Every merchant needs to worry about their fraud risk. While many think that fraud happens to online businesses, the reality is that every merchant that accepts plastic card payments is at risk. Some believe that checking a photo ID can help, and it can, it does not protect you 100% from scammers. The ultimate protection comes from a close source: your merchant account provider.
While you may think of your merchant account provider as simply the avenue you use to accept plastic card payments, it can actually be your best bet when combatting fraud. Many merchant account providers provide merchant chargeback protection, which can help you determine whether a charge is a legitimate return, or a fraudulent charge. Many of these fraudulent charges are “friendly fraud”, meaning that a legitimate charge it reported as a fraudulent charge. This happens for many reasons; sometimes the customer does not recognize the charge, and sometimes it happens because the customer wants to see if they can get away with it. It often works, leaving you with a higher processing rate. With merchant chargeback protection, you can prevent this from happening.
Merchant chargeback protection isn’t a magical shield that swats away chargebacks and fraudulent charges. However, it does help you better understand the process, as well as learn if the charge in question is an actual fraudulent charge, or just a “friendly”. If you have suffered a chargeback in the past, you know that the process seems secretive. It should not be, but on average 58% of merchants are not notified when a charge is being investigated. This leaves you in a bind when the charge – plus up to 270% of that charge as a chargeback fee – are deducted from your account. This can set back even the most successful merchant. With merchant chargeback protection, you can fight back. You will be notified every step of the way, from the initial alert to the end decision.
A chargeback can cripple any company, and you may think that there is no way to tell if one is coming. There is, and all merchants should contact their merchant account processor to inquire about their merchant chargeback protection. It can be the difference between a successful year and a year drowning in debt.