Magazine article American Banker

Electronic Commerce: Wells Has Online Fraud Tool for Small Biz

Magazine article American Banker

Electronic Commerce: Wells Has Online Fraud Tool for Small Biz

Article excerpt

Six hundred small businesses have signed up to use a fraud management system for online payments that Wells Fargo & Co. began offering about two months ago.

The SecureSource service, officially announced last week, lets business owners accept online most types of payment that are available offline, including person-to-person and business payments. Wells' proprietary system combines a traditional fraud database with technology that analyzes Internet behavior patterns to determine whether transactions are legitimate.

The first customer for the service was the American Red Cross, which used it in the wake of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks to accept charitable donations through the PayPal person-to-person system.

Wells developed the service in response to requests from small businesses to help them cut fraud and streamline payment processing, said Debra Rossi, the executive vice president of business Internet services for Wells. "Small businesses have very few employees to spend time on payments, so in a way we're taking a lot of this off their hands," she said.

Customers can accept, screen, and settle transactions, which are processed in four to six seconds, Ms. Rossi said. By viewing and managing transactions in real time, small businesses can streamline reconciliation and customer disputes, she said.

Wells has been offering Internet payment processing for small businesses since 1995, which makes it a pioneer in the field. SecureSource is part of a suite of products available through Wells' small-business site, including a Web-based payroll system launched last June that now has more than 1,000 users.

Though other companies offer online payment processing, Ms. Rossi said they typically do not integrate automated processing and risk management. "We think what we've done is address the whole merchant solution from end to end," she said. …

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