9 secrets of online payments. Part 8: refunds - and how to avoid them

    imageCould there be something more offensive for an online store than lost profit? Can! Even more annoying is the situation when the money has already arrived in the account, and the client or the bank suddenly demanded that the funds be returned back to the payer's card. Especially if the service has already been provided or the shipment of goods has already taken place. What to do in this case? About this - in the new, penultimate material of the series “9 Secrets of Online Payments”, in which the eight-year experience of the PayOnline team is concentrated .

    Imagine a situation: a buyer makes a purchase using a card, but the product does not suit him for some reason. The customer returns the goods and initiates the so-called refund (English refund) - a voluntary refund of the payment made earlier on the purchase account with a credit card. Most often, it is carried out at the request of the buyer. Another case is card fraud, and there may be different situations. Firstly - a friendly fraud (fraud from the English fraud) - when an attacker places an order for a large amount, goods are shipped to him, and a request for a refund to the “real” cardholder is sent to the online store. According to the legend of the accomplice, his card was stolen, and a purchase was made from her. The “real” cardholder demands to return the money to him, and if the bank takes his side, the online store remains without goods and without money.

    Part 1. Setting up 3D Secure
    Part 2. Regular payments
    Part 3. Payment method selection page
    Part 4. Payment form
    Part 5. Mobile payments
    Part 6. One-click payment
    Part 7. Fraud monitoring system
    Part 8. Refunds and how to avoid them
    Part 9. Payment service settings for a business type

    Secondly, these are real cases of theft of cards for the purpose of making purchases without the knowledge of the owner. Even if it was possible to identify the fact of fraud and the goods have not yet been delivered, the online store still loses the commission for processing the transaction by the processing center. Such returns are called Chargeback. This is the procedure for debiting funds from the account of an online store or other e-commerce company for an authorized, that is, a previously made payment, initiated by a bank card holder or issuing bank. Often, the chargeback procedure is carried out in accordance with the rules of the international payment system in case of violation by an electronic commerce enterprise.

    First of all, the task of reducing the number of returns falls on the shoulders of the online store itself. It is he who is most interested in preventing such situations. The entrepreneur has many motives: first of all, this is his income, secondly - minimization of the risk of non-return of the commission for the transaction; in addition, the online store may lose customer loyalty. What methods can be used to deal with returns?

    Site requirements

    In the process of connecting the payment acceptance system to the site, a lot of requirements can be presented, caused not only by transaction security. Here is an example of some requirements for sites planning to use a connection to PayOnline:

    It is recommended to place a minimum amount of reference information on the site:

    • Description and consumer characteristics of each product / service. Description of the procedure for ordering goods / services.

    If the buyer buys the goods, and then decides to return it, citing the fact that “I did not know that it was too big / small / of a different color” - it means that the information on the site was not enough. The clearer and more accessible the product description is formulated, the better photos describe it, the less likely that the buyer will buy not what he wanted. Accordingly, the less cases of refund will be. The same situation is with the order procedure: for example, if a client wanted to buy one issue of an online magazine, but accidentally subscribed for a year, funds will be automatically deducted from his card every month - this option is available if you check the "Auto payment" column during registration order. Naturally, the client will be unhappy and will demand a refund for the service, which he never intended to use so often. To avoid this, make every step of placing your order extremely clear.

    • A list of available payment methods and a description of the payment procedure. Information about the refund procedure.

    The return procedure is a process unpleasant for all participants. The terms for returning money to a bank card are regulated by payment systems and can be up to six months. Perhaps if the buyer finds out about this, he still decides to keep the product that he had spontaneously bought earlier, but then simply changed his mind and decided to return it back.

    • Contact phone number and email address of your company (e-mail).

    Of course, an ideal option for an online store would be to have a call center where customers can get support on issues of interest to them. Payment problems are complicated in that not every specialist of the online store can give them comprehensive advice. Transactional difficulties are associated with the work of several banks and a processing center, the laws of the country and the Ministry of Railways (Visa, MasterCard). Payers can be supported by the payment system itself - for example, PayOnline is a 24-hour multilingual call center. But the issues related to the return of goods is the responsibility of the online store itself. If the client was never able to “reach out” to his representatives and talk about his problem, the refund will turn into a charge back (due to the client’s appeal to the bank,

    • Information about the delivery of goods and the rules for the provision of services (including export restrictions and rules for the delivery of goods outside the Russian Federation, as well as restrictions on the provision of services).

    In the case of the delivery of goods, the situation is the same as with its description: if it is not obvious to the client how much the delivery will cost and what are its terms, he may change his mind after payment. The more detailed description of the products and the processes of their purchase, the less returns from the online store.

    Fight Fraud

    If the online store encounters fraud too often, banks may refuse to work with it, and it will be impossible to accept cards or other online payment methods. To combat fraud, there are a number of technologies (PayOnline spoke about them earlier in previous articles in the 9 Secrets of Online Payments series).

    • AntiFraud fraud monitoring system . In automatic mode, it verifies transactions and literally “passes a sentence on them”: if a card operation seems suspicious, it is checked especially carefully, up to a manual skip or cancellation.
    • 3-D Secure - security protocol. This is the requirement of the Ministry of Railways for payments to confirm the identity of the payer. Most often, the client is required to specify a code generated specifically for a particular payment, which comes in the form of an SMS message. Some online stores disable this feature so as not to lose customers who mistakenly enter the wrong code or their card is not subscribed to 3-D Secure, but this leads to additional losses associated with fraud.

    Set up a payment service

    Another opportunity to avoid returns for online stores is freezing funds on the payer's card. It is especially popular with large retailers during their active growth or sales. The laugh is simple: the customer draws up the goods on the website, and the required amount is frozen on his account. After the online store confirms the availability of the goods and the willingness to deliver it to the customer, a payment operation is performed and the money is debited from the card. PayOnline partners shared their impressions of this option, saying that during the sales period, when orders went one by one, the employees of the online store simply did not have time to quickly check the availability of goods. With the help of freezing funds on the card, they collected orders and at the end of the day checked that they could be delivered the next day and which goods were not available.

    This method solves several problems at once:

    • Sale of goods. Even if it is not available, the seller can always order the required quantity by offering the customer a bonus for a longer delivery.
    • Offer alternatives. The seller can pick up a product that may turn out to be a little more expensive, but the buyer will like it no less. Perhaps the client did not even know about its existence, but the seller was able to establish contact with the buyer and tell him in more detail what else the online store can offer him.
    • Instant refund. The client does not need to wait until the refund is initiated - it can take several days. Instant return of the payment amount to the card will significantly save his time and allow you to continue shopping.
    • Customer loyalty. Problems with the order - it is always unpleasant, especially when the money has already been debited from the card. But if you offer the customer bonuses for waiting, alternative options or an instant return - he will feel an individual approach and either he will become a loyal customer, or he will also recommend the online store to his friends, since the high level of service today is a significant competitive advantage.

    Thus, avoiding refunds, the online store will not only save profits, but also its image in the eyes of buyers and partner banks. In the next, final part of “9 Secrets of Online Payments” we will talk about how to configure a payment service specifically for your type of business. If you still have questions or you need to arrange the acceptance of payments on the website / in the mobile application, please contact , our specialists will consult and select the appropriate payment solution.

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