Email Practices for High Risk Merchant Accounts

Clear lines of communication between the merchant and the cardholder are a vital component to successful high risk credit card processing. When cardholders do not recognize a charge or have difficulty reaching the merchant with questions, it opens the door to cardholder disputes and chargebacks. Email can be a powerful aid to keeping the lines of communication open. Low cost and easy to implement changes to a high risk merchant’s email communications can lower chargebacks and decrease cardholder disputes. Email can help high risk merchants to:

 

Clearly state policies and contact information.

Emails are a great opportunity for the merchant to provide the cardholder with important information, such as Terms & Conditions, Refund Policies, Cancellation Policies, and Billing Policies. Making these policies clear and easy to find will minimize cardholder confusion and the potential for disputes. Providing clear contact information will make it more likely that the cardholder will contact the merchant to resolve disputes.

Offer cardholders easy resolutions and easy ways get it to contact.

Along with being clear, policies should be accompanied by features that make it easy for cardholders to resolve problems. Provide feedback forms for Terms & Conditions and Auto Cancellation and Refund request tools. Always use toll free customer service phone numbers. Provide dedicated support email addresses. The more ways for the cardholder to reach the merchant the better.

Some Types of Emails for use with a High Risk Merchant Account are:

 

Order Verification Email

An Order Verification Email should be sent each time a cardholder places an order for a product or service, or joins a membership, subscription, recurring billing, or installment payment plan. Order Verification Emails help to better authenticate the cardholders identity, remind the cardholder of the purchase, provide a reminder of the merchant’s policies regarding the purchase, and provide a quick and easy way for the cardholder to cancel, request a refund of or additional information about the purchase. Order Verification Emails are also the merchant’s best chance to get their message through any spam filters that the cardholder might be employing, thus paving the way for clearer lines of communication in the future. If an Order Verification Email bounces or gets any other out of the ordinary response, such as the cardholder not recognizing the sender, the merchant should investigate this transaction further as possible fraud.

All High Risk Merchant Account Order Verification Emails Should Contain:
  • The merchant’s Terms & Conditions, Refund Policies, Cancellation Policies, and Billing Policies, or links to these policies.
  • The merchant’s contact information: including toll free telephone number, email address, and mailing address. Always use telephone numbers, not letters. Always use dedicated support email addresses.
  • The cardholder’s assigned Transaction ID to be used in communications with the merchant regarding the purchase.
  • An Auto Cancellation or Refund Request button or link to a Member Help or Customer Support Site that allows for quick and easy refunds or cancellations.
Notice of Recurring Billing Email

A Notice of Recurring Billing Email should be sent prior to charging a cardholder for a membership fee, subscription, recurring billing, or installment payment plan. A Notice of Recurring Billing Email allows the cardholder an opportunity to opt out of a membership or cancel a subscription before being charged, and before escalating the issue to the level of a dispute. A Notice of Recurring Billing Email also reminds the cardholder of the purchase, so they have a better chance of recognizing the descriptor in their billing statement. A Notice of Recurring Billing Email also provides the merchant an opportunity to provide new information about additional or up coming products, services, or sales. If A Notice of Recurring Billing Email bounces or gets any other out of the ordinary response, such as the cardholder not recognizing the sender, the merchant should investigate this transaction further as possible fraud.

All High Risk Merchant Account Notice of Recurring Billing Emails Should Contain:
  • The merchant’s Terms & Conditions, Refund Policies, Cancellation Policies, and Billing Policies, or links to these policies.
  • The merchant’s contact information: including toll free telephone number, email address, and mailing address. Always use telephone numbers, not letters. Always use dedicated support email addresses.
  • The cardholder’s assigned Transaction ID to be used in communications with the merchant regarding the purchase.
  • An Auto Cancellation or Refund Request button or link to a Member Help or Customer Support Site that allows for quick and easy refunds or cancellations.
Notice of Refund and Cancellation Email

Refund and Cancellation Emails let the cardholder know that you have processed their request for a refund or cancellation promptly and with courtesy. Timely and polite Refund and Cancellation Emails help to keep cardholder discontent and dissatisfaction to a minimum and avoid disputes and chargebacks.

All High Risk Merchant Account Notice of Refund and Cancellation Emails Should Contain:
  • The merchant’s Terms & Conditions, Refund Policies, Cancellation Policies, and Billing Policies, or links to these policies.
  • The merchant’s contact information: including toll free telephone number, email address, and mailing address. Always use telephone numbers, not letters. Always use dedicated support email addresses.
  • The cardholder’s assigned Transaction ID to be used in communications with the merchant regarding the purchase.
  • Language notifying the cardholder that while the merchant has already issued the refund or credit or cancellation, it may take anywhere from 3-10 days or an additional billing cycle for the cardholder’s issuing bank to apply the credit to their bank account or credit balance.

 

 

 

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