Once you have taken the time to research the ideal merchant account from a list of high risk merchant account providers and have obtained reasonable rates, you need to protect your account by using sound management procedures. By managing your account with vigilance, you can make sure that your rates do not escalate.
You will need to manage your chargebacks. Chargebacks are the refunds made to a customer, normally instigated by the customer’s issuing bank, the credit card company, by reversing a transaction up to two years following the date of the transaction or expected delivery of the items paid for. If you have a high volume of chargebacks, your online payment processing can be jeopardized. This makes communication between you and your customers important to reduce the chance of a chargeback being lodged against you by the issuing bank. This can be reduced by encouraging customers to contact you first rather than contacting the credit card company so that you can see what you can do to put things right.
Make it straightforward for customers to get in contact with you by including every possible route to get in touch with you by mail, email, online form, telephone, etc. If the customer cannot contact you, then they will find it easier to contact the issuing bank. You should not be concerned that having your details available to customers will result in increased volumes of chargebacks, as it is often not the case.
When customers purchase goods or services, they will see a short descriptor on their credit card statement. Try to make sure that the customer can make sense of the descriptor and that it includes the name of your company.
Online payment processing still requires regular contact with your customers to help build a lasting relationship with them. Send regular status messages about the processing of the customer’s order, provide tracking information, confirmation of payment, contact details, and allow customers the opportunity to cancel the order before it is dispatched.
Do not delay refunds unnecessarily, as chargebacks will cost you more in the end. Managing your account from any of the high risk merchant account providers makes it better to issue a refund rather than defend it as it will still show up on your account statements and affect your ability to achieve better rates when you move accounts.
Respond to customer disputes quickly and supply supporting information for queries on a sale from the issuing bank. Consider customer fraud protection by monitoring transactions and screen sales from certain countries or for certain amounts unless verified by the customer or issuing bank. Also consider validating the credit card details used in a transaction.
Finally, make sure you comply with the terms and conditions of your merchant account. You may have online payment processing limits that you should try to stay within the limits. If there are material changes in how you use your merchant account, you should talk with your high risk merchant account provider sooner rather than later. Give your merchant account provider as much notice of changes in online payment processing volume because they hate surprises.
Managing your high risk merchant account