The holidays can be the most profitable time of year for ecommerce merchants, followed by an increase of chargebacks in January and February. Some customer chargebacks are legitimate, but there’s also a surge of fraud cases as merchants are overwhelmed with the increase of orders and often decreased security measures.
A chargeback is a transaction disputed by the cardholder or the card issuer. There are many reasons for chargebacks, but the most common are returned merchandise, terminated services, disputes, errors, or fraud. If the credit card issuer considers the dispute valid, the merchant is required to refund the amount of the transaction plus a chargeback fee to their payment processor.
The exposure your company has to ecommerce fraud depends on your business policies, operational practices, fraud prevention and detection tools, security controls, and the type of goods or services you provide. Members of your business should have a clear understanding of the risks associated with all ecommerce transactions and should be knowledgeable of risk management.
Ecommerce Chargeback Red Flags
- Bulk orders with a higher-than-average dollar value are worth another look. Fraudsters have a short amount of time in which to use a stolen card and they want to buy as much as they can, as quickly as they can.
- Multiple orders from one customer in a short time frame may suggest unauthorized card use. By limiting the number of transactions per hour, day, or week from a specific customer, you may reduce risk of fraud.
- Different delivery and billing addresses are often valid but warrant further analysis to ensure proper card authorization. The AVS (Address Verification Service) system indicates if there is a full, partial or no match response during address verification by comparing a cardholder address in the card issuer’s database.
- A new customer demanding overnight or rush delivery for big-ticket items requires additional confirmation to ensure validity of card use. Fraudsters want the fraudulently purchased items in their possession before the cardholder realizes something is amiss – so they often pay extra for overnight shipping.
- Purchases made with numerous attempts on the credit card number or expiration date may signify that the card is not on hand which can be an indication of fraudulent activity.
Ecommerce Chargeback Best Practices
- Properly evaluate new customers ordering one item that has a significant dollar value.
- By maintaining a record of problematic customers, you can identify high-risk transactions, block specific card numbers, and ban future problematic purchases.
- Potentially avoid chargebacks by simply getting to know your customers. For example, record the customer’s telephone number, then call back to verify the order.
- Confirm your customer service phone number is printed on the receipt. This makes it easier for customers to resolve disputes by phone rather than through the chargeback process.
- Card brands have the CVV2/CVC2 security values printed on the back of their cards, which allow you to verify these values as an additional security check.
- To avoid canceled recurring transaction chargebacks you should take immediate action when a customer asks to cancel a recurring transaction.
- To prevent credit-not-processed chargebacks, quickly process refunds to your customers. Your customer should always be made aware of your cancellation or refund policy. Be sure to have your refund/cancellation policy clearly stated on the checkout page.
Wherever you operate, we have the right payment tools for your business. Elavon offers tools designed to integrate seamlessly with your existing infrastructure, adapt as you grow, streamline payments and enhance customer experiences across every channel. We’ll help you make the most out of your payments environment by implementing simple, efficient solutions, all managed from a single point of contact and supported by an industry-leading provider.
For 30 years, Elavon has been a leader in payment processing, leveraging the world’s best technologies for our customers from large worldwide enterprises to locally owned small businesses. Backed by the strength and stability of U.S. Bank, consistently recognized by the Ethisphere Institute as one of the world’s most ethical companies in the world, we extend powerful payment solutions for all payment types and processing environments, ensuring our customers are well-connected. Whether your customers transact payments online, via mobile or in person, we’re ready to do the same for you.