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How to Minimize Chargebacks

Chargebacks are something every eCommerce business has to deal with. It’s the price you pay for being able to accept credit card payments from your valuable customers.

However, excessive chargebacks can be even more detrimental than costing you a few dollars here and there. Chargebacks are one of the main reasons that banks will view your business as high-risk, which means many eCommerce businesses will have a difficult time getting a merchant account, or they’ll have their merchant account terminated due to chargebacks.

Luckily, there are ways that you can protect your business from excessive and unfair chargebacks.

What Are Chargebacks?

A chargeback occurs when customers contact their card issuing company and dispute charges. If the issuer deems the customer’s dispute valid, your merchant account will be debited for a credit card charge. You’ll also have to pay a chargeback fee that can range from a few dollars to a hundred or more.

Typically, the issuing bank will agree with the customer over your business, so you’ll most likely experience a lot of chargebacks with your eCommerce business. Disputes are considered valid for various reasons, but the most common are credit card fraud and unhappy customers.

Reducing the Risk of Chargebacks

Follow Protocol

Every large credit card processor will have its own rules and regulations to follow when it comes to accepting credit cards. In order to accept credit cards on your website, you will need to capture information like the customer’s IP address, digital signature, or other important information. You may also have to verify their identity.

Use a Payment Descriptor

Disputes can come from unclear payment descriptors. This descriptor is the merchant name and other details that will appear on the customer’s credit card statement when they make a purchase. If you list a different company name than what the customer will recognize as your business, they will probably call their bank and dispute the purchase.

Handle Customer Service Issues

Your credit card processor will typically offer chargeback notifications so that you can find out immediately when a customer is disputing a charge. You should take advantage of these notifications and address the chargebacks. Provide your customers with exceptional customer service so that you can resolve any dissatisfaction before it results in a chargeback.

Spot Fraud

Set up a chargeback protocol that helps you detect signs of fraud. Pay attention and look out for suspicious details, like if the security code on the card is incorrect and if billing and shipping information don’t match. You can then confirm sales by contacting the customer and making sure they were the ones to place the order. At the very least, your customers will appreciate your vigilance.

Fight Back

Chargebacks can cost you additional fees. Plus, a history of excessive chargebacks can get your merchant account terminated. You should not devote all of your time to fighting chargebacks, but fight when it makes sense. If you believe you can win a case, you might want to consider pursuing it.