Top 5 ways retailers can reduce chargebacks and prevent fraud
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Top five ways retailers can reduce chargebacks and prevent fraud

Top five ways retailers can reduce chargebacks and prevent fraud

Chargebacks are among the biggest issues facing merchants today

chargebacks retailers

Dispute resolution is one of the biggest pain points for customers anywhere today. The process can be equally frustrating for retailers and merchants, who may be at the receiving end of payments fraud. Given that the UAE is a vibrant consumer market, with retail sales predicted to reach Dh259bn by 2025, according to a report by the Dubai Chamber of Commerce and Industry, it isn’t surprising that there are strong consumer protection laws in place. These laws safeguard consumer rights in cases of disputes.

Chargebacks are among the biggest issues facing merchants today. A chargeback is when a payment is reversed after a customer disputes a charge on their account statement. For example, a customer might have received a damaged product or the merchant made a processing error and accidentally charged the customer twice. In these cases, a customer can file a chargeback with their bank for transactions made on credit or debit cards. Once approved, the customer receives the transaction amount back in full.

Chargebacks v/s refunds
There’s a difference between chargebacks and refunds. With a chargeback, the customer contacts the bank (not the business) to reverse the payment. The chargeback process takes longer and involves a few more stages than a refund. And any fees associated with a chargeback are significantly higher than a refund.

Some of the most common reasons for chargebacks are fraud – where the cardholder claims they didn’t make or authorise the transaction; consumer disputes – where the product wasn’t as described or didn’t arrive by the expected delivery date or the cardholder was informed the payment wasn’t processed; processing errors – where some of the payment information was incorrect. This could include information like the amount, currency, account number; or authorisation – where the payment couldn’t be authorised, or the authorisation was declined.

If the merchant disagrees with the chargeback claim, they have the chance to defend it. Disagreements could range from merchants claiming the product wasn’t damaged on arrival or that the package was delivered on time.

Preventing chargebacks
As tedious as chargebacks can be for customers, they can also be a huge waste of time and money for businesses. They can cost both the purchase amount as well as additional fees. Banks and card networks may also issue a penalty if the chargeback ratio (the percentage of chargebacks of transactions) becomes too high.

Preventing chargebacks is more important than defending them. Even if you win the chargeback defense, it’ll still count against your chargeback ratio. Although businesses may not be able to avoid chargebacks altogether, there are ways to lower the amount. Let’s look at how:

Have an easy returns policy
Having a clear returns policy ensures that you can issue a refund as quickly as possible when the customer requests one. Also, make sure to provide your email address and phone number on your website and emails so that the customer can easily contact you

Be realistic with delivery dates
If there’s anything customers hate – it’s being kept waiting. Always set a realistic delivery date. If there are delays, let the customer know as soon as possible. Refund customers proactively if you can’t provide the goods/services by the expected delivery date. You can also track your goods to monitor their delivery date and get the customer to sign for the package on delivery for extra security.

Be transparent with your communication
Always ensure the payment descriptor of your bank account is clear and accurate and respond to any customer questions quickly. You must also alert your customers if a product is out of stock as soon as possible and provide detailed product descriptions on your website.

Invest in the right security software
To prevent fraud, use authentication tools like address verification service, card security codes, and 3D secure 2. Make sure your risk system can identify customers who regularly file a chargeback and could be committing friendly fraud.

Dispute a chargeback if you feel it necessary
If you think the transaction is legitimate and the amount is substantial, do dispute a chargeback. Some payment providers, like Adyen, will automatically defend chargebacks if the case is straightforward. For example, if you’ve already refunded a transaction before the cardholder filed for the chargeback, Adyen’s auto-defense feature will defend it with no action needed.

Looking ahead
Our research shows that 72 per cent of UAE retailers expect to grow by 20 per cent or more this year. To keep the momentum going, retailers will need to iron out merchant issues to prevent loss of revenue. As consumers are increasingly shopping online, new opportunities for fraudulent activities are emerging. Investing in the right payment technology can help mitigate these risks to some extent, but merchants must invest in robust processes and preventative measures to keep fraud in check.

Read: Here’s how businesses can grow through a strategic payments set-up

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