Merchant Best Practices During a Pandemic: Communication is Key

May 27, 2020

Payscout is proactively monitoring merchant activity during the COVID-19 Pandemic, and is increasing communication with merchants as trends emerge. Here is a high-level overview of the Best Practices associated with merchant activity during this time of crisis.

Communication is Key

In these uncertain times, it’s crucial for merchants to communicate clearly and often with their customers. As an example, if a business has been affected in a way that results in delivery delays outside the normal time frame, the merchant should proactively communicate these delays with their customers, and offer refunds when applicable. At a minimum, increasing communication with your customers — with signage, alerts, or mass emails — is critical. The more open communication merchants can maintain with their customers, the better the outcomes will be.

Review Your Refund Policy

This is an important time to review your refund policy. In particular, one thing to avoid is issuing refunds on cards that were not used for the original transaction. Merchants should never do this. The consumer can still chargeback that transaction, and the likelihood of winning a dispute in this context is very low. On top of having to refund the transactions, merchants can be saddled with arbitration fees — and these issues can ultimately delay the settlement of funds at a time when cash-flow considerations are of the utmost importance. Be proactive: Review and update your refund policy to avoid these issues.

Consider Alternative Payment Channels

Everyone, from your customers and clients, to your employees and vendors, is understandably concerned about their health and exposure to germs or contaminants. The channels through which you’re accepting payments should also be a part of your health and safety considerations. A near-field communication (NFC) or contactless card-reader is an excellent place to start for card-present transactions, and there are many viable alternatives to processing transactions remotely. These range from customer-centric options such as hosted payment pages or online portals, to internal-employee options like virtual terminals for processing phone (MOTO) transactions.

Safety Applies to People and Payments

Adding these channels is quick and easy with Payscout — and the second-most important consideration after your customer and employee health and safety is the security of data/information in these payment channels — and we’ve got you covered there, as well. Our secure payment solutions are all PCI-compliant, and we have integration options that can significantly reduce the scope of your compliance requirements or take you out of scope for PCI-compliance altogether. This is our expertise, and we’re here to make it easy for you.If you have any questions about ensuring your business preparedness during COVID-19, contact us at any time at 888-689-6088.

Let’s get your payment processing on the right track.

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