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merchant acount terminated for too many chargeback
account is to be closed what can I do

 3:38 am on May 11, 2004 (gmt 0)

I got a notice today from my merchant account bank (a major USA bank) that they are going to close my account in 30 days, due to 18% chargeback in the past 120 days.

acount includes checking, credit card processor.

I am at a loss what to do. They did not give warning.

During Christmas, I did get a lot of chargeback because of delay. But I did win most of the dispute with merchdise shipped (proof of delivery).

Should i beg the bank or look for alternatives.... where to look..

help me.....
the risk management rep left a msg last Friday "let you know before your store is closed"
I thought they meant before close of the business day, late afternoon ...



 12:44 pm on May 11, 2004 (gmt 0)

Verified by Visa and MasterCard SecureCode are your only hope right now.

If yo implement these programs asap you should be able to save your merchant account. Your bank should have already suggested it to you.


 2:20 pm on May 11, 2004 (gmt 0)

But I do not know what it is:
"Verified by Visa and MasterCard SecureCode "

Most of my chargebacks are from late delivery not fraud.

You mean I should still talk to my bank for a mercy?



 2:31 pm on May 11, 2004 (gmt 0)

Did any of the people getting the chargebacks contact you for a return first?

If you have a return policy, and it would have allowed the return of the merchandise, and the policy is easy to find on your site (and documented in the shipment paperwork), and the customers didn't attempt to use it, then you should argue this point with the bank.

If you don't have a return policy, or it doesn't meet all of the above, then you should consider changing it. In line with Morocco's suggestion, you need to take immediate, significant action to demonstrate you are trying to reduce the number of chargebacks.


 2:43 pm on May 11, 2004 (gmt 0)

Would verified by Visa prevent chargebacks due to delay or non-delivery product in this case?

I thought they would only cover fraudulent orders.


 3:31 pm on May 11, 2004 (gmt 0)

I understand it now.

I did not know the chargebacks would close my account

and my bank did not warn me at all.

I have the account for 4 years
but recently sales are up

while I was just getting happy with the sale, bang....


 4:58 pm on May 11, 2004 (gmt 0)


You are correct. VbV and SecureCode protect against the worst type of chargebacks...fraud. I find those to be the ones that cost me the most grief and monetary loss. We have been preety good at resolving all the ones beyond fruad...but we don't get fraudulent chargebacks anymore on our Visas with VbV.


You need to rework the operational aspect of your business if your chargebacks are the result of you not delivering the goods. Chargebacks can be a serious issue, but your situtation could be easily resolved i think.


 5:29 pm on May 11, 2004 (gmt 0)

The problem with chargebacks is that if you skip town, the bank is left holding the bag.

They can be put at far more financial risk of losses than they can ever hope to recoup from your account.

With an 18% chargeback rate, I'm surprised they are giving you 30 days.

Best start looking for another provider ASAP.



 6:18 pm on May 11, 2004 (gmt 0)

thanks a lot folks

I just talked to my risk management contact.
she asked to re-apply as my sales volume is much higher than projected 4 years ago and i promised to reduce chargebacks.

she did not promise anything, saying I will not get the money. Are they saying they are going to keep my money and i can not withdraw any money from my account?

Corey Bryant

 8:23 pm on May 11, 2004 (gmt 0)

You might also consider looking into anotehr processor - & not tie it to your bank. That way - they cannot close your checking account.

But do watch the chargebacks. This is what I tell my customers: Around Christmas time & other busy holidays - consider doing a pre-auth on the CC & then going back in to do a post auth/sale. This way - the CC is not charged but you know the money is there. It might cost you $.25 more to do this, but it would be well worth it in the long run. Different issuing banks have different time lines as far when you can do the post-auth. They vary usually from about 5-30 business days.



 8:30 pm on May 11, 2004 (gmt 0)

You might want to consider not charging people until their order is shipped. You could always do a "authorize only" charge and do the actual "capture" when you ship the order. That should cut down on your chargeback rate.



 9:47 pm on May 11, 2004 (gmt 0)

An 18% chargeback rate is HUGE. I am surprised they did not drop you already.

Note: Winning a chargeback does NOT remove the chargeback from your record. You may win the argument and get most of your money back (they still keep the fine ), but it will remain on your record. The thinking is that if you received a chargeback - you must have handled something wronge... usually customer service. Obviously, there is fraud, but an 18% fraud rate is high - very high unless you have an item the fraudsters are after *and* your not paying attention to your orders.

If I were you I would quickly try to get another account before your not able to do so...

Worse case, get a family member to set you up a new account.


 3:39 am on May 12, 2004 (gmt 0)

I don't understand why an 18% chargeback rate wasn't killing you with chargeback fees. Don't most merchant account providers charge $20 or so for each chargeback?


 9:29 pm on May 13, 2004 (gmt 0)

thanks you guys for your input and advice

I have called several credit card processing companies and am going to apply

Will it hurt if I apply several at one time? Since they will all check my credit?

Also they want my past 3 months statament, which shows 18% chargeback. Will that cause disapproval for my application?

The processing company I will apply is NPC, FirstData and nova.

What you guys think about these companies?

Best regards,

Corey Bryant

 9:54 pm on May 13, 2004 (gmt 0)

First Data is one of the largest processors - they own a lot of little companies (like Western Union, and Telecheck). Plus a lot of gateways (LinkPoint which is owned by First Data), authorizenet.com, and Yahoo uses First Data Platform to connect to Visa.net, etc

I thought most of these chargebacks happened around Christmas? Do the past three months still have chargebacks?



 7:44 pm on May 14, 2004 (gmt 0)

Also they want my past 3 months statament, which shows 18% chargeback. Will that cause disapproval for my application?

Yes. I can't imagine any merchant accepting an 18% chargeback. I will be stunned if you get an account while disclosing that rate. Seriously, I have 3 merchant accounts (although I only use 1 now) - anything over 1% and they will shut me down.

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