If you rely upon a high-risk merchant account, it could mean you simply work within an industry that merchant account processors consider risky. In other cases, you may have had some previous problems with chargebacks or fraud that got another account terminated. Either way, you will want to take steps to manage your high risk credit card processing as well as you can.
You certainly don’t want to lose your account. In addition, those kinds of problems that tend to raise red flags with merchant account processors are usually symptoms of some problems that your own business may have. If you can minimize these kinds of problems, you will probably also find that your overall company will run more efficiently and earn higher profits.
Five Ways To Manage Your High Risk Merchant Account Well
No business wants to invite chargebacks, fraud, or customer dissatisfaction. You can work to avoid red flags and improve your own companies’ profits by taking these five steps to manage your merchant account well:
- Improve Your Customer Service To Avoid Chargebacks
Industry experts say that there is a strong correlation between a high rate of chargebacks and poor customer service. Very often, improving customer service dramatically reduces returns, chargebacks, and customer complaints. Businesses with poor customer service may not intentionally mean to hide from their customers; however, they may have failed to budget to keep lines of communication open.
When customers can’t contact the company about an issue with their order, they tend to start calling credit card companies to reverse their charges. They may also start posting negative reviews on social media and other online platforms. Your attention to providing better service can help you keep customers, improve your brand image, and minimize red flags for processors. Make sure that customers can get in touch with your company via email, phone, or even by messaging you on social media platforms.
- Respond To Merchant Processor Inquiries Quickly
If your high risk merchant processor does contact you about a customer dispute, you should respond to them promptly as well. They are giving you a chance to explain the situation, and they won’t judge you well if you ignore them or take a long time to reply.
After all, the merchant account company will have an anxious or upset customer on the line, and in their view, your business created the problem. By researching the problem and presenting an explanation rapidly, you can improve relations with your merchant processor. In addition, you may find ways to avoid these kinds of problems in the future.
- Review Accounts That Appear Suspicious
Certainly, there are plenty of criminals that hope to exploit credit card systems and returns in order to get cash. You can protect your company by checking up on accounts that seem suspicious because they’ve made more returns or asked for more refunds that your average customer. If certain customers have made multiple claims that they never received items or items were damaged, you may want to directly attempt to communicate with them or take other steps to verify identity.
By cutting off suspicious accounts, you will have more resources to deal with issues that your good customers have. You know that your processor will be monitoring your transactions, and you should proactively do it too.
- Use Fraud Protection Tools
You can use tools that block certain suspicious IPs by location or because those IPs have been involved in suspicious activities elsewhere. The software may also take extra steps to verify identity to make sure that your customers are who they say they are. Very often, merchant account providers will even provide you with this kind of software, and you should use it.
While you probably don’t want to limit your ability to take sales, your business also doesn’t need to take risks with certain groups of customers that have already proven themselves as bad actors. These are the kinds of problems that you will benefit from preventing before they ever start.
- Proactively Work To Limit Returns And Charge Backs In Multiple Ways
There are lots of things you can do proactively to keep your customers and limit charge backs. For example, you should make sure your shopping carts make all of your charges clear instead of trying to slip in extra shipping or handling fees. If a product that customers think cost $25 ends up costing them $50, people are going to get aggravated.
Also, if you promised delivery within a few days, you should not try your customer’s patience when you can’t deliver it for two weeks. If you can’t ship an item right away, send an email to let your customer know that the item had to be back ordered because of unusual demand, let them know when they can expect shipment, and offer them an email address or other contact information to talk to you and not the account processor. If this is a constant problem, you may even offer customers that you have to disappoint a discount or free shipping on their next order.
Why Work To Manage Your High Risk Account?
There are plenty of good reasons to work on managing your merchant account. Most of all, you probably went to some effort to obtain the processing account that you have now. You don’t want to displease your merchant processor and lose this account, so you should work with them as well as you can. In time, you may demonstrate such a good record that they will even offer you better terms. Of course, the steps that you take to limit problems with your merchant account will also help you retain customers, avoid fraud, and improve profits.
Learning to manage your high risk merchant account very well will also help you manage your overall business better. Few merchants can avoid all problems with merchant problems, but some simple steps can greatly reduce them. In turn, you can free up more resources to please your idea customers and your merchant account processor.