IBDs who sell stuff online or over the phone often get stung by fraudsters using 'card not present' (CNP) scams. Hugely expensive bikes have often been lost this way.
But, for 65p a pop, IBDs can now check a callers/surfers bona fides, quickly and easily via Experian's e-identitycheck.
Experian is the Nottingham-based credit-checking and scoring agency that corporate customers have been using for years.
Dixons, and its co-brands Currys, PCWorld and The Link have been using the new Experian system since January but it's now being rolled out to retailers of all sizes.
A typical card check costs about 65p.
When making a purchase, consumers have to divulge additional details such as date of birth, which are checked against Experian's database to yield an authentication percentage figure confirming the buyer's identity.
The system does not perform a credit check on an individual and retailer's existing credit card authorisation process should still be adhered to.
Experian's website says: "e-identitycheck can be used by retailers to process any transaction where there is a risk of fraud, using standard customer supplied information as the basis of the authentication check. The retailer uses the scored authentication index in their decision, to drastically reduce their risk of potential fraud."
In the run-up to Christmas, e-identitycheck could prove a useful tool.