Strategies for Managing Credit Card Payments
> Fraud: In addition to the security codes and password ID programs offered by the card issuers, there are other types of fraud screening you can perform, including: reference to known "high risk" ZIP codes (for bill-to or ship-to addresses); non-standard data in order-entry fields; high-value orders from new customers; different bill-to and ship-to addresses (only sometimes indicative of fraud); and so on. Since you will bear the burden of non-payment for fraudulent orders, it pays to implement some form of fraud-screening program; many gateway systems, shopping carts and payment processors can offer you such capabilities.
> Value-added services: There are also a number of extras a service bureau can offer, such as identifying identical and possibly duplicate transactions within a specified period (which could lead to chargebacks). Some service bureaus, and even some gateways, allow you to manage installment or recurring billing for standing orders. And the more robust gateways can handle a broad range of credit cards that include government-issued cards, debit cards, electronic checks and other specialized methods of payment.
Rates and Reporting
The interchange rate varies depending on how complete the data is for a transaction, whether you use AVS, etc. If the order number is missing from a Web order, for instance, this might result in an increase in your rate (called a "downgrade"). Make sure your processing service bureau can work with you to minimize downgrades.
The types of reports offered by gateway providers and service bureaus vary greatly. Before deciding which providers to use, take a look at their reporting options and capabilities to make sure they suit your needs.
Ernie Schell is author of "The Guide to Catalog Management Software" and president of Marketing Systems Analysis Inc. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or (215) 396-0660.