Over the last several decades, issuers and card networks have worked hard to educate consumers on a single point: If a fraudster steals their card number (or physical card) and goes on a spending spree, they as customers will not take the financial hit. All they have to do is call their issuer, report a charge on their billing statement that wasn’t theirs, and their bank will more likely than not instantly refund the money to the card and formally begin an investigation.
And the investigation, Kount Chief Customer Experience Officer Rich Stuppy told PYMNTS, is almost always going to end with a chargeback to the merchant.
That is more or less as it should be. If customers believed that anytime their card was used as a tool by a criminal to finance some fancy electronics — they wouldn’t use cards. Cash may be limiting, but a thief can’t possibly steal more of it than a customer has on them — whereas with a card with a big enough line of credit, there could be life savings-draining damage in a few swipes, dips or taps.
The problem, Stuppy explained, is that criminal fraud — hackers swiping card numbers and the like — isn’t the only type of fraud that merchants face. There is also friendly fraud — when a customer calls in and reports a transaction as fraudulent when it isn’t, and they are actually the person responsible for the charge.
Sometimes that friendly fraud is the result of a simple mistake on the consumer’s part — the way the charge shows up on their bill reads oddly so the customer doesn’t recognize what it is and reports it.