Since the inception of credit card processing online, maintaining fairness for the consumer and the business owner in transactions that take place from remote locations has always been a difficult challenge for processors, regulators and card associations to provide.
Many kinds of scams and schemes from the ownership side of the equation have received strong media coverage, but the growing wave of consumer fraud and chargeback abuse has gone largely unnoticed by most publications.
When chargebacks can’t be avoided, we provide representment. We can guarantee successful outcomes for 40 percent of all representment cases, but depending on the ticket item, we have seen great results up to 75 percent.
Even more importantly, there seems to be a bias by card associations toward accepting even the most dubious chargeback claims and refunding costs that absolutely should have been upheld. That inherent unfairness in the marketplace has become an important opportunity for the team at ChargebackHelp.com.
ChargebackHelp was created in 2013, basically out of necessity by Laurel Hertz and her business partner, Raja Roy-Choudhury.
They had been running several affiliate programs and needed to lower their own in-house chargeback ratios to keep their merchant accounts healthy.
After doing a lot of research, the duo came up with solutions that were so effective, they decided to offer them to their network of relationships and as word of their success spread, the process became a fully formed business entity.
“ChargebackHelp now provides aggressive representation for high-risk merchants to recover funds from friendly fraud and safeguard the health of their merchant accounts,” Hertz explains. “Our goal is to provide merchants with the most cost-effective solutions to keep their merchant accounts healthy.
“We pool the transactional volume of our client base as leverage to achieve advantageous outcomes that our merchants could not achieve with their banks on their own.”
Since their soft launch, the ChargebackHelp team has definitely been in growth mode. In addition to Roy-Choudhury and Hertz, the company currently has a small marketing staff and a dedicated client support staff on call to monitor its merchant alerts.
ChargebackHelp now delivers full-spectrum coverage for its merchants, including managed services that monitor alerts 24/7 from both “friendly” fraud (when a consumer initiates a dispute) and “true” fraud (from criminal activity).
“The company’s managed services resolve merchant disputes and have reduced client chargebacks by up to 30 percent,” Hertz said. “When chargebacks can’t be avoided, we provide representment. We can guarantee successful outcomes for 40 percent of all representment cases, but depending on the ticket item, we have seen great results up to 75 percent.”
Prior to starting ChargebackHelp.com, Hertz worked in the adult space for more than two decades and Roy-Choudhury had a similarly extensive amount of experience in the adult sector.
The partners have managed affiliate programs for many high-profile adult sites, including Hustler, The Dating Network, Mr. Skin, SwankDollars and Flirt4Free, among others.
In 2008, the team founded ClickPinkMedia Inc., which is a consultancy for affiliate programs. They also run their own affiliate program at ARLCash.com. So unlike many consultancy companies, they actually have skin in the game and understand the entire sales chain from the site owner’s point of view because they are site owners themselves.
“We have over 45 years combined experience in the online merchant space,” Roy-Choudhury said. “ChargebackHelp’s success is built on the relationships we have cultivated from throughout that experience.
“Our network of contacts span across many high-risk verticals, including: billing, dating, adult, nutritional supplements and web hosting companies. We’ve learned from experience that keeping merchant accounts healthy is critical to a program’s success. We’re constantly on the lookout against fraud, not just to protect the bottom line, but also to prevent chargebacks that can seriously jeopardize a merchant’s ability to transact sales.”
One of the primary challenges for merchants seeking to reduce their vulnerability to fraudulent chargebacks is the constantly changing regulatory landscape.
“Visa has recently announced some major updates to its merchant chargeback and fraud monitoring programs” Hertz said. “Under this update, merchants are flagged as high-risk when they exceed 100 chargebacks and a 1 percent ratio of chargebacks-to-sales or exceed $75,000 in fraud with a 1 percent ratio of fraud-to-sales.
“It’s based entirely on transactional volume, even if many of those individual transactions are legitimate. So it’s now more important than ever for merchants to take steps to prevent chargebacks and get aggressive representment.”
In essence, failing to fight fraudulent chargebacks isn’t only costing a merchant money, it is also opening the merchant to even more significant damages by potentially causing their business to be unable to process any charges with credit cards if the consumer fraud causes their overall ratios to exceed the allowable limits set by Visa.
Fortunately, ChargebackHelp makes dealing with these issues fairly simple.
“Our system is very easy to use and we can get you set-up within 24 hours” Roy-Choudhury said. “The first step is to set-up our merchants on a portal that they can access 24/7. In this portal, you will receive alerts in real time about any and all transactional disputes. If clients cannot resolve the alerts themselves, then we do it on their behalf. The only additional information that we need from the client is access to their gateway.”
Of course, even the best chargeback representment is not a reason to cause a rise in chargebacks due to intentionally aggressive or negligent business practices.
“Always deliver on what you promise your customers,” Hertz said. “If your site claims that it updates daily, then it’s best to deliver exactly that. If you are shipping products and you claim to deliver them within 48 hours, then it had better be 48 hours. Just be clear and sincere all the way through the point of sale. You’ll also want to have a thorough FAQ page and an easily accessible customer service page. It also pays to outsource a customer support team that can handle your customer’s inquiries 24/7. This will build trust and will definitely minimize the number of non-fraudulent chargebacks.”
As with most great adult ideas, ChargebackHelp has also become a fast rising mainstream brand as well.
“We work with many different verticals to help prevent and fight chargebacks,” Hertz said. “Our client roster ranges from luxury retailers, to gift cards, B2B, health and beauty, online games, digital goods, dating and the adult industry. Between dating and the adult industry combined, I would estimate that about 70 percent of our clients come from that industry.
“There’s really not much of a difference between working with adult and mainstream companies. Each industry has the same objectives — they all want to increase their sales, reduce their chargebacks and provide great products and services to their customers.”
Recently PayPal also began allowing consumers to chargeback, and the proliferation of chargeback fraud how-to documentation on message boards or via online communities continues to grow as well, so this is unlikely to ever be a problem that takes care of itself.
The company does provide a free chargeback analysis including a free no-risk report to find out how you can start preventing chargebacks.
Pricing for fraud-protection services varies depending on the amount of representment required and the volume of claims.
To learn more about services they provide and to quickly enhance your own protection against chargeback fraud, visit ChargebackHelp.com.