7 Tips to Prevent Chargebacks

Chargeback management – not quite the two words that invoke happy thoughts and feelings among merchants. There are many reasons chargebacks arise and, in some cases, it is not always something the merchant can control.  Examples of chargeback triggers include:

  1. Fraud
  2. Customer disputes
  3. Processing errors (e.g: duplicate transactions)
  4. Authorization issues (e.g: debiting cardholder)

It is particularly difficult for merchants to balance the prevention of chargebacks that are related to fraud – they are often afraid that velocity checks and fraud controls will affect legitimate consumers and prevent them from buying on the merchant’s website.

According to a recent CyberSource Fraud Report, chargebacks are a key, if not the key, indicator in managing fraud. The majority of survey respondents pinpointed chargeback rates as the most important KPI for fraud management, followed by other types of fraud rates:

  • Chargeback rate (62 percent)
  • Fraud rate by value (47 percent)
  • Confirmed fraud rate (35 percent)
  • Fraud rate—order volume (27 percent)

While it is unrealistic for merchants to think they can completely avoid chargebacks, they can feel empowered by the knowledge that there are definite measures they can take to better manage and, ultimately, reduce the number of chargebacks and their negative impact, such as financial damages that chargebacks have on their businesses.

Here are several tips I recommend merchants take to better manage their chargebacks:

1.   Pinpoint Reason Code: As mentioned above, there are several reasons for chargebacks. First and foremost, it is crucial merchants monitor their chargeback per reason code to pinpoint the problem.

2 .  Know Your Customer:  Yes, merchants continue to hear ad nauseum the importance of KYC, and I am here to reiterate this point for the umpteenth time. They must continue to take this extremely seriously and not rely solely on their acquirer or PSP to protect them from fraudulent customers. The more proactive merchants are, the higher their chances will be where they do not have to be reactive when something goes wrong.  If something feels ‘off’ with a customer, it is important for them to follow their gut feeling and react accordingly.

3.  Be proactive to prevent chargebacks: Prevention is the best defense. There are many things a merchant can do proactively: offering clear product descriptors, providing a customer service number, emailing consistent and accurate notifications to customers and generally maintaining good customer dialogue.

4.  Provide excellent customer service: Be informative and transparent regarding pricing, promotions, subscriptions, refunds, cancellation and shipping policies. Merchants should follow best practices, including processing and shipping orders before completing the transaction, tracking and recording shipping and/or service delivery, and last, but not least, communicating with customers regarding any questions or concerns.

5Employ security measures: Merchants must implement advanced security measures.  They have several choices: implementing 3-D Secure, which protects against chargebacks, and another option is an Address Verification System (AVS). It is best practice to both perform fraud checks on cardholders before processing orders and to check end-consumer behavioural patterns.

6. Do not automatically issue a refund if you received a chargeback: Pick the right battle and fight back if you have compelling evidence, such as communications, receipts, etc.

7. Work with the right provider (PSP or acquirer): If you received a chargeback that you believe should be represented you should expect a proactive and consultative approach towards chargeback from your provider.

A good provider should:

  • Handle and represent your chargebacks
  • Work with you on the chargeback presentment results/count and improve stats
  • Pinpoint chargebacks due to technical reasons, and represent them automatically

I hope this has been helpful. Credorax representatives are available to explain more about our chargeback management and representation services 24/7 at grow@credorax.com.

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