How Book Depot Protects Against Card Testers and Fraud - Kount

How a leader in book wholesale stops card testing and chargebacks from affecting its company mission

Book Depot isn’t just selling books. They’re “Enchanting the Mind One Book at a Time” and impacting the lives of millions of people locally and across the globe.

The family-owned business strives to offer “read-iculously” low prices on great titles. And it partners with community organizations to make books more accessible, help kids fall in love with reading, and provide essential resources to families in need. Overall, the company has donated some 230,000 books through its buy-a-box, donate-a-book subscription program.

For Mark Van Vliet, Book Depot’s VP of Strategic Initiatives, carrying out such a mission means partnering with companies that serve with humility and place as much value in great customer experiences as he does. So when Mark needed to stop card testers and fraudulent activity from tearing time and resources away from the mission, he trusted Kount’s experts.

Card testing tears time, resources away from the mission

Mark and his team know that fraud is ever-changing, and bad actors will target any website when carrying out attacks. This is especially true in card testing attacks, wherein bad actors place fraudulent orders to validate stolen credit cards by the hundreds or thousands in rapid succession.

“The card testing came to our attention because we were getting ridiculously high chargebacks,” Mark explained. “When we started looking into the problem, we found an infestation of card testers.”

Diving into the problem, Mark found many orders placed at all hours of the night with fake-looking names and email addresses from unknown IP addresses. And it was an issue that wasn’t just costing Mark’s team in chargebacks. Combatting the activity was a daily endeavor that cost the company significant time and inventory from orders already shipped.

“When we have to sit there and play whack-a-mole to stamp out fraud, it’s a huge drain on our resources, and it just results in extra costs,” Mark said. “It was something we weren’t able to stay on top of. It consumed our weekends — we were dreading Monday mornings. That’s when we started looking into Kount.”


Stopped mass card testing attacks and related chargebacks

Automated approve and decline decisions to reduce manual reviews by 50%

Decreased decline rate by 51% without increasing risks

Gained more time to improve processes rather than “put out fires”

If every business had Kount, fraudulent e-commerce wouldn’t be nearly as lucrative to criminals. The product works, and working with Kount’s customer support has been one of the best professional experiences I’ve had.— Mark Van Vliet, VP of Strategic Initiatives, Book Depot

Fraud experts stop card testing, curb chargebacks, reduce manual reviews

Managing fraud and card testers meant Mark had to pull himself, members of his customer support and IT teams, and even the company’s president away from developing community partnerships and helping real customers. Overall, dealing with it alone was “a huge time-suck and extremely frustrating.”

Mark knew that automated solutions and fraud prevention experts could help. But he wanted to ensure Book Depot was working with the right company.

“When we were looking for a vendor, we were looking at credibility, reputation, industry expertise, great customer support, reliability, and security,” Mark explained. “We had to make sure our vendor had resources to stop intrusions and an API that could respond to attacks without the customer noticing.”

AI-powered fraud prevention models reduce manual reviews by 50%

Mark started working with Kount’s experts to implement an automatedfraud prevention solution that uses advanced AI and machine learning to detect malicious activities without damaging the customer experience. The solution analyzes current interaction data — email addresses, IP addresses, phone numbers, location data, etc. — against past and present fraud trends and automatically declines or challenges anything that looks like a fraud attack.

Ultimately, the solution stopped bad actors from account creation to checkout. It curbed card-testing-related chargebacks and cut manual reviews by 50%. Reducing its review and decline rate helped the company increase revenue without adding unnecessary risks. Finally, the solution helped Mark’s team decrease their decline rate by 51%, so they’re accepting more good orders and reducing friction for those customers.

Book Depot focuses on the business, lets Kount’s experts focus on fraud

Now that Mark and his team have digital fraud under control, they can get back to doing what they do best. Mark explained that getting that time back means they can focus on taking Book Depot to the next level and improving processes rather than “putting out fires.”

Over the business’s decades long history, Mark and his team have learned a few key things:

  1. Delivering exceptional customer experiences from start to finish requires evolving with e-commerce markets.
  2. Investing in automation moves you from keeping up in your space to leading it.
  3. Never underestimate the power of good customer service and an expert partnership.

“The world is more competitive, and it’s critical that you not just keep up but lead,” he concluded. “You need a product that’s good at protecting you right out of the gate. And once you’ve decided to move forward, ensure you have excellent support. A good CSM can simplify the whole process, help you strategize, figure out what’s working, and be more successful at fighting fraud.”


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