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Boost Checkout Conversion by Screening for Fraud Pre-Authorization

Merchants spend incredible energy engaging users to visit their store and get to the checkout, only to lose out due to high fraud risk in an era where first-party fraud rates are rising, and conversion rates continue to fall.

There is a better way. Get ahead of fraud before it ever reaches your checkout page.

Pre-authorization fraud screening. And it's a game-changer for boosting conversion rates.

The Traditional Fraud Check is Flawed

Traditionally, most merchants only screen for fraud after a customer has already clicked "Buy" and initiated the payment process. They analyze the payment info, run it through legacy fraud tools, and then decide whether to accept or decline the order.

But by that point, it's often too late. The damage is done—a bad actor has already made it all the way to your checkout. Your good customers get caught up in extra friction and confirmation steps, and legitimate orders get falsely declined.

It's an inefficient, clunky process that costs money through lost sales and cart abandonment. A smarter approach is needed.

Enter: Pre-Authorization Fraud Screening

With pre-auth fraud screening, you get a headstart on identifying good users vs. bad actors before they ever get to the payment stage. It looks at the full context and intent data behind each session.

Powerful behavioral signals like:

  • Email reputation and history
  • Expert (or suspicious) mouse movement patterns 
  • Device fingerprinting and location cloaking
  • Hundreds of other intent data points

By analyzing these signals, you can spot high-risk users who are likely up to no good. You can filter them out with additional verification steps or blocks - all before they get a chance to start a payment.

If you're a card issuer, you also learn if your traffic quality is good.

This lets you create an ultra-smooth, interrupted buying flow for your good customers. No surprises or unnecessary friction at the last mile.

It's conversion rate optimization for the modern era of fraud.

A Virtuous Cycle of Trusted Transactions

Pre-auth screening creates another powerful benefit: It creates trust with payment providers and card networks over time. As you proactively screen out more fraud before authorization, the percentage of legitimate, trusted transactions hitting those providers increases.

Payment processors can approve a higher portion of your orders by default because they know you've already filtered out the risky stuff. Legitimate customers get WAY more frictionless approvals.

It becomes a continuous, self-reinforcing cycle. The more you control fraud pre-auth, the more payment networks trust your transactions, leading to even higher approval rates.

That's massive for your bottom-line checkout conversion: fewer abandoned carts, fewer false declines, and more successful orders from legitimate buyers.

It's Why Operators Choose Sardine

The team at Sardine lives and breathes this pre-auth fraud screening approach. We're by operators, for operators - we know how crucial it is to control that first touchpoint and create a seamless funnel.

Our APIs, dashboard, rules and machine learning models analyze the full breadth of pre-auth signals out there. We run thousands of data points through our behavior-based ML models to spot user intent and isolate the good from the bad.

With Sardine, you get total control over segmentation of sessions and create a verification flow for high-risk sessions before they hit checkout. 

Legitimate users sail through effortlessly while you apply scrutiny and friction only where it's needed.

It's time to get control of your pre-auth game. Reach out to learn how Sardine can create that virtuous conversion cycle for your business.

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About the author
Simon Taylor
Head of Strategy and Content