To alleviate small business customers' worries about online hacking and fraudulent payments, Wells Fargo has established a gateway that authenticates and processes electronic payments, ensuring protected transactions for Web merchants.
The gateway works in conjunction with Wells Fargo's SecureSource, a virtual point-of-sale that allows businesses to accept payments online. Within a month of offering SecureSource, Wells Fargo signed up 60 business customers.
Wells Fargo partnered with InfoSpace, a Bellevue, Wash. Internet payment software company, integrating InfoSpace's Authorize.Net product into SecureSource in September. The new platform handles all online payment authorization and reporting capabilities for small business customers, which tend to carry high risk propositions.
"The small business segment has not been aided when it comes to online payment acceptance and processing," said Debra Rossi, executive vice president, business Internet services, at San Francisco-based Wells Fargo. "We offer a turnkey solution that can have companies transacting online business within 24 hours of installation."
As consumers complete a transaction through an online merchant, SecureSource acts as a virtual front-end, prompting shoppers to enter their shipping and payment information, typically a credit card. After the user has been authenticated, the payment information passes through the Authorize.Net gateway, which guarantees, processes and records the transaction, then debits the credit card account and credits the merchant.
The platform also supports new payment options like electronic checks. With the help of Authorize.Net, Wells Fargo is making electronic check payments closer to a guaranteed transaction, Rossi explained. "Our work with InfoSpace gives us the chance to package e-check. Merchants online are looking for lower transactions costs and they want to manage fraud."
Authorize.Net also features a real-time, online reporting tool that keeps merchants abreast of translations categorized by payment type, frequency, transaction class, and any applied risk management or flagged accounts.
"This is not so much to fight fraud, as it is a preventive tool," Rossi said.