Why Shoe Carnival no longer worries about chargebacks
November 10, 2016 02:51 PM
Fraudulent transactions are an issue for retailers not only because payment card providers require merchants to refund the criminal transaction charged to a consumer’s card, often called a chargeback, but also because the more chargebacks a retailer encounters, the higher the interchange fee that merchant pays. An interchange fee is the fee retailers pay whenever a customer uses a credit or debit card to make a purchase from their store.
So when Kent Zimmerman, vice president of digital for shoe retailer Shoe Carnival Inc., discovered that the fraud prevention service from e-commerce vendor Radial covered chargeback fees, he was intrigued. He’d never seen a fraud tool provider offer that before.
“From a risk management standpoint, the fact they assume responsibility for chargebacks and fraudulent orders gave them skin in the game,” Zimmerman says.
Shoe Carnival switched from handling fraud internally along with the help of another fraud service provider to Radial in September 2014. Since making switch, the number of Shoe Carnival orders that go to manual review by a person has dropped from a little more than 5% to about 3%, because Radial’s system flags fewer orders, Zimmerman says. Additionally, more than 99% of orders are automatically accepted, Zimmerman says. And, the retailer’s chargeback rate is zero.
“We were always watching the chargeback rate,” Zimmerman says. “Credit card processors are very aware and they increase your interchange rates if you have high chargeback rates.”
Radial now also handles manual reviews of suspicious orders, something Shoe Carnival’s customer service team used to do. This saves Shoe Carnival staff ample time as many times if an order was flagged, an employee had to call a bank or consumer—often leaving a message and waiting for a call back—to verify information, Zimmerman says.
Zimmerman likes the accountability that Radial takes on with its fraud service.
“If the group of manual reviews was too large that’s an operating cost on Radial’s end,” he says. "Our auto acceptance rate at nearly 99% is extremely high, but Radial has a stake in that. I’m confident that if Radial felt it was accepting too bad many orders, it would have an impact on chargebacks and they would make adjustment.”
Radial, which was known as eBay Enterprise until April when it spun off from the online marketplace and e-commerce company and rebranded, also provides payment processing services and says it processed more than $6 billion in orders last year. Across all its fraud services clients, its order approval rate is 99.7% meaning the Radial system rejects less than 0.3% of orders.
Radial adds that a Fortune 200 company that declined to be named recently gave Radial its transaction data for a week. The company’s current fraud solution flagged 13,000 orders as potentially fraudulent that needed review. Radial ran the transactions through its system and cut that number in half, meaning 6,500 more customers would have received their order on time rather than being stuck unnecessarily in a fraud review queue.
Radial has approximately 100 clients that use its fraud prevention services. Zimmerman says Radial managing fraud for a pool of other retailers gives it insights into potential fraudulent orders that Shoe Carnival doesn’t have. For example, it can see card numbers or addressees that have been connected to fraudulent orders with its other clients in the past and flag those orders for review, Zimmerman says.
In addition to fraud protection and payment processing services, Radial also offers fulfillment, customer service and omnichannel services. Shoe Carnival has been working with Radial to ship online orders from its stores since September 2014 and today nearly 100% of Shoe Carnival’s online orders are shipped from stores, Zimmerman says. Earlier this year video game and gaming equipment retailer GameStop Corp., No. 45 Internet Retailer 2016 Top 500 Guide, said it has tripled the number of SKUs for sale on GameStop.com, by using Radial to ship from its stores.
In September, Shoe Carnival also began using Radial to allow customers to place orders online for in-store pickup.
Radial ranks No. 3 in terms of Internet Retailer Top 1000 clients in the Internet Retailer Leading Vendors to the Top 1000 for customer service software (35 Top 1000 retailers; 25 Top 500 and 10 Second 500), No. 2 for fulfillment (54 Top 1000; 42 Top 500 and 12 Second 500), and No. 5 for order management (31 Top 1000; 24 Top 500 and 7 Second 500).