TAMPA BAY, Fla., Jan. 15, 2014 /PRNewswire-iReach/ -- Chargebacks are simultaneously a benefit and a burden, considered a blessing to consumers and a curse to online merchants. For merchants, the initiation of a chargeback signals the beginning of a damaging cycle; aside from contesting the chargeback—in which case, the merchant must prove no fault—there is little a merchant can do once a chargeback has been filed (1). After fighting increasing chargebacks for several years and almost closing its doors, Chargebacks911 morphed from a retail company into a dispute mitigation company designed to target and minimize the most crippling, but silent aspect of ecommerce.
A chargeback occurs when a consumer demands their money back directly from their credit card company, which then removes the funds from a merchant's account and transfers it back to the buyer. Chargebacks were invented as a means of protecting innocent consumers from fraudulent merchants or identity thieves, and were initially effective in that pursuit. However, the process has steadily evolved to become one in which merchants are often left unjustly bearing the financial strain, a fact which Monica Eaton-Cardone, co-founder of Chargebacks911, experienced firsthand in her time as an online retailer. Several years ago, Eaton-Cardone found herself facing the end of her retail business due to chargebacks, despite having just celebrated her company's most profitable month yet. Eaton-Cardone recounts the day as if it were yesterday:
"With just a few days left in the month, I received a call from the credit card processor. We had been in contact with the bank over what I believed was a technical glitch. Our sales transactions had not been deposited into our bank account for several days, and I was expecting confirmation that the problem had been corrected. Instead, I was told that there was actually no technical issue at all; we would not be receiving the money at all, because 13 of the thousands of sales we had processed that month had resulted in chargebacks—a term with which I was unfamiliar at the time. Consequently, our merchant processing account was going to be closed."
For an online business, having no processing account means the inability to process credit orders, which effectively renders an ecommerce business inoperable. This marked the beginning of Eaton-Cardone's search for assistance in fighting chargebacks—to no avail. However, rather than continuing the inherent merchant tradition of remaining confused about the possible threats—or living in fear of them—Eaton-Cardone put her experience to good use by converting her retail company into Chargebacks911 to help fellow merchants learn from her missteps in card disputes.
Chargebacks and their associated costs have boomed in recent years. As a result, online retailers are now incurring a $279 loss for every $100 of fraud loss, the highest amount since 2010 (2)—a fact which Eaton-Cardone contributes to the explosive growth of in ecommerce. "Chargebacks have transitioned into a practice that often causes irreversible damages for merchants," said Eaton-Cardone.
The increasing cost of chargebacks has led many merchants to raise their cost of goods and services in order to cover their losses, thereby decreasing sales and minimally contributing to the economy, per Eaton-Cardone. While Visa and MasterCard allow merchants to dispute the validity of a chargeback and win back the funds they were previously debited, if the merchant fails to dispute these claims, the customer and their bank automatically receive a permanent refund.
For merchants struggling with increasing chargebacks, Eaton-Cardone suggests seeking the help of a chargeback specialist who can help them avoid a significant monetary loss, while also ensuring the viability of their business. There are three types of chargeback managers:
- Risk mitigation consultants who are trained in fighting chargebacks and advising on how to proceed to generate the best results;
- An outsourced company that verifies the validity of each chargeback, and then responds by either accepting responsibility for the disputed transaction or providing proof of the transaction's legitimacy;
- A chargeback system wherein employees analyze cases and then make an educated decision as to how best to settle those cases on the client's behalf.
Eaton-Cardone maintains that the above methods render chargebacks manageable, leaving merchants free to do what they do best—providing quality services to consumers.
Chargebacks911 has expanded their gross processing dollars from 2 million per month to over $50 million per month in less than one year for a variety of industries: cosmetics and skin care, insurance and educational programs, private and public entities, healthcare companies, online dating sites, and bid sites. Chargebacks911's management team is also considering opening offices in Ireland and London for international expansion.
For more information about Chargebacks911 and its services, visit www.chargebacks911.com.
Co-founder Monica Eaton-Cardone established Chargebacks911 in September, 2012, out of necessity after many years as a merchant struggling to find a solution to chargeback issues. Chargebacks911 was developed specifically for merchants to offer immediate aid through proprietary technology and provide the necessary function that gives merchants the freedom to focus on their core competency and optimize their in-house skill set. Chargebacks911 specializes in servicing Internet merchants, and offers both response and resolution services for chargebacks and cardholder disputes. The company works with merchant clients to help them keep their dispute rates down and retain their ability to accept credit cards. Chargebacks911 provides a unique exception to standard dispute processing for dissatisfied consumers who wish to remedy transactional disputes, without the requirement of additional intermediaries or lengthy correspondence requirements. For more information, visit www.chargebacks911.com.
1. "How Chargebacks Can Quickly Sink Your Online Business." Dailydealmedia.com. N.p., 19 Nov. 2013. Web. 18 Dec. 2013. dailydealmedia.com/how-chargebacks-can339-quickly-sink-your-online-business/.
2. "LexisNexis® True Cost of Fraud(SM) Study." Lexisnexis.com. 16 Sept. 2013. Web. 1 Nov. 2013. lexisnexis.com/risk/newsevents/press-release.aspx?Id=1379105834100604.
Karla Jo Helms
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