Once you set out to accept credit cards as means of payment in your business transactions, you stand to increase your customer base, revenue and even improve productivity. There’s an element of convenience and professional image a merchant account service adds to your business.

But along with these benefits are the complexities of credit card processing. And behind them lurks the danger of chargeback – the situation in which the cardholder of the credit card that your business charged for a transaction calls their credit card issuer and disputes the charge.

Regardless of their reason for disputing the transaction, your credit card processing company will immediately withdraw the amount disputed from your business’s bank account or future deposits with the credit card processor.

The more the number of chargebacks the more your business will be considered “High Risk” and few payment processors will want to accept your business in their list of clients. Higher chargeback numbers increase your chargeback to transaction ratio.

Meaning of chargeback to transaction ratio

The chargeback-to-transaction ratio, or CTR, is the number of chargebacks an acquirer receives for a merchant in a calendar month, divided by the number of sales transactions that merchant made in the preceding month.

Visa and MasterCard determine the CTR by dividing the total number of transactions you made the previous month by the number of chargebacks filed against your business during the current month.

If this ratio exceeds 1{6dfe5f017ff2a35ac1862369ade3598a9a46d1eed616e6cacb880b7beac8b903}, and you register more than 100 chargebacks a month, Visa will include you in the Merchant Chargeback Monitoring Program. MasterCard on the other hand includes you in the Excessive Chargeback Merchant Program if the ratio is higher than 1{6dfe5f017ff2a35ac1862369ade3598a9a46d1eed616e6cacb880b7beac8b903} and you have a record of over 50 chargebacks a month for two consecutive months.

High CTR could hurt your business

A lot of high-risk merchants have had payment processors terminate their services because of increasing chargeback rate.

It’s therefore important to work with a payment processor that has a merchant chargeback protection in place because the best way to fight chargebacks is by not having them in the first place.

Such a payment processor is EMB that offers Chargeback Shield, an alert system that helps merchants fight chargebacks before it is too late.