|September 7th, 2020|
A merchant account is a traditional way to go about processing payments for your business. It is established after an agreement over certain terms and conditions between the business owner, payment processor, and the merchant acquiring bank. This allows business set-ups to conveniently receive payment for their goods and services. However, it is not as simple as it seems and there are a lot of complicated things which if unknown can damage your business opportunities and in the worst-case scenario even end up sinking your business.
There are over 30+ odd business types that are classified as ‘high-risk’ businesses. This is due to their nature which makes them a party to a large number of high-risk transactions. Payments made online or ‘card-not-present’ transactions are generally referred to as ‘high-risk’ transactions. Winning such a merchant account (client) is difficult but what is tougher is to manage them and keep them on for the long term.
Some high-risk businesses are adult services, tech-support industry, travel agencies, and e-commerce. There are dozens of more categories and all these businesses run smoothly and profitably without any irregularities or payment related discrepancies. However, these businesses usually suffer the brunt of being duped in friendly frauds and losing money in the form of chargebacks. A prudent step, to begin with, would be to remove the prefix/negative terminology of ‘high-risk’ from these businesses.
Management of a merchant account entails several procedures that are primarily aimed at providing invaluable customer assistance, easing the buyer’s journey, and ensuring a transparent and prompt communication system. All these steps work together towards minimizing chargebacks and other issues with payments which could be termed as ‘red flags’ or ‘suspicious transactions.’ Running your merchant account with robust management that keeps the above three things in mind facilitates smooth processing of payments and reduces the hassle, money, time, and energy spent on the same. Lastly, with such a management strategy in place, you can get a reliable payment processor that will stay with you for a long time, working towards your benefits in several ways.
Improving customer service to avoid chargebacks:
Financial institutions and reputed payment processing companies refuse to even have a dialogue with a business in these 30+ odd ‘high-risk’ categories just because of a high rate of chargebacks. Reputable customer service can drastically reduce these chargebacks. Focus on giving customers an easy way to contact you and communicate their grievances. You can make your business transparent and easy to contact by making some adjustments to your website and enriching other local customer contact points.
1. Post clear email, phone contact, and address on the website.
2. Social media channels should be set-up for customers to post their complaints, remarks, and even praise and reviews.
3. Set up an email newsletter, use it to convey information to allow the customer to benefit the most out of your products and services.
By maintaining a high level of transparency, you invite your customers to scrutinize you and present their doubts which can be clarified by you. It also builds credibility and customer trust in your business. Always provide authentic and complete contact information. Here are some other simple ways to reduce chargebacks and efficiently manage your merchant account:
1. Manually review transactions and if the customer’s authentication request gets declined, check it manually by making a phone call.
2. Create and disclose all returns, privacy, refund, return, and cancellation policies and terms of the agreement. Be clear and transparent when stating them on your website.
3. Review and group/batch transactions on a daily basis and check for any discrepancies. If you find any, try to make a note of it for future references.
4. Insist on getting an authorized proof of identification for delivery of high priced products/services.
5. Cancel orders immediately if the client requests so. Keep customers in loop order transits, dispatch, and tracking deliveries.
6. Make sure to revert to customers in case of negative reviews, complaints, or grievances. Solve their problems promptly and treat them as the first priority.
7. Set up automatic credit card updates with your existing merchant account services provider.
8. View daily transactions and statements and sign up for regular e-statements.
Demonstrate an excellent client service:
It is not a luxury now but a requirement to go the extra mile in making a relationship/bond with the customer. Express client services like push notifications, emails, regular updates on dispatch, delivery, and tracking, etc. are signs that are appreciated by merchant service providers. Good customer service tends to respond to clients’ complaints and grievances promptly and does not rest until a solution has been provided to solve a particular issue. Satisfying customers’ demands for returns, refunds, exchanges may be a pain in the short term but it goes a long way in building credibility and a reputation for your business in the market.
Responding to merchant service inquiries:
A fast response strategy ensures responsibility and accountability from the business owners’ end. A friendly and courteous approach from a business owner to the merchant service representative improves the chances that your particular case will be taken up with favourability.
Monitor accounts and use fraud protection:
Review your monthly reports and statements and monitor suspicious transactions. Check on buyers that seem suspicious, and keep a sharp lookout on customers who are repeatedly claiming for refunds or chargebacks. Before shipping products to suspicious buyers, call them personally to establish the buyer’s sincerity and if the purchase is genuine.
It is fairly difficult for new businesses to follow all of the above steps. However, slowly and with practice, managing a merchant account becomes a habit and a useful one since it saves your business a lot of money and reputation. If you want to know more about managing the merchant account effectively, we will be glad to provide you answers.
Thanks for reading!