‘Tis the Season For Retail Revenue…and Chargebacks

Dec 20, 2013

Commercial retailers love the holiday season almost as much as kids do because they receive the best present possible: a flood of revenue streams. The holiday season alone can account for 60% or more of any business’ annual sales profit. The convenience of online shopping and customers trending towards the at-home shopping experience means that merchant accounts will become extremely active with many transactions. Unfortunately for merchants, there’s a grinch out there waiting to steal your holiday spirit and revenue: merchant chargebacks.

Verifi Inc. reports that alongside rising sales volume, merchant chargebacks can increase as much as 50% during the holiday shopping season. Chargebacks are a lot more painstaking for merchants than a lump of coal as they mandate the merchant to provide transaction documentation including proof of delivery and rules that can be different depending on the credit card network. With such a high volume of transactions occurring, many merchants choose to shrug off chargebacks during the holiday crush. Merchant chargebacks at their core are costing your business revenue.

Chargebacks can occur due to a number of reasons. If a customer makes an online purchase but chooses to return the product there is a high likelihood of a chargeback. If the customer doesn’t understand the specifics of your return policy or restocking fees they will be highly likely to contest the transaction creating a chargeback. An easy way to prevent chargebacks due to partial refund confusion is to ensure all your customers know your business’ policies explicitly before they make their purchase.

Ultimately, the best way to fight an avalanche of chargebacks threatening to bury your holiday revenue stream is to treat each chargeback as an opportunity to prevent future chargebacks. With chargebacks, the old proverb “fool me once shame on you, fool me twice shame on me” truly applies. Analyzing and identifying the source of a chargeback will help you address the problem and prevent it from recurring again at a later date. You only get one chance to respond to a contested transaction to result a chargeback, and sometimes the chaos of the holiday shopping season can create abnormalities in document filing preventing you from producing the critical information to prevent the chargeback.

Instead of expending resources over and over again fighting chargebacks, expend your energy and effort in preventing future chargebacks. By practicing preventative methods you can save your business revenue in the future and ensure a profitable holiday shopping season.



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Having a merchant account allows an account holder to take advantage of merchant cash advances. When a merchant is approved for an advance, the business agrees to receive a lump sum of cash in exchange for an agreed-upon percentage of future credit card sales.

Pricing varies depending on the merchant’s industry, past credit card processing history, the type of business seeking the account, average ticket sales, and average transaction volumes.

Yes, EMB works with merchants who are building their credit, as well as those who have poor credit. EMB also approves merchants that have no credit card processing history and businesses that have lost their merchant accounts due to high chargebacks.

Several factors influence a merchant’s risk level. Though only one factor likely will not get a merchant classified as high risk, a combination of these may: business size, location, and industry, credit score, credit card processing history, a industry’s reputation for excessive chargebacks, a prior history of high chargeback ratios, and whether a merchant exclusively sells online.

Virtual terminals are stationed on a merchant’s website, making it easy for customers to make a payment or purchase online. Merchants or a payment processor can easily set up virtual terminals, so online businesses can accept credit and debit card and e-check transactions.

A merchant account is a business account with an acquiring bank. Without this business account, which actually works more like a line of credit, a merchant cannot accept and process credit and debit card transactions. Businesses need a merchant account to accept major credit cards via a static point-of-sale terminal, mobile card reader, or through a virtual payment gateway.

After filling out EMB’s simple online application and submitting any necessary, requested documents, many merchants get approved within 24 and 48 hours.

EMB specializes in working with high-risk merchants. EMB works with many merchants, including but not limited to businesses in these industries: gambling and gaming, adult entertainment, nutraceuticals, vaping and e-cigarettes, electronics, tech support, travel, high-end furniture, weight loss programs, calling cards, e-books and software, and telecommunications.

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