Amazon Chargeback Fees in Focus

Merchants using Pay With Amazon, Login and Pay with Amazon, and Checkout by Amazon have seen several fee changes recently and it is causing quite the stir in the ecommerce space. 

Authorization fees will become nonrefundable, cross-border processing fees will increase from 2.9 percent to 3.9 percent; and merchants will be subject to a $20 fee when disputing chargeback claims. Dispute mitigation and risk management firm Chargebacks911, however, is warning that the new chargeback fees will make the costs of friendly fraud higher and is advising online merchants to implement solutions such as its own in order to limit financial losses.

Amazon Payments des protect merchants against chargebacks stemming from criminal fraud for transactions identified as "unauthorized payment," but merchants are held liable for all other chargeback reasons including friendly fraud - a form of online fraud in which customers dispute a legitimate transaction and bypass the merchant to obtain a refund directly from their issuing bank. In such cases, according to Chargebacks911, the seller not only loses the merchandise, the original revenue, and the shipping, handling, and processing costs, but must also pay bank-imposed chargeback fees that typically range from $10 to $40 per transaction

Monica Eaton-Cardone, co-founder and Chief Operating Officer of Chargebacks911, is suggesting merchants take a proactive role in preventing chargebacks in order to preserve their bottom line. 

"If Amazon is going to charge you for each attempt at recovering profits, you need to make sure you're doing everything in your power to prevent those chargebacks from being filed in the first place," Eaton-Cardone explained. 

"A good chargeback management strategy can help merchants minimize credit card disputes and chargebacks, retain more revenue, and achieve sustainable growth. When a customer initiates a chargeback for an order the seller fulfilled in good faith, virtually every scenario results in a financial loss to the merchant. The retailer either forfeits the sale, merchandise, shipping costs, and chargebacks fees or is forced to pay Amazon a $20 'disputed chargeback fee' if attempting to recover those lost profits."