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No one shops at a merchant called CV-0134985

Life's just easier with Card App's Transaction Enrichment

The increase of card-based payments combined with a parallel spike in fraud over recent years has trained consumers to be more aware of their credit and debit card transactions. Conscientious cardholders routinely scan charges for unrecognizable merchants, strange transaction amounts, or inexplicable locations. However, the lack of standardization in the way merchant and transaction data is reported is creating more questions than answers. And as a result, financial institutions are reporting an increase in costly customer service calls, disputes and chargebacks.

To illustrate this, let’s take a look at an example from Rajesh, who found a particularly confusing and cryptic transaction. Rajesh was charged $44.78 at a merchant called CV-0134958 in San Ramon, California. His next thoughts are:

  • “This amount could be for anything.”
  • “I live 2,000 miles from California and have never even visited there.”
  • “What the heck is CV-0134958?”

After performing his due diligence of Internet searches and rummaging through clothes, car and wallet for a matching receipt, Rajesh comes to the natural and rational conclusion: this transaction is fraudulent. But this is where the story takes a left turn. He calls his bank to report the fraud and after a 3-day investigation, it turns out this is a valid transaction from Chevron, where he stopped to get gas on his way to work. What looked like a duck and quacked like a duck wasn’t a duck after all. Although relieved it wasn’t fraud, Rajesh was annoyed at the whole experience, and couldn’t help but think, “This is the year 2020 – cars drive themselves, but I can’t recognize a simple and valid transaction on my statement. There has got to be a better way.”

Today, a staggering HALF (50%) of all chargebacks and a THIRD (33%) of customer service calls are made by cardholders seeking more information about a transaction they don’t recognize, costing financial institutions thousands of dollars in unnecessary investigations and replacement cards. And for inconvenienced account holders, the dissatisfaction is blamed on the bank, even though they have nothing to do with the way a transaction is reported. In fact, this programming is done by field technicians when the payment system is installed, and it’s not uncommon for a single retailer brand to have literally dozens of variations on the way their name is reported.

There are two ways to fix this issue: 1. enforce standardization rules to the thousands of technicians who are installing POS systems, or 2. apply smart technology on the back end that cleans up and appends the data before it is viewed by the cardholder. While #1 would be nice, it’s not realistic. Option #2 is the simple, realistic approach that is available NOW.

As part of our Ondot Card App™ solution, Ondot Systems offers Transaction Enrichment, a technology filter that appends vague, incomplete or inaccurate data with recognizable information such as real merchant name, logo, and actual purchase location. It also provides additional details about the transaction, such as purchase channel (in-store, online) and merchant category (grocery, hospitality, etc.). With Transaction Enrichment, Rajesh would have instantly recognized his transaction and avoided the whole scenario.

This technology is an operational game-changer for banks: it reduces calls to customer support, and saves all the costs associated with processing disputes and chargebacks. More importantly, it saves cardholders the frustration that results from an unnecessary and negative experience, which equates to more positive feelings about the financial institution.

No one shops at a merchant called CV-0134958. This is low-hanging fruit that is easy to fix, resulting in cost savings for financial institutions, and an infinitely better experience for cardholders. For both financial institutions and their customers, life’s just easier with Card App.