Charge Verification is the process of merchants physically contacting the customer's issuing bank or the card association to validate the cardholder's information.
The charge verification services available today do not offer any kind of guarantee for fraudulent transactions. They provide extra security for accepting orders, allowing you to confirm more of the consumer’s data. There is significant difference between the card types and the ability to call and confirm consumer’s data. This ranges from the Visa and MasterCard Code 10 procedures or American Expresses Charge Verification Program to manually contacting the issuing bank of the consumer’s credit card for validation.
Merchants are really just trying to confirm if the cardholder information they have is the same data the bank has on file. If a merchant can confirm the billing data with the issuing bank they should still confirm the order with the consumer to create the complete loop.
Keep in mind that charge verification cannot be automated, offers no guarantee on chargebacks, the rules and levels of service for each card type and bank differ, and only American Express' program actually contacts the cardholder to validate the sale.
THE FRAUD PRACTICE
Alternative Solutions - CRM systems, point integrated solutions
Building this In-House - N/A
Estimated Cost - Can be found as a per transaction hosted solution, subscription price and software sale.
Sample Venders - Accertify, CyberSource, Kount
CHARGE VERIFICATION TECHNIQUE OVERVIEW
Used by merchants to validate card member information from the issuing bank or card association by physically contacting them and asking them to validate the cardholder information. Key considerations when implementing or buying this functionality include:
Time-intensive process — adds at least 24 hours to the processing time to accept the order
Who will place the calls?
How will responses from the banks or institutions be handled?
How will orders be selected for this process?
HOW DOES IT WORK?
Technically a merchant is only supposed to call these numbers if they suspect fraud, but that is a very “qualitative” standard. So as a general rule, if a merchant wasn’t going to take the order due to the checks they already did, then they should perform this check so they can at least try to convert the order.
Each Credit Card type is a little different on their rules for charge verification, so check with an acquiring bank on what processes they recommend for each.
American Express offers their Charge Verification Group which will attempt to verify the purchase for a merchant. However, this is only available for card-not-present transactions for physical goods with an order amount greater than $200.
American Express will contact the card member to confirm the sale. The American Express representative will reply to the merchant with a yes or no response (Note: if American Express cannot reach the card member the merchant will not get a response).
HOW DO YOU USE THE RESULTS?
Based on the response a merchant gets, they will have to decide if they want to accept the order. Remember they cannot validate shipping information, only the billing information. If they used American Express and they got a confirmation from the card member, they should accept the order. If they were able to confirm the billing information with the bank, then call the card member directly and validate the purchase with them. Don’t call the card member first, they may have given bogus information in the order. When calling a consumer where you suspect fraud, always confirm the phone number with the issuing bank and use only that number to contact the consumer.