Data Normalization: The Key to Verifying Online Leads & Orders

Updated from original post Why Cross Checking is Important When Using a Contact Validation Web Service, published 02/17/10

Although the Internet allows for many business benefits, it is also an effective way that fraudsters create bogus leads or orders—ultimately creating business headaches. Online fraud is a pervasive issue that costs businesses billions of dollars every year in lost merchandise, customer satisfaction, and resources. There are many data quality companies who provide services to verify your online leads and orders, but how exactly do they go about doing that? And how are you supposed to decide which service provider will best meet your fraud-prevention needs?

Given that online leads and orders consist of multiple pieces of customer data points, it is imperative that the data verification process goes beyond checking the validity of each individual piece of information. In a truly valid lead or order, all elements must not only be accurate, genuine, and up-to-date, but consistent with one another. This means that your fraud-detection software service should normalize, cross-reference and compare the contact data for consistency, and generate a score or rating of the customer’s authenticity. It should be able to flag warnings that include:

  • A mismatch between the computer’s IP address and billing/shipping addresses
  • Inputted phone number owned by a different name and address
  • Disposable or bogus email addresses
  • A fictional or bogus name
  • Bank Identification Number of credit card is from a country of high risk

If the lead or order validation service you’re using does not employ advanced cross-checking algorithms, you risk accepting accurate but not genuine data in your database and systems. Your sales team may waste time trying to qualify fake contacts, or you may send out a shipment without knowing if the credit card used is legitimate and actually belongs to the intended recipient.

Here are some other crucial data elements to look for in a strong Lead Validation or Order Validation web service:

  • US address verification that includes Delivery Point Validation and USPS CASS-certified data
  • Canadian address verification
  • Reverse phone lookup
  • Detailed phone exchange information
  • Email validation with MX record and syntax checking
  • Comprehensive IP address validation
  • Bank Identification Number (BIN) validation for issuing bank authenticity

If your business relies on ecommerce transactions for revenue, Order Validation is a must to protect your business. And if your sales team relies or accurate, genuine leads to bring in new sales, a Lead Validation tool is great for building your business. If you’d like a demo of our data validation service or a free trial, please give us a call!

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