around since online advertising came into existence, and is used by most other advertising networks and websites as well.


But with a pay per click type of setup, there is one potential problem for any advertiser: paying for invalid clicks. This means clicks on the ad coming from users that weren’t really interested in it in the first place. Now there is no way to eliminate all invalid clicks, simply because of the way they are generated. There is always the possibility of someone accidentally clicking on your ad instead of another area of the site that they wanted to click on. They would then quickly hit the back button or close the new browser tab that was created.


Then, there are clicks coming from competitors who want to gain some insight on the products that you sell, how your landing pages look like and what type of advertising techniques you practice. While many would decry this as a waste of their advertising budget, as the click is coming from someone who will obviously not buy anything from you, it is actually not really a serious issue. You are likely to get just a few clicks from competitors and chances are, you’ve also clicked on the ads of competitors in your niche just to check out what they were up to.


But a more serious problem with pay per click advertising is click fraud, which is also referred to as “invalid clicks” in the industry. These clicks could make a big hole in your advertising budget, as you’re spending money getting visitors to your website which have absolutely zero chance of converting. If it happens once or twice a day, it’s not a big deal and is just part of the cost of doing business online. But if it starts to happen a few dozen times a day or more, depending on the size of your advertising campaigns, then this could become a much bigger problem for you.


While there are many who would talk about the virtues of advertising on Facebook, there are a few problems with its advertising platform that came to light recently and have sparked some debate in the industry. One of these main problems was invalid clicks reported by advertisers. So what really are these invalid clicks, what can you do about them and what has Facebook done to address the issue? We will examine this important problem more in details tomorrow so that you can become more aware of how it affects today’s businesses.


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Online Business Security Tips: Part 3

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Online Business Security Tips: Part 3

Now that we’ve previously seen some very good ways that you can employ to protect both your privacy, as well as the security of your business online in general, here are some ways that you can make sure that financial transactions that you conduct online are better protected.

  • Keep your business and personal finances separate

One of the big advantages of this is that it will make it easier to keep track of how much money you made from your online business activities and how much you have spent. This will of course simplify your accounting and make reporting taxes a lot easier. But it can also help when it comes to security. Open a separate bank account that will be used only for receiving and sending funds related to your online business. If you use an e-wallet such as PayPal, open a separate one under your business name rather than using the same account that you use for personal transactions. Use your business e-wallet to get payments from affiliate networks, clients, etc. You can always transfer funds to your personal bank account as needed.

  • Use a different credit card for your business purchases

Again, this will make tracking a lot easier as you can keep your personal purchases separate from your business related expenses. For added security, you can get a reloadable prepaid credit card that you can use to sign up for services or purchase things online. Load it with enough money needed to make the purchases you expect. This will give you some protection should there be a security breach, or if you unknowingly deal with a merchant that has deceptive billing practices, such as luring you into a free trial of their service and then charging you a high monthly rate if you don’t cancel. Furthermore, if fraud does occur, it will make it easier to determine where it potentially could have come from.

  • Check your records and statements often

You should check your e-wallet, credit card and bank accounts on a regular basis to make sure that everything is going right. Check to ensure that you received all the payments that you were expecting to get and see if there are any transactions that you don’t recognize. Promptly investigate any transactions that you don’t remember making or that seem suspicious for you. It could have been a merchant using a different name than on their website or a small purchase that you forgot that you made, such as a $3.99 e-book, but it’s worth checking out just in case.

By keeping all of these tips in mind, you will have some good advice on how you can do business on the internet safely while protecting your private and sensitive information. Remember that in addition to these and any other pieces of advice that you can find online, it’s also important to exercise overall common sense when you’re running an online business.

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Is It Possible To Apply For A CPA Network Without Having A Website?

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Is It Possible To Apply For A CPA Network Without Having A Website?

Many people who are new to CPA marketing are wondering whether it is possible to get approved for a CPA network account even though you don’t currently have a website to run offers on. The answer is definitely yes. A lot of experienced marketers don’t even have a main website. Rather, they either directly link to the offer’s page or build a dedicated landing page for each offer that they run. CPA networks understand that there are various ways to promote their offers that don’t necessarily involve having a website.

Even though you may not need a site, it is still recommended to get your own domain name to use for your email address. The domain name could be the name of the business that you’ve set up for your online marketing activities, such as AcmeMarketing.com. If you are just starting out and don’t want to register a business for your online activities, you can simply use something such as RobSmithWebMarketing.com. You would then have an email address at your own domain name. This looks a lot more professional and serious than using a free email service such as Hotmail or Yahoo. You are also more likely to get approved for an account this way, as CPA networks tend to view registrations with no web site and a free email address with suspicion, due to the fact that the majority of fraud comes from users with free emails.

When you sign up, you will be asked how you will be advertising the offers that the network has. Since you don’t have a site, it is important for you to be as specific as possible when describing your plans here. If you are planning to run pay per click campaigns, you would indicate that you are a PPC marketer and tell the network the PPC networks that you would be using to run their campaigns like Google Adwords, Bing, Yahoo Search Marketing, etc. If you would be promoting offers by social networks, describe your strategy for doing so, such as which social networks will you be using and how you plan to draw traffic to the offers.

CPA networks will also ask you about your overall experience with internet marketing. If you have run any affiliate or CPA offers before (even if you weren’t that successful), list that on your application. For example, if you have promoted Clickbank products, you would mark that down under your experience. The networks are typically looking for people who at least have an understanding of how internet marketing works and prefer people who already have acquired some experience, even if you have only made a few sales.

Once you submit your application, expect to receive a phone call form the network within a few days. They will want to confirm the information on your application and will ask you some questions regarding your past experience and your objectives with regards to internet marketing.

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Getting Started In E-Commerce: The Main Decisions To Make

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Getting Started In E-Commerce: The Main Decisions To Make

Do you own a physical business and want to take advantage of the power of the internet to sell your products? Or do you want to start a completely new online business that will ship products to consumers? In either case, this can be a very profitable move for you. However, you will just need to do a bit of planning beforehand to make sure that everything goes well for you.

One of the main decisions that you will need to make when setting up such an enterprise is choosing whether you will sell your products on your own website or through an existing marketplace such as eBay or Amazon. Both have their unique advantages and drawbacks which you need to consider.

Selling via an online marketplace.

The advantages:

  • Very high amount of traffic and basically free advertising. Those on the site are already in buying mode and all they have to do is to search for a product that you are selling. This means that you will save money on advertising.
  • Easy and quick to get started. There is no need to set up a website or an ecommerce solution, all you have to do is list your items.
  • Depending on the terms of the site used, offers some protection in case of fraud or disputes between you and the buyer.

The drawbacks:

  • On most sites you would need to either pay a fee to get your item listed, a fee based on the final sale price of the item or both. While these fees are relatively small, they do add up if you sell many items and will also cut in your profit margin.
  • Online marketplaces may have restrictions on the types of items that you can sell, where you can ship to, or the payment methods that you can accept from clients.

Selling via your own website.

The advantages:

  • You can fully customize the look and feel of your site in order to better suit your business.
  • You decide on your own business policies, such as the types of payments that you accept, the shopping cart software you use, etc.
  • No fees to list items for sale and no fees to pay on the final sale price.

The drawbacks:

  • Building an ecommerce site takes some time and effort. If you don’t want to do it yourself, you may need to hire someone else to do it, which will add to the costs of getting started. You will also need to register a domain name and find a suitable webhost.
  • You will need to find a suitable solution for payment processing, as well as install an ecommerce suite on your site.
  • Buyers will not just magically appear at your site. You will need to advertise your website using various methods to get traffic. This takes some time and many advertising methods, both online and offline, will also cost you money to implement and get results.

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Getting Approved For a CPA Account

It is a known fact that CPA networks are a great way to earn money online and have made many people very successful in the internet marketing industry. This is in part due to the fact that they have a wide selection of offers that can be promoted by their affiliates. When you join a CPA network, you will have the chance to run a variety of different campaigns, like trial offers, email submit offers, ring tone campaigns and more. The problem for many people new to the internet marketing industry is joining a network and getting accepted into one.

There is one main reason why CPA networks have gotten harder and harder to get into as an affiliate: increasing amounts of fraudulent affiliates singing up. Remember, CPA networks have a responsibility towards the merchants who run offers on them. If half of transactions made through the network end up being fraudulent, the merchant will often consider leaving the network. Furthermore, merchants do not want to pay for fraudulent transactions, so the network will often be left holding the bag if they have paid the affiliate but the merchant refuses to pay due to fraud.

Since you are a legitimate affiliate, you must make every effort to appear as one when you apply for a network. The first thing to do is to get a company name. Most of the fraud comes from “individual affiliates”, so simply registering a sole proprietorship such as “Max Marketing” will help a lot. The next thing is to get a domain name for your company, which you will use for your email. Your email should simply be something like “you@yourcompany.com”. You have to admit, it sound way more professional and serious than “cute_kitty_princess2839389@hotmail.com” or “bob_the_big_gangster2821@yahoo.com”.

While a website is not 100% necessary if you don’t plan to promote offers on your own site, it is still recommended that you set up a site for your company. It doesn’t have to be elaborate and have any bells and whistles. Just a one page site that you have done with a freely available template will do. Simply state what your company does and your contact details on the page.

Now comes the phone call. The vast majority of CPA networks will want to talk to you on the phone before accepting you into their network. Generally, they will call you within 2 – 3 business days. But if they don’t, go ahead and give them a call. This shows that you are serious about joining the network. During the phone call, you will be asked a few simple questions, such as your marketing experience, how long you have been doing internet marketing, which offers you plan on running, which other affiliate programs you are taking part in, how will you be promoting the offers (PPC, SEO, email, media buys, etc). Just have your answers ready and you should be able to get approved in no time.

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