972.415.3450 or 512.694.9146 Sally@PaymentOperationsGroup.com

Welcome to the Season! I know you have been preparing for this season for a whole year and are very ready to address all of the needs of this critical time of year!

Um…. Aren’t you a little late for the Holiday Sales Season? Black Friday, Cyber Monday, Super Saturday – they are all in the past and we merchants are super happy that IT’S OVER! Yes, I hear you. But I am talking about Chargeback Season! Welcome – It’s Time!!!

Wait? You haven’t been preparing all year long? You haven’t thought about this time of year – Mid-January to Mid-April – since last year? Well, let’s look at what you can recover and prepare for the long term.

Payment Operations Group is posting this series of commentaries to maybe shift approaches so that next year you can say – Yes, We’re Ready! And perhaps this year can be made a bit easier as you build out a robust preparation scheme much like you do for the Holiday Shopping Season.

We’re starting this piece with Disclosures. As you communicate with your consumers, make sure what you are saying is what they are hearing.

  1. Checkout Disclosures – So, how much do you as a consumer enjoy fine print, speedy verbal explosions, or links to access the ‘real’ deal? Authorities say that you as a consumer deserve the best and easiest to understand information to help you buy exactly what you meant to buy – So you as a merchant should produce the experience that you (or your grandmother) would be comfortable using.
  2. Recurring Communications – Are your Holiday Season Buyers about to get charged for their next installment/month/free trial expiration amount? Are you leveraging or reducing that notification? Yes, some clients will use that email to disconnect from the recurring service, but isn’t that better than a chargeback? Yes, more could disconnect than would eventually remember to chargeback the recurring bill, but how much is your goodwill and brand value worth? It is a balancing act but please, take a few moments to re-evaluate this communication before a Dispute Program’s Brand-Required Audit determines your strategy for you.
  3. Follow-up Information – Sometimes a buyer would like to know more about the terms and conditions related to their prior purchase. Often, finding this data can be complex for many reasons – difficulty navigating websites, chat-bots with only one or two pre-set responses, customer service with a single route to solution all inquiries, IVRs with input loops, and T&C’s with dozens or hundreds of pages. FAQs are a terrific way to update existing customers – Seasonality for these FAQs with the most pertinent information for post-holiday inquiries and detailed navigation links to get to the correct paragraph inside the T&C’s reduce frustration and improve the direct interaction between you and your customer. And please, please, please, subscription merchants, add a FAQ about returns and cancellations…seriously.

So yes, you can still work on these ‘after-the-fact’ communication paths now to reduce chargebacks and then spend a few extra sprints to take this open communication concept back into your original sales paths to help with Chargeback Season next year. Build the experience – coming and going – that can be used as the Gold Standard for open and informative Merchant/Consumer interaction. And reduce your chargeback risk while you are at it.

Payment Operations Group is a consultancy of Payment Professionals who ran away from home to join the circus. But seriously, if you would like to pursue a Strategy for your processing future or any payment engagement at all, contact information is provided below.

Payment Operations Group, LLC

Payments…Navigating, Educating, Strengthening.

Christine Wade



Sally Baptiste