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By Charles Zino
Vice-President iPortis.com
My name is Charles Zino, Vice-President of iPortis.com, and I’d like to thank Bob again for providing me the opportunity to share with you some information on ways to help reduce chargeback occurrences. I am hopeful that the knowledge and experience I have gained while working in the e-commerce solutions industry since 1997, both as a software developer and as a management team member of several e-commerce solutions providers focused on supporting MicroISV’s, will provide some insight which can prove helpful to you and your business in an effort to reduce chargebacks.
The goal of this article is to provide basic information on several simple and effective practices collected from our own business experiences, as well as from the experiences of some MicroISV’s we provide our services to. Here are 7 things you need to know about how to reduce chargebacks:

  1. Keep the 2-way street open! Communication is key! One of the keys to any successful relationship is to keep the lines of communication open in both directions. It has been my experience that having frequent communication with your prospective and existing customers is a great way to avoid chargebacks from occurring. In a surprisingly large percentage of chargeback incidents I have been witness to, it eventually boiled down to a very simple miscommunication which was avoidable, provided that better communication took place between the merchant and the customer.
    Some effective communication methods are technical support forums, blogs, and follow-up emails to customers who have purchased your product or service. The key here is to stay in touch with your customers, helping you to stay ahead of any possible issues which could lead to a chargeback. A nice byproduct of this level of effort is that you will be fostering customer confidence and satisfaction, which may lead to return business.
  2. Inform Your Customers On How Their Purchase Will Appear on Statements. Informing your customers about how the purchase of your products and services will appear on their billing statement is a very simple and effective way of reducing chargeback occurrences. The use of effective messaging so that your customer is informed about his or her particular purchase will help in avoiding chargebacks, as customers often assume an unrecognizable item on their billing statement is a fraudulent transaction.
    When using your own merchant account, or if you use a third party e-commerce solution, make sure you have the ability to use soft descriptors to help describe transactions. Soft descriptors allow companies to include customized descriptions on cardholder statements to provide specific billing information, such as the name of the company from which purchases were made, or names of specific products. Providing customized information for transactions makes it easier for consumers to identify charges on their statement, which increases customer satisfaction while reducing the occurrence of charge disputes.