Delaying Payment to Deter Online Advertising Fraud

In a new article, I introduce an alternative method of fraud prevention for certain online advertising systems. By delaying payments, a merchant or network differentially harms bad affiliates (who rightly worry they may get caught) without unduly harming good affiliates (who know they’ll get paid, and who receive a bonus in compensation for the delay). With a suitable delay, a merchant or network can deter many bad affiliates while retaining the good.

My working draft:

Optimal Deterrence when Judgment-Proof Agents are Paid in Arrears – with an Application to Online Advertising Fraud

Details on my approach, including initial data on merchants’ and networks’ current payment terms.

(update: published as Edelman, Benjamin. “Deterring Online Advertising Fraud Through Optimal Payment in Arrears.” Financial Cryptography and Data Security: Proceedings of the International Conference (September 2009). (Springer-Verlag Lecture Notes in Computer Science.))