If your business accepts credit cards, chances are you may have experienced a chargeback at some point. In simple terms, a chargeback occurs when a customer disputes a transaction through his or her card issuing bank. The card issuer then reverses the transaction and the merchant is left to respond to the chargeback and prove the transaction was valid in order to get the funds back.
Chargebacks may be inititiated for a variety of reasons, including:
- the cardholder is dissatisfied with the product or service
- the cardholder fails to recognize the transaction
- the cardholder is charged more than once for the same item
- the cardholder is overcharged
- the cardholder did not receive the product or service
- the customer made a purchase using a stolen card number
- and possibly the worst of all ... "friendly fraud" ... the customer purchased the item with the intent to initiate a chargeback to receive the item free
While it may be impossible to prevent fraudulent chargebacks to your business, there are a number of steps you can take to minimize the others.
- Ensure you have written return policy that is customer friendly.
If you operate online, publish this policy on your website. If you provide physical receipts, make sure your policy is on the receipt.
- Make is easy to reach a human being at your business by telephone. If a cardholder has a question about about a charge appearing on their statement, they may call before contacting their card issuer to submit a chargeback. Most of the time the cardholder's concern can be addressed directly by the merchant, preventing the chargeback.
- If you have automatic recurring charges or subscription based services, make sure the cancellation process is easy. As time passes, a cardholder can forget about something they previously subscribed to and may call their bank to ask what a charge is. The bank often automatically issues a chargeback in this case.
- If the merchandise ordered by the cardholder is out of stock or delivery will be delayed, advise the cardholder in writing and offer the cardholder the option of purchasing a similar item or canceling the transaction. Do not substitute another item unless the customer agrees to accept it.
- Ship merchandise before depositing transaction. Don’t deposit transactions with your merchant bank until you have shipped the ordered merchandise. If customers see a transaction on their monthly credit card statement before they receive the merchandise, it could lead to a preventable chargeback.
- Ensure that the business name appearing on cardholder's statements matches the name you are doing business as. If a cardholder purchases an item from MyWidgetWebsite.com and the charge on their statement appears as MWW, LLC (a name they don't recognize), they are more likely to initiate a chargeback.
Responding to chargebacks costs your business time and money. It pays to be proactive to prevent them from happening in the first place!
About Novera Payment Solutions
Novera Payment Solutions is well known as a leader in the credit card payments industry and is committed to helping businesses improve their bottom line by providing significant savings on credit card processing fees through our innovative flat fee merchant account pricing model.
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Novera Payment Solutions's consultative approach allows us to thoroughly educate our clients, equipping them to better understand this complicated industry.
We take the mystery out of the credit card processing business.
We work with all types of businesses across the country.
Contact Novera to learn more about how we work with businesses to provide the most fair and transparent pricing structure available on the market today for credit card processing.