How Your Business Can Protect Itself Against Chargebacks

Chargeback Protection

Chargebacks are an unfortunate reality of accepting credit card payments, but they aren’t something businesses have to lie down and accept without a fight. Some chargebacks are completely legitimate, like cases where a purchase was made fraudulently by a third party. But many chargebacks are fraudulent, frivolous, or abuses of the system. In those cases, there is no reason for a company to accept losing the revenue, the product, and the additional chargeback penalty, and fighting back is in order.  

 

Preventing Chargebacks

The first step in chargeback defense is to work proactively to stop them from happening in the first place. While merchants can’t prevent abusive or fraudulent chargeback requests, they can take steps to help minimize legitimate chargebacks.

Make it clear where the credit card charges are coming from:

One of the most common causes of chargeback requests is customers checking their statements and finding unfamiliar purchases. Worried about potential fraud, they then contact their card issuer and attempt to stop the payment. Sometimes this happens due to legitimate fraud, but many times it’s simply a matter of the customer not recognizing the payment descriptor – the name shown alongside the transaction amount. It’s incredibly important that merchants make themselves easy to recognize by using descriptors that match their branding rather than numbered company names or parent corporations.

Ensure customer complaints are taken care of quickly:

Of all the valid reasons major credit card companies accept chargebacks for, a number of them relate to unsatisfied customers. Unreceived orders, products that don’t match their description, defective merchandise, and misrepresented purchase terms are a few of the many reasons customers can legitimately file a chargeback. The best way to defend against consumer disputes is to take care of them with good customer service before they ever reach the chargeback stage. Addressing customer concerns quickly and professionally, and issuing refunds where appropriate, is a far better route to take than risking getting nailed with a chargeback.

 

Fighting Chargebacks

When chargebacks do come in, it’s extremely important that businesses handle them quickly and put up as strong a defense as possible to avoid the negative implication with card issuers and the hefty penalties, which can reach as high as $100 per instance. Successfully doing so comes down to understanding the system and knowing how and when to fight back.

The best response is a timely response:

A chargeback that doesn’t receive a response is a guaranteed loss, and waiting too long to respond isn’t much better. There are strict deadlines that merchants have to meet in filing their chargeback responses, and missing even one of them renders the entire process moot. Arguably the most important factor in filing a timely response is to find out about chargebacks as soon as possible. Some payment processors notify merchants of disputes by mail, which is slow and ineffective. Others, like BAMS, use SMS notifications to alert merchants as soon as a chargeback or retrieval request is filed. That speedy notification is invaluable when it comes to getting a strong defense filed in time.

Know the codes:

Each card issuer has its own set of criteria for what it considers a valid chargeback. Those reasons are managed using a set of codes, and every chargeback request will come with an associated code identifying the reason for the dispute. Understanding what those codes represent is key to filing a valid chargeback defense, so merchants absolutely need to be able to decipher them. Visa’s codes, for instance, are laid out in the Dispute Management Guidelines for Visa Merchants, and cover four major areas – fraud, authorization, processing errors, and consumer disputes.

 

One of the best ways to avoid losses from chargebacks is to partner with a payment processor that understands how serious a concern they are for businesses and offers tools to help mitigate and manage them. BAMS offers a full suite of chargeback tools, including SMS notifications, an online dispute management platform, Verifi integration, zero-liability chargeback assurances, and more.

Contact us today to find out how payment processing with BAMS can help protect your business against unnecessary losses from chargebacks.

Why Chargeback Defense Is Important?

Chargeback Defense

There are only so many parts of running a business that you can prepare for. Like many aspects of life, it’s difficult to truly understand what it takes to be a successful business owner until you’re in the thick of it.

For example, one thing that no one tells you about starting a business is just how problematic chargebacks can be to an owner’s bottom line. Individually, these fees may not add up to much, but when underestimated and mismanaged, they can end up costing you big time.

When searching for the right payment processing solutions for your business, consider the importance of chargeback defense.

What Are Chargeback Fees?

In the simplest of terms, a chargeback is a forced transaction reversal initiated by a cardholder’s bank. If a customer feels dissatisfied with a product or service, or that a charge was fraudulent in some way, they are able to contact their bank and essentially request a refund.

Upon doing so, this will set into motion action taken by the cardholder’s bank to verify their claims before removing funds from a merchant’s account to put back in the customer’s.

Chargebacks were put in place as a sort of checkpoint, protecting consumers from fraudulent situations. However, nowadays it’s a “friendly fraud” practice that has been abused and overused for all the wrong reasons, such as buyer’s remorse, wanting to make a return after a businesses’ policy has expired and more.

Depending on the bank issuing the chargeback, fees associated with the transferring of money can vary from $20 to $100. Added up over time, these added costs chip away at your profits and make it much more difficult for you to focus on other aspects of building a business that will prove crucial for long term success.

How to Reduce Chargeback Fees

Reducing chargeback fees and requests starts with having proper chargeback defense solutions working in conjunction with your payment processing system. The following are tools to consider for helping your business mitigate fraud.

Easily Manage Disputes

One of the issues with chargebacks is how often they fly under the radar. Often times, many business owners won’t know they’ve been hit with one until after the fact, which can be incredibly frustrating.

BAMS offers peace of mind with chargeback defense tools like Instant Dispute Alerts and Online Dispute Management. Not only will you be made knowledgeable of chargeback disputes as they’re filed, but you’ll also have the opportunity to fight back from one convenient location. All of which certainly beats having to rely on postal mail and customer support lines.

Go on the Chargeback Defense with Fraud Protection

In partnership with services like Verif and Signifyd, BAMS helps stop chargebacks before they happen. The less time you have to spend reviewing and flagging every dispute that comes your way, the more time you can dedicate to your business’ developing reputation and growth.

Final Thoughts: Why Chargeback Defense is Important

Every sale matters. Protect your business with chargeback defense solutions you can trust. Contact BAMS today for a free price comparison and quote!

Tips to Help Prevent Chargeback Fraud

Stealing a credit card through a laptop concept for computer hacker, fraud, network security and electronic banking security

All chargebacks are frustrating, but it’s even worse when they happen because of fraud. Then, you not only lose the transaction but the merchandise as well. This alone is enough reason to make sure you stop fraud before you send out any products. Here are some of the chargeback prevention ways that you can armor your online store against fraudulent purchases:

The Zip Code Check

These checks are basic, but they block a surprising amount of suspicious transactions. One of the most standards is to collect the would-be buyer’s name and address. Then, use a shopping cart that sends that information to Authorize.net along with the credit card number. Set your Authorize.net account to compare the zip code on file with the credit card company against the one you were given. If they don’t match, it automatically declines the transaction.

Have Proof of Shipment

One of the most common ways to commit chargeback fraud is done by the criminal ordering things and then claiming non-receipt. Stop this nonsense by shipping everything using methods that give you tracking numbers and proof of delivery. All of the major shippers have an option that provides these things, and it’s worth it to use those options. Then if someone claims non-delivery, you can give us or a card-issuing bank the number to prove that your package indeed arrived.

Having this information at hand also helps you when the customer legitimately hasn’t gotten an item. You’ll be able to look up the tracking and see exactly where the package is in the shipping system. You can almost always get someone to be more patient if you can provide a detailed answer to the question of “where’s my stuff!?.”

To learn more about how to prevent fraudulent chargebacks and other problems, just contact us. We’ll be glad to help you make your business go more smoothly.

Preventing Fraud Related Chargebacks Is Essential In E-Commerce

Woman in a cafe on laptop, holding credit card. worried about chargebacks

From time to time, chargebacks are an unavoidable part of being a merchant — like returns and customer complaints. Chargebacks are much more costly to your business, however, and while you might not be able to avoid them completely, you should be taking steps to prevent as many as you possibly can.

As we see criminals becoming more sophisticated and cases of online theft and fraud rising, it’s more important than ever for e-commerce stores to protect themselves from chargebacks related to fraud.

Verify that information.

It can be hard to ensure the person using a card online is really the person who owns the card — unlike face to face transactions, it’s a lot harder to simply ask for an ID and make sure names and faces match.   Many payment gateways handle these processes automatically.  There are still steps you can take yourself to reduce chargeback fraud, however.

  • Collect all of the customer’s information — Full name, billing address, billing phone number, and shipping address.
  • Use the Address Verification System (AVS) to make sure the provided information is valid.
  • Use the security code on the back of the card to authorize the transaction — this is usually 3 or 4 digits, depending on the card issuer.
  • Use a delivery service that requires signatures, especially for high-cost items or sales.
  • Have a clear policy in place about shipping to addresses that don’t match the billing address. For example, if you sell a product that’s commonly shipped as gifts to other people, make sure you’re still protecting the paying customer.

You can also consider recording customer’s information such as an IP address or device ID when processing online purchases, which will help protect your business and provide vital information for investigations should a fraudulent transaction occur.

It’s wise to also be cautious when shipping and receiving orders from overseas, or when you’re processing transactions that are much larger than usual — make sure you’re taking steps to verify all the information is valid.

Keep communications open.

While sending your customers emails about every step of the shipping process may seem a bit pushy, it’s actually a wise idea. Letting your customers know what’s going on with their order not only keeps them abreast of the situation, but it also shows them that you’re paying attention to them and they matter to you as a customer.

Follow up emails and phone calls can also help catch fraudulent transactions before they get too far. Getting an email or a phone call right after a purchase occurs can alert a customer to stolen information immediately, which will allow them to work with you and their card company to handle the matter quickly and efficiently. If they don’t see it until their card company alerts them to fraudulent purchases OR they see the charge on their bill, well, here comes the chargeback!

Working with the right merchant services provider can help you automate these steps, which will save you time and money, protect your business, make your customers happy, and give you peace of mind. You’ll never be able to prevent ALL chargebacks, but that doesn’t mean you can’t take steps to keep those numbers and costs as low as possible.