I'd like to pick up on something that has been mentioned here many times in the past, the process of a merchant calling a card issuer to get their help with identifying a possibly fraudulent transaction.
Time and time again I see people saying in the "is this fraud" style threads, just call the card issuer and ask them. Well I wonder if these people have ever actually tried to do this themselves as in my experience it is nowhere near as simple as that, well not in the UK anyway.
When contacting my merchant account provider and also UK card issuers I've got absolutely nowhere when trying to get them to confirm card holder addresses or anything like that. For example, my merchant account provider simply didn't understand what I was trying to do and suggested that I should make a code 10 call. When contacting the card issuer I just got the standard "I'm sorry sir but we cannot give out our customers details", I tried to explain to them that I was trying to protect their customers from a potential fraud but they were simply not interested, am I ringing the wrong department or speaking to the wrong people?
It sounds to me that in the US it is a well established procedure for Merchants to contact card issuers to confirm transactions but here in the UK this process just doesn't (from my experience) seem to exist. Can anyone who is a UK merchant confirm that they are regularly able to contact UK card issuers and get help with confirming transactions? If so do they have a special number that you ring other than the general customers services number? Are we allowed to share these UK card issuers phone numbers here in the forums or is that against the TOS?
To clarify my experience - when doing a code 10 with a uk bank I had to explain in great length that I was not in a shop but that it was an internet transaction. They simply did not understand what I was doing and kept processing me through shopt style checks etc. I have found that is some cases a 'code 10' for internet transactions can be too late if the money has already gone through and in some cases will already be in your account. I have not been able to get a card holders address info from any code 10 calls.
However I have a new system in place that will manually allow me to intervene if the amount is over a certain threshold. Thus a can then do a 'code 10' if not sure and this may help me to confirm the transaction. After several calls to indian call centres I have also found out that my merchant bank as a special 'fraud' department. Thus instead of asking for a 'code 10' I can be transferred there and I will get more info, but I will not get the card holders address info - which is the bit I really want.
I don't expect them to give me the cardholders billing address that would obviously be against Data Protection rules. It would be helpful if they could at least let me give them the details that I have been given and they give a simple "yes that matches" or "no that is wrong". Kind of like a manual AVS check.
Hi - the point you are making speaks really about the level of knowledge and understanding of the exceptions and retrievals staff that are answering your calls when you call your acquirer.
On the whole the level isn't that great (and rightly so - the vast majority of calls are simply forced voice auths from physical POS customers) and very few are trained in any procedures for MOTO, internet or other card not present transactions.
This is solved by having a merchant advocate work on your behalf. We do this extensively in the US on behalf of merchants, but not so much in the US as I think there is less awareness of what this is. We do think though this will change, and we can think of several other companies as well as us (so this isnt a shameless plug) who offer this.