55% of entrepreneurs worry about fraud due to COVID. Here’s the solution
When the pandemic pushed everyone remote, suddenly freelancers and small businesses used to doing business in cash started accepting digital payment options. According to one study, this shift caused a surge in fraud concerns. New data just released by Paysafe found that 55% of entrepreneurs say fraudulent transactions is one of their top worries since the pandemic started. As cybersecurity for freelancers becomes a more critical topic, one area people should pay attention is to payments.
According to Paysafe Chief Operating Officer Danny Chazonoff, this is unfortunately expected. “… security has become more of a priority than ever, and there are a few reasons for this,” said Chazonoff in a press release about the study. “The economic impact of COVID-19 has led to a natural desire from both consumers and businesses to protect their finances. Coupled with that, we know that criminal activity such as fraud historically rises during national and global crises, and this pandemic has been no exception.”
But concern doesn’t mean people are sitting ducks. Entrepreneurs are actively trying to solve this problem, but struggle balancing security with a smooth customer journey. In the survey, 58% of entrepreneurs say balancing security while maintaining a smooth customer journey is difficult for them. Only 10% disagree or strongly disagree, by comparison.
One potential silver lining though, is that entrepreneurs believe consumers worry about fraud as well. 60% of entrepreneurs believe that COVID-19 has made consumers more concerned about being a victim of fraud. As a result, 66% of entrepreneurs believe the pandemic has made consumers more comfortable with different payment methods. The good news in all of this is that there’s alignment between consumers and entrepreneurs. That means means people are likely to be happy about changes made in the name of security.
According to the survey, these beliefs are already being proven true. In the report, 76% of online businesses said they have already noticed a change in how customers pay. Common shifts are to more consumers using digital wallets or eCash. When asked why these shifts happen, businesses believe is consumers looking for more secure payment gateways.
The lesson for freelancers is clear: offering more payment options is good for business. Even if some options are secure but not smooth, customers want the choice. In fact, another Paysafe study concluded this, as reported in Small Business Trends. Instead of trying to find the one way that is both secure and smooth, entrepreneurs can offer customers a choice. When customers are more empowered, they can choose the path that works best for them. At the end of the day, all payment gateways need a base level of security. However, the more choice entrepreneurs can offer, the better it is for business.