972.415.3450 or 512.694.9146 Sally@PaymentOperationsGroup.com

Hello again! Let me guess – It’s early in this chargeback season and you have not seen the onslaught you feared and as such, believe these check-ins are not strictly necessary. That’s terrific! Let me ask if this is potentially the start of your coulda/shoulda/woulda annual review?

Let’s leverage that word – ‘Review’. Now it may seem too late to review some things that happened during the holiday sales cycle, but it is not. Perhaps it is a hindsight approach, but learning the benefits of any review starts with an over-the-shoulder peek.

First, look into the quality of new accounts your sales cycle collected. The single strongest component of a merchant/consumer relationship is the email. Now is a great time to review the quality of those email accounts if you didn’t do it during the original sales cycle. Especially if you work with a subscription relationship, making sure the email accounts actually result in delivering your message is critical to a well-informed consumer.

Even emails collected during retail visits can be off – usually because of entry haste during the checkout terminal collection process. Sometimes these can be recovered easily – gmial? yahho? You see where I am headed. Sometimes, you collect a phone number as well – use it. Which emails are tied to that phone number? Are they close to the failed email you collected during the retail checkout experience? At this time of year, consumers need that emailed receipt for returns, refunds, exchanges, even HSA claims – make sure they can get it.

Checking the email account can be performed many ways – does it bounce? how young is it? is it tied to fraudulent transactions? Next, analyze what impacts to revenue are being felt related to these bad email accounts. Finally perform a review related to these poor-quality emails to determine which reviews you could have done during the original sale to protect your brand – and make that change.

It is also possible – no, really, hear me out – to stop charging customers you cannot communicate with via email. I know, this is a hard pill to swallow but think about it – If you have a subscription customer that cannot receive your emails to let them know they are about to be billed, should they get the service? Are you a digital download subscription merchant with an email delivery of said product with a bad email address? Are they maybe not logging on to use the service? Are they incapable of resetting their password because the email account isn’t real? Maybe not a large sweeping gesture but consider whether your customers can enjoy your product without a valid email account on file.

Another great review point over the next few months would be your fraud rule efficacy. It is time to fine-tune those rules to reduce false positives. It is also time to harden some of the fraud rules you currently have set to review. Look for items which your fraud rules scrutinized but let through and see if they turned into financial losses or were just fine after all. Spend some quality time with the great dispute and refunds data you’ll be getting over the next few months to review internal rules and external settings to re-align your approach to fraud prevention.

That’s a lot of reviews, I know. It is also the time of year for retrospectives so let’s perform a few revenue-protecting lookbacks.

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