SalesTechStar Interview with Monica Eaton, Founder of Chargebacks911 & Fi911
Monica Eaton, Founder of Chargebacks911 & Fi911 chats about some of the top trends that will shape digital commerce in 2023 while discussing ways for online merchants to prevent fraud when it comes to online transactions:
Welcome to this SalesTechStar chat Monica, tell us about yourself and more about the story behind Chargebacks911, what inspired the platform and how it has grown over the years?
My name is Monica Eaton, founder of both Chargebacks911 and Fi911. My companies, headquartered in Clearwater, Florida, provide a technology platform that helps fight post-transaction fraud and illegitimate chargebacks for merchants and financial institutions around the world. When not in work mode, though, my life revolves around being a mom to two incredible daughters.
When I first began working in eCommerce, I had a dream of building the next eBay. But soon, I noticed that chargebacks were erasing any profits I would make. To everyone else in the industry, this seemed normal to accept and move on, but I had a hard time accepting this as a cost of business. It felt like being a retail store and having no security guards or cameras. Anyone could do as they pleased with no consequences. Determined not to roll over, I educated myself on the problem and learned how to code Access and HTML so that I could write up a solution for it. That solution became the foundation of Chargebacks911.
Today, Chargebacks911 and Fi911 have expanded into international institutions that employ more than 350 employees, as well as protect over one million merchants and more than 50 financial institutions. We oversaw more than 1 billion transactions last year and recovered $183 million for our clients that would otherwise have been lost to invalid dispute claims.
How can platforms like Chargebacks911 help prevent fraud while also enhancing the overall merchant and user experience? Can you highlight some of the trends the industry is seeing with regards to the use of these kind of tools?
Chargebacks911 helps prevent fraud by providing merchants with a powerful suite of chargeback defense services, including pre-chargeback alerts, dispute response automation, and case tracking systems. These tools help merchants stay ahead of disputes and quickly respond to any chargebacks that do occur. By staying ahead of fraud, merchants can protect their profits and maximize their return on investment.
The chargeback industry is rapidly growing and evolving, with new technologies being developed to combat new, emerging threats. To keep pace, platforms like Chargebacks911 are becoming more sophisticated and offering more advanced features for greater protection. For example, Chargebacks911 can now detect patterns in consumer behavior, providing merchants with more insight into potential fraudulent activity.
Additionally, Chargebacks911 offers tools to help merchants optimize their dispute response process to ensure that merchants can quickly and effectively respond to any transaction dispute, helping them to resolve issues with customers before the issue becomes a chargeback. Finally, if a merchant ends up facing a chargeback from a customer’s issuing bank, Chargebacks911 has the capability of assembling necessary information and evidence to help merchants fight fraudulent or illegitimate chargebacks during the representment process.
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In today’s digital commerce ecosystem frauds are rife; what can merchants do at their end to protect their users and more importantly, payments and card information?
Merchants can implement a few different precautions to protect their users’ payment and card information. First, merchants should invest in a secure eCommerce platform with strong data encryption and fraud prevention tools. This will protect users from identity theft and other types of fraud.
Merchants should also use payment processors that offer fraud prevention services and have strong anti-fraud policies in place. Moreover, merchants can require additional verification methods, such as two-factor authentication, when processing payments or collecting card information. Finally, merchants should stay up to date with the latest fraud prevention measures and ensure their systems are regularly monitored for suspicious activity. By taking these precautions, merchants can help protect their customers and transactions, as well as improve the overall customer experience.
Can you talk about some of the most serious incidents in the recent past surrounding fraud in global online marketplaces and key lessons to learn from them?
A recent event to note is the bankruptcy and criminal charges that followed the collapse of FTX, the cryptocurrency investment firm that was valued at $32 billion before its downfall. Because of the lack of consumer protections in the realm of crypto, many of the traders involved with FTX fear they will never get their money back.
An important lesson to note from this debacle is the fact that, while identity theft is drastically reduced in a blockchain-governed transaction, there are many other types of issues consumers need protection from when dealing with crypto. When investors took a hit from the FTX fiasco, it highlighted the importance of chargeback protection for consumers in the crypto space who had no recourse to get their money back.
It’s true that chargeback abuse is a problem, but the chargeback mechanism is still an essential consumer protection mechanism. It exists to protect consumers against deception by malicious scammers. For digital asset companies and financial institutions that want to see crypto become widely adopted, their consumer protections must advance to a higher level. This would ensure consumers have legal remedies in case of any unfairness or failure to meet advertised specifications when it comes to products received.
Another significant event occurred in January of 2022, when Crypto.com lost well over $30 million in Bitcoin and Ethereum after a data breach. While Crypto.com reported that all affected customers have been fully reimbursed, this should sound the alarm for investors. If cyber criminals can breach security measures set in place by Crypto.com, which has a trading volume of around half a billion dollars a day, that means other smaller exchanges are vulnerable as well, some of which may not be able to reimburse their investors of stolen capital.
The key point to note here is that cryptocurrency and crypto exchanges are not insured by the FDIC. Investors are unprotected in the event of a default, insolvency, bankruptcy or large-scale theft involving any non-bank entity.
A few thoughts on the biggest online selling / digital commerce trends that will shape 2023?
A few trends that I believe will shape online selling and digital commerce in 2023:
1. Increased Adoption of ‘Voice Commerce’:
With the growth of smart speaker technology, such as Amazon Alexa and Google Home, voice commerce is becoming an increasingly important way for consumers to shop. In 2023, it is likely that more retailers will enable voice search capabilities and use voice marketing to enable customers to purchase products quickly and easily.
2. Social Commerce:
With the rise of influencer marketing, more and more retailers are turning to social media to promote their products. In 2023, social commerce is likely to continue to be a major trend, with more retailers turning to platforms like Instagram and TikTok to reach their target customers and drive sales, as opposed to relying on their web platforms and brick-and-mortar locations.
3. Automation and Artificial Intelligence:
Artificial Intelligence (AI) and automation are becoming increasingly important components of e-commerce. In 2023, more retailers are likely to leverage AI to personalize customer experiences, increase customer engagement and improve fraud protection.
4. Biometric Authentication:
In 2023, we will see biometrics-based authentication become more widely used to enable secure, seamless payments and transactions. Through biometric authentication, customers will be able to securely and swiftly access their financial accounts to make payments and authorize transactions. The use of biometrics, such as fingerprint scanning, facial recognition and voice recognition, will also become the norm for user authentication. This will help to better secure and protect user data, as well as make it easier for customers to access their accounts.
The use of biometrics will also improve the user experience, as customers will no longer need to remember complicated passwords, but instead will just need to scan their fingerprint or use facial recognition to access their accounts.
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Fi911 was launched by Chargebacks911 to support financial institutions with innovative dispute life-cycle and merchant life-cycle management technologies. Its proprietary DisputeLab™ makes resolving chargeback disputes faster and more efficient by optimizing each step in the dispute cycle. Chargebacks911 is the original chargeback management solution.
Monica Eaton is the Founder of Chargebacks911. Chargebacks911 is the global leader in chargeback prevention and remediation technology. As a provider or supplier to financial technology companies, Chargebacks911 helps safeguard more than 2.4 billion transactions per year on behalf of clients in 87 countries around the world.
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