Payment risk factors

Learn the risk types we use to score payments.

Along with our score, which looks at a wide range of attributes for each visitor to a website, we developed the Payment Risk Score (PRS). The PRS evaluates the attributes of a customer's payment and assigns to it a risk score. This risk score shows the percentage of risk a payment presents. 100% is the riskiest and 0% has the least risk.

How are payments scored?

Each payment can have several risk factors associated with it, or no risk factors. As a payment's risk factors increase, our score lowers and the PRS percentage increases.

Using the PRS with our score helps you quickly identify orders that you can approve or deny based on customer and order profiles. For example, if an order was placed from a user whose device is in a different country than the shipping and billing address, and this order has a high payment risk, it is more likely to be fraud. Or, if an order has a low score because the user is a university student, but the order has a low PRS, you can confidently approve the order.

Order rules for payment risk

You can create order rules to put orders on hold based on PRS. Our internal research shows that orders with a PRS between 1% and 10% pose a medium risk. You should manually review orders with a PRS between 10% and 30% because they pose a high risk. Orders with a PRS over 30% are rarely valid. You'll have to decide how to handle these orders. For more information about using PRS and other attributes, go to Order rules.

What are PRS factors?

The following list shows many of the payment risk attributes that we identify. These attributes appear on the Suspicious Orders page, as seen in the Payment Issues section:

Payment risk attributes

  • None: We didn't find any payment risk.

  • Transaction originated from a high-risk country: The country where the user was located when they placed the order is considered high-risk.

  • The billing address does not match the country of the majority of customers using that bank identification number: The payment card is associated with a bank that is foreign to the order. For example, the card was issued by a European bank, but the order was placed in the U.S.

  • The credit card is prepaid: The credit card is a prepaid card, not a revolving charge card. These payment cards typically have more risk than traditional credit and debit accounts.

  • The device may be being used for multiple transactions: Our velocity checks identified that the device has been used for an unusual number of transactions.

  • The customer's email address is from a free service: The email is from a service that has higher risk because it's free and requires less verification to create an email address.

  • The customer's email address indicates high risk: We found that the email address is associated with high-risk activity. Or the email appeared on a blocked list or a similar fraud-screening tool.

  • The shipping address is associated with fraudulent transactions: The shipping address was associated with fraud in the past and presents a high risk.

  • The shipping address has a postal code not in the city entered: The shipping postal code is not the same as the city the customer provided.

  • Distance from shipping address to the device exceeds 100km: Our patented geolocation technology identified that the customer is physically located an excessive distance from the shipping address (more than 100 kilometers, or 62 miles).

  • Distance from shipping address to billing address exceeds 100km: The distance between the shipping and billing addresses is excessive (more than 100 kilometers, or 62 miles).

  • The shipping address is not in the country of the IP address the transaction originated from: Our patented geolocation technology identified that the customer is physically located in a different country than where the transaction originated.

  • The billing address has a postal code not in the city entered: The billing postal code is not the same as the postal code for the city that the customer provided.

  • Distance from billing address to the device exceeds 100km: Our patented geolocation technology identified that the customer is physically located an excessive distance from the billing address (more than 100 kilometers, or 62 miles).

  • The billing address is not in the country of the IP address the transaction originated from: Our patented geolocation technology identified that the customer is physically located in a different country than the transaction's billing address.

  • The payment is rated as medium risk (more than a 10% chance of fraud): The payment has attributes that indicate medium fraud risk.

  • The payment is rated as high risk (more than a 25% chance of fraud): The payment has attributes that indicate high fraud risk.

  • The payment is rated as an extreme risk (more than a 50% chance of fraud): The payment has attributes that indicate extreme fraud risk.

  • The user is using a public proxy: The user placed the order while using a public proxy server to mask their technological identity.

  • The user is using an anonymous proxy: The user placed the order while using an anonymous proxy to mask their technological identity.

  • The user is originating from a high-risk IP address: We found that the IP address is associated with high-risk activity. Or the IP address appeared on a blocked list or a similar fraud screening tool.