How to PREVENT Questions from Becoming Chargebacks

Honestly, credit card statements and bank statements can be some of the biggest sources of chargebacks, and can be a real pain for both merchants and banks. When a consumer doesn’t recognize a charge on their bank statement, they immediately call the bank and dispute the charge.

In most cases, those disputes are quickly remedied when the consumer realizes that yes, they did make a purchase at that store on that date. But sometimes, they don’t recognize it, and worry that they’re the victim of fraud, only to discover that the problem lies a little closer to home.

It’s a problem that’s similar to friendly fraud, and it’s been cheekily called family fraud. It’s not a real thing, but Verifi recently talked about it on a recent blog post.

When a purchase is made by a family member without the cardholder’s knowledge, there is a higher likelihood that the purchase will be reported as fraudulent. By listing the device and email address used for the transaction, the cardholder can determine which family member made the purchase.

So if a cardholder’s kid makes a lot of in-app purchases in a game or tries a free subscription but forgets to cancel, the cardholder might see the charge and think they’ve been defrauded. So they report the “fraudulent” charge to their bank, and you get hit with the chargeback.

The Order Insights process from Verifi (a Visa company)

This is where Verifi’s Order Insights program can help you keep a sale and avoid a hassle. Here’s what they recommend.

To start with, it’s important to communicate with your customers. There should be post-sale followup communication with the customer, especially with any card-not-present (CNP) transactions (also called card absent transactions).

Emailing digital receipts to your customers is a good first step. If a customer receives the receipt, they’re more likely to remember making the purchase.

If your receipt also lists the device and email address used for the transaction, they might even be able to tell which family member made a purchase and help you avoid the whole “family fraud” problem.

You can also demonstrate that the cardholder has received and opened the receipt, which makes it more difficult for them to come back a few weeks later and claim they never made that purchase.

Order Insight can also provide clarity when a customer looks at their banks mobile app, giving them details about each purchase.

Verifi also discussed several “seller-initiated digital receipt best practices” in their recent article on PREVENT. Those included:


  • Direct and concise subject line – “Your purchase receipt for $25.20 from Tech Central.”
  • Include device and email address used for the purchase
  • Show how your descriptor information will appear on a bank statement
  • Limit marketing content to 30% to ensure deliverability
  • Alert customer if there is a delay in shipping (at any time)
  • Include your contact details for further customer questions
  • Send receipt email the same day as when the purchase was made

How can Verifi’s PREVENT make a difference?

Of course, your customer is very likely to misfile the email, delete it, or ignore it to begin with. Which is why 76% of people with an inquiry just call their issuing bank.

But Verifi’s PREVENT solution can help. Order Insight lets you share transaction details with issuers, from up to 160 fields to map data about each transaction. It happens in near-real time, while the issuer is on the phone with your customer. The issuer then acts as your customer service representative and your advocate because they can use all of the information you’ve provided to tell a cardholder when and where a purchase was made, and by whom.

“So, Mrs. Thompson, it looks like this purchase was made by someone name [email protected]. Is that anyone you recog—oh, that’s your son? Okay, then.”

Order Insight reaches over 200 different countries and territories, and handles transactions in most currencies. It delivers the transaction data to the issuer’s online banking and mobile apps as well, which means the cardholders can access the information whenever they have a question about a purchase.

If you would like to learn more about how CB-Alert can help you use Order Insights and other programs to prevent chargebacks, please visit the CB Alert website.

Photo credit: Verifi (a Visa company)

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