As a longtime provider of merchant account processing solutions, too often we see e-commerce merchants missing out on more revenue and suffering high chargeback rates. They could be doing much better just by implementing simple best practices.
Recently, we saw a post on social media that got our creative juices flowing; a post often targeted toward athletes, that we think pertains to merchants just as equally. It’s a gif titled ‘The 10 Things That Require Zero Talent,’ a post that is frequently passed along from a coach or a manager to his/her team. It was mindful of our days as high school athletes back in the 1980s and 90s. Among those 10 things included:
- Being on time
- Work ethic
- Body language
- Energy (Motivation)
- Being coachable
- Doing extra
- Being prepared
While everything on this list, of course, is geared toward athletes, the very idea also applies to merchants. There are several near effortless practices merchants can do in the ongoing battle of mitigating fraud and chargebacks. Working in the payments industry, we see the PSP-merchant and even the acquiring bank-merchant relationship similar to the coach-player relationship we knew way back when.
We’ve come up with an abbreviated version for high risk merchants: 4 Principles for Merchants That Require Zero Talent.
Establish Your Business Billing Name
Some companies establish their business under one name, but their DBA (Doing Business As) name is different, and it’s the DBA name that is listed on its billing descriptor. This often results in confusion — the consumer examining his/her credit card statement and not recognizing the business’s name and thus filing a chargeback.
For most merchants, it’s an easy hazard to avoid. It is far more difficult, however, for those merchants who use an aggregate merchant account with a shared billing descriptor. For merchants using an aggregate account, however, they must make clear to their customers the name that will appear on their credit card statements to enable recognition and keep chargebacks to a minimum.
Transparent fees and charges
If yours is a business that, for whatever reason, charges small, individual fees, be transparent about them with your customers. Make it a point to communicate and detail such fees somewhere prominent — ideally, your website, an e-mail or even verbally. Even better, perhaps change your model to make all fees inclusive in one cost.
Some commercial airlines are guilty of hiding fees, particularly the budget airliners such as Ryanair, Spirit or Frontier. They advertise cheap airline tickets, but upon arrival to the ticket counter, consumers are hit with a fee for things like each piece of luggage, in addition to the weight of the luggage, or having a carry-on bag.
We often see this with several of our merchant account processing competitors — those who advertise suspiciously low rates, but recoup them by hitting the merchant with a number of fees.
Prominent, easy refund policy and contact
A merchant’s refund/return policy and contact information should be located on the front page. Any other location for either of these items indicates that the merchant is making it difficult for the consumer. It is a fact that e-commerce merchants with prominent, easy return policies experience fewer chargebacks than merchants whose policies are hidden and/or unfriendly.
Since we’re big on one-on-one contact with our network of merchants and partners, we advocate the same for them. Visitors to merchant websites should not have to search for contact information, only to find the token built-in e-mail form on a makeshift contact page. Instead, a company telephone number, hours of operation, a live chat option (if possible) and an active e-mail address are strongly recommended.
Treat your customers like guests
We’ll admit — not every call we receive is about merchant account processing. We get calls from disgruntled merchants and partners like any business does when something goes awry or is misunderstood. We’ll do our best to explain it, to find the disconnect and reach a resolution. Customers have a louder voice than ever — avoid being defensive and instead get straight into resolution mode.
The merchant account processing experience — more than just getting merchants started
By telephoning us at 1-800-530-2444, prospective merchants and partners are directly connected to our team of merchant account processing specialists, committed to earning approvals and matching merchants with the best acquiring banks for their business.
We actually prefer having an initial conversation to discuss your options.