When your online store is up and running and you are already processing payments, it is not uncommon for your payment processor to contact you after the activation of your account. These requests can concern the processing of your account, specific transactions and or compliance issues, just to list a few. They are in general important and a prompt response is needed in most cases. The contact by email or phone might come from your processor, however the initial request might have been raised by the acquiring bank, regulators such as VISA and MasterCard and other financial institutions related to the processing of your transactions and payments.

GENERAL REQUESTS TYPES and WHAT TO DO

Below the list some of the most common request sent by online processors after activation and suggestions on how to pro-actively prevent them:

Changes in the application information

During the application of your merchant account you provided certain information about your business and activity. Your processor reviews this information and based on these as well as on other factors, your account received the approval to process and the conditions for the relationship have been established. Changes in the initially provided information might require a review by the processor.

What to do: If anything has changed in your business, the company structure, your URL, the registration information, etc.… Please contact your processor proactively to inform them of the changes. In some cases these modifications must be reported as a contractual obligation.  Please check your specific contracts and Terms of Conditions.

Changes in the processing

After processing for some time your business will establish a processing pattern. Strong deviations from the normal account activity may also require a review by the processor. These changes can be for example variations in the processed volume, number of transaction, average transaction amounts, etc.… in a certain period in the time.

What to do: If you are aware of any future changes in your business activity, please also contact your processor to inform them. It is helpful to include the explanation regarding why the changes are taking place. Would it be needed, this should make the review process smoother and faster.  

Additional information about the business

Additional information may also be required depending on specific circumstances. For example, if the status of the members of the company changes, the reputation of the business deteriorates, etc.

What to do: Also in this case, being pro-active and informing your processor can help to resolve the queries in a quick manner and makes the reviews shorter and easier.

Fraudulent transactions

When transactions of your account are highlighted as fraud, your online processor can ask you to take appropriate actions on the specific transaction/s. Would the number of fraudulent transaction increase, further actions can be required, such as a fraud prevention plan in order to prevent them.

What to do: Fraud prevention actions and tools should be at the center of attention of all online businesses as a general practice. When you are contacted regarding fraudulent transactions, a prompt action and reply on your side can prevent potential charges that might arise, such a chargebacks.

Chargebacks

Once a chargeback is filed on your account, your online payment processor will notify you. Depending on the circumstances, information/documentation might be requested from you in order to process such chargeback. Failing to provide this information or having delays could lead to chargebacks losses and application of extra fees to you. Would the number of chargebacks be consider high by the institutions a chargeback prevention plans might be required within a certain period of time.

What to do: Chargeback management should be a main focus for all online business too. Once contacted regarding a chargebacks by your processor, please provide the documentation/information as soon as possible and follow the guidelines provided.

More informations on how to prevent chargebacks you find here.

CONCLUSION

Replying promptly to these requests it is not only a best practice but in some cases failing to provide answers in time and/or implement a solutions could warrant the financial institutions to change the account conditions, apply fines, suspend and in some cases terminate the merchant account.

Daniela Gonzalez

Daniela Gonzalez is Head of Onboarding and Underwriting at PAYMILL. Working since 2014 at PAYMILL, she brings extensive international experience in the industry. On top she speaks 3 languages. Here she writes about Website compliance.