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Stripe Payments Competitors And Alternatives

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Melissa Johnson

Melissa Johnson

Melissa Johnson has been writing about payment processing and mobile payments since 2014, and has been quoted in articles for Credit Karma and The Next Web, among others. She graduated from The University of Kansas in 2010 with bachelor's degrees in English and journalism.
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    Brian Johnson

    I don’t have a review but rather a question about this subject that is new to me. Until recently I didn’t know an acquiring bank from an issuing bank and would have guessed chargeback was something a football player did. Then a friend of mind fell victim to a free-offer/ recurring billing scam that cost her $1000 and nearly put her on the streets. Needless to say she isn’t the sharpest knife in the kitchen and I had to take the lead in trying to resolve this.
    When she contacted the merchant their service representative told her that the terms were explicitly presented and had been agreed to so they would not refund the payments. I told her to contact her bank, close the account and file a fraud complaint. Meanwhile I visited the web site and scoured it specifically looking for the terms and she was correct, they were not there. So I placed an order taking screen shots at every step.
    Long story short 6 weeks later her bank said they could find no errors and let the charges stand. Her bank is an online bank where her social security checks are directly deposited. The only way to deal with them is through their call center and it’s like pulling teeth. They would not discuss the matter with me nor permit a three way call and my friend doesn’t know enough about the process.
    I suspect that the merchant offered as evidence a web page where the terms are clearly displayed and requires a check box affirming acceptance. In a letter her bank offered a copy of all documents and exhibits that they based their ruling on yet they never delivered on the request. I decided that it would be better to pursue action on our own; however cardholders are not provided with any information about who your bank sent the money to. I requested at a minimum the ID of the acquiring bank and the merchant ID number which were terms that the bank service reps had never heard of.
    So what are the rules about this, does a card holder have a right to that information and assuming I got the ID number of the bank /processor and managed to translate that into a company name and address how helpful would the acquiring bank be in helping to identify the merchant?
    There exists a multimillion dollar industry based on credit card fraud that goes unopposed. They rely on tricks like multiple accounts, load balancing and making small inside sales to lower chargeback ratios. They split the criminal operation among numerous businesses each one engaging in what they can argue is a legal service. The place where the provable crimes occur is at the payment processing point and connects to the person who owns the account unfortunately that is the most shielded point in the operation.
    I uncovered the name of the man running this particular operation and the names of at least eight businesses he owns including the call centers, drop shipping service, chargeback mitigation, third party marketing services etc. but its bank fraud that brings them down because one cannot run an operation like this for long without at some point falsifying information on bank documents. They get away with it because it’s not worth the time and effort just to recover a few hundred dollars.
    But I’m on a mission.

      This comment refers to an earlier version of this post and may be outdated.

      Jessica Dinsmore

      Hi Brian,

      If the dispute with the card-issuing bank was decided in favor of the merchant, there’s not much else that can be done. After that, chances of getting the money back go way down. The cardholder is not entitled to information about the merchant’s bank or merchant account. But if a chargeback was filed, information would have been exchanged between the merchant’s bank and the customer’s bank. At this point, you can bring this information to the attention of the attorney general in your state and the state you believe the person is doing business in. Beyond that, you can just try to make the person’s life difficult by posting online scam warnings with the offending party’s name and business information on complaint sites and doing whatever else you can to get the word out. In either case, it’s not very likely that a refund will be issued without starting legal proceedings, which would be too expensive given the amount of money at stake.

        This comment refers to an earlier version of this post and may be outdated.

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