Merchant Guide: 10 Essential Tips for Preventing Chargebacks

March 14, 2018

A chargeback – also called a reversal – is the return of credit card funds that were used to make a purchase to the cardholder. A chargeback occurs when a customer makes a refund request through their credit card’s issuing bank.

stop chargebacks image

Most chargeback situations arise at the time the transaction is completed. Possible reasons for chargebacks include:

  • Unauthorized use of a credit card (stolen card)
  • Product or service not being received
  • Customer dissatisfaction with a product or service
  • “Friendly fraud” or the result of a consumers filing an illegitimate chargeback

Every business wants to keep their chargeback expenses to a minimum. Here are our top tips on doing so.

  1. When a cardholder disputes a transaction, the issuing bank may request the merchant to provide copies of receipts and other paperwork related to the sale. Always respond to these requests.
  2. Do not a complete a transaction if the authorization request was declined. Do not repeat authorization for payments that are declined.
  3. Make sure your billing descriptor is accurate. Often a customer will initiate a chargeback because the business name on the statement is unfamiliar and doesn’t match your DBA.
  4. Clearly communicate your contact information, as well as return, refund, cancellation and shipping policies.
  5. If a customer is ordering online, promptly send a receipt via email.
  6. Settle and deposit your sales receipts with your merchant bank in a timely manner.
  7. If a customer request cancellation of a recurring transaction, such as a membership or service, always respond to the request and cancel the transaction as specified by the customer.
  8. Be accurate and clear about your product and service to prevent any customer misunderstandings.
  9. Ship merchandise before depositing and transaction.

If a product or service is going to be delayed, advise the cardholder the option of a different product or service or canceling the transaction all together.

Little-Known Secrets of Credit Card Numbers

February 13, 2018

The string of digits on the front of your debit or credit card might look random, but they’re actually telling a story. While each card brand (Visa, MasterCard, American Express, Discover) has a slightly different formula, here’s an overview of what the numbers signify.

A bank identification number (BIN) is the initial four to six numbers that appear on a credit card. BINs help ensure that transactions are routed through the proper card network and financial institution so that the transaction can be authorized.

The four most common credit cards in the US are Visa, MasterCard, Discover and American Express. Their starting BINs are as follows:

  • Visa: 4
  • MasterCard: 51-55, 2221-2720 (New)
  • Discover: 6011, 622126-622925, 644-649, 65
  • American Express: 34, 37

Numbers following the BIN signify everything from the currency being used, card type, bank processing the transaction and cardholder account number. The final digit is referred to as a check digit, which is a random number used to protect against errors and fraud.

The Luhn Formula

This low-tech formula can show whether a credit card number is valid. Try it for yourself.

  1. Enter your credit card number
  2. Double every other number, starting with the second number from the right. Write those digits under your original card number. Cross out any number you doubled.
  3. Look at the new line of numbers. If a number has two digits, add those together. Again, write those numbers down in a new row, and cross out the ones added together.
  4. Add together all numbers that are not crossed out.
  5. Is the sum’s last digit a zero? If not, the credit card number is not valid.

It’s important to note that the Luhn formula was designed to detect accidental data entry errors and not as a defense against fraud. And, it’s a pretty cool party trick.

Innovative Visa Wearables Make It Simple to Pay and Play at Winter Olympics

February 13, 2018

Spectators and fans of the 2018 PyeongChang Olympic Winter Games can pay for food, souvenirs and other goods and services with just the touch of a glove (or sticker and commemorative pin). Visa teamed up with South Korean retailer, Lotte, to manufacture wearables that make it possible to tap and pay at more than 1,000 contactless-enabled terminals throughout the various Olympic venues.

Available wearables include four custom-designed lapel pins, gloves and thin, flexible payment-enabled stickers that adhere to hats, bags, jackets and other items. Items were available ahead of time at various venues and during the Games at Olympic Winter Games superstores and Visa vending machines.


Common Business Scams and How You Can Protect Yourself

February 12, 2018

You have enough on your plate running your business without constantly being vigilant for email scams, phony invoices and other fraud attempts. Recently, the Better Business Bureau released a warning about a common scam that has been on the rise— The Directory Scam (or “Yellow Pages scams”).

Here’s what to look out for, along with other commonly used scams and how to prevent fraud from hitting your business.


Directory Scams – The scammer calls the business claiming they just want to update company’s entry in an online directory or “Yellow Pages.” The business is later billed hundreds of dollars for listing services they didn’t agree to or for ads which they thought would be in the actual Yellow Pages. They are often looking for the employee to say “yes” so they can go back and edit the recording, making it sound like you said “yes” to advertising.

Business Email Compromise (BEC) – Scammers typically involve phony or “spoofed” emails that appear to be from high-ranking company officials that instruct employees to wire large amounts of cash or provide sensitive information such as W-2 wage and tax statements. Thieves use publicly available information to research the targeted organization, tailoring the spoofed or faked email to make it appear that it came from a company executive.

Merchant Services Scams – The caller will identify themselves as a “Merchant Services” provider and claim that you are being overcharged. The caller will insist they are just trying to help but before you know it, they have converted you to their system, including a HUGE termination fee within their contract. Always contact OMEGA first. OMEGA has your information and your statements—these calls are unethically taking advantage of you!

Office Supply Scams – Every year the BBB receives thousands of complaints from small business owners who were deceived by office supply companies who billed them for products like toner or paper that they didn’t order.

Vanity Awards – Not all awards are on the up and up. Some are just money-making schemes and have no actual merit. Research all business or leadership award opportunities, and be wary if you’re asked to pay money.

Stolen Identity – In this case, your business reputation could be tarnished if customers are ripped off by scammers and think that you are actually responsible.

Phishing Scams – Hackers will attempt to gain access of your computer or network not with a rod and reel but with emails that look like they are from a trustworthy company. Common examples include emails pretending to be from the IRS, BBB or government agency. If you receive a suspicious email, DO NOT click on any links or open any attachments. Contact the agency directly to confirm the legitimacy of the email.

Fax Back Scams – Businesses will receive an unsolicited fax, usually offering great deal on a product or a trip. They often require that you send a fax back or call a toll-free number. Be careful. The high costs when you reply are often not disclosed, and you can be charged several dollars if you fax back.

Other common scams could be in the form of phony invoices, charity pitches, coupon books, and business opportunities. Knowing what scams are out there is the number one way to protect yourself from fraud happening to you. Contact us for more information on keeping your company safe.

Data Security Fast FActs

February 9, 2018
Key statistics from the 2017 Thales Data Threat Report, Retail Edition.
Data Security Fast FactsAccess the entire report here:

Take Your Business to Paradise with POS Solutions from OMEGA Processing

February 6, 2018

If it’s time to get the tools you need to take your business to the next level, OMEGA Processing has the point-of-sale system solutions you need. OMEGA offers tablet-based, wireless, peer-to-peer Paradise POS point-of-sale system solutions for both retail and restaurant establishments.

Built upon the latest technology our lightning-fast POS systems provide labor and inventory management tools to support your business. Our iOS-based Systems are secure and customizable. Check out the short video for a brief overview of our Paradise POS options.

POS with cash drawer

Ready to Act On Those 2018 Growth Plans?

January 25, 2018

This isn’t your father’s cash register. Today’s point-of-sale (POS) systems are an affordable, scalable tool that allow you effectively manage inventory, reporting, employees and operations.

Systems typically consist of hardware (often a tablet device), POS software and a payment gateway application. Peripheral items, including cash drawers, printers and stands are also available. Sales data is kept in the “cloud” so that it’s easily accessible from any device. In addition, some POS systems, also store sales information locally on the hardware.

Let OMEGA Processing’s POS system offerings help you take your business to the next level. Here’s an overview of our various offerings.

Paradise Point-of-Sale Systems — With both retail and restaurant options, Paradise offers a complete wireless iPad-based POS system. Data is always available on both the local device and in the cloud. Inventory and labor management tools are included, and systems are customizable for your environment. Additional features include EMV and contactless (Apple Pay) capabilities, online reporting and vendor reports. Restaurant features include split checks, pay-at-the-table, tip adjust and menu changes.

RedFin Point-of-Sale Systems — RedFin restaurant POS systems are custom-designed with the optimal hardware and software combination for your business. From fine dining to quick service, REdFin’s versatile EMV payments, menu management, inventory and labor management tools and increased speed of service help your restaurant maximize its operational potential. In addition, online ordering capabilities increase sales opportunities for your business.

Contact OMEGA Processing Solutions at 866.888.9724 for your customized account analysis and product demonstration.