Your bank calls to tell you that your card was just used to make a payment for $2,000 in a faraway state. They thought the payment seemed rather suspicious and wanted to call you to check. You clarify that you are currently hundreds of miles away and could not have made that purchase. Your bank lets you know not to worry about it. They promise that the purchase will not be completed. They recommend that you check your recent payment history, and suggest that you cancel your current card. You thank them profusely for stopping the transaction and letting you know.
This same idea is seen with high-ticket items, or sales that seem much higher than usual. If your store usually makes sales that range from $1,000-$10,000, it might seem strange if you have a single sale of $21,000. Your processor might see that and ask themselves why that sale looks so out of place. Did your store make a huge sale more than two times larger than its average sale? Or did you actually make a $12,000 sale and enter the numbers wrong? If the latter is the case, a few things may happen. You will have to pay back the customer the $9,000 they were overcharged. If more than a week has passed by, you might have already spent that money. The customer may go around leaving nasty 1-star reviews on every outlet they can find saying you “stole” from them. Of course, it was an honest mistake, but the customer may not see it that way. Similar to a bank stepping in for a suspicious purchase, a payment processor may step in for a suspicious sale. They just want to stop something from potentially harming your business.
How My Payment Processor Protects My Business
Every payment processor keeps an eye out for suspicious high-ticket items. It helps protect your business and our business. We want to make sure that nothing is incorrect. We want to make sure you will not be charged back in such a way that will devastate your company.
If your store has a sale higher than usual, our processor will flag the sale because it looks out of place. They will momentarily hold onto that money until you answer a few questions for them. They just want to make sure the sale is legit. The processor will inform you of the high-ticket item. Then they will request some basic information. It might be a copy of the signed receipt or the summary page of your bank statement. All you have to do is send them the requested item(s). Boom. You are good to go.
The issue rises from when the revenue from that sale does not hit your bank account immediately. Of course, you likely need that money to start the project. You may even need the money to pay the electric bill or pay employee salaries. That temporary hold on funds can make things complicated. The faster you provide the requested information, the faster you can have the funds. Today we will discuss why certain sales are marked as suspicious and what you can do to make sure your next successful sale is not flagged as suspicious.
What Makes A Sale Suspicious?
A high-ticket item is any large sale that is made outside of your range of usual sales. Your payment processor may notice a suspicious sale that is much higher than your other sales. It could be higher based on price or quantity purchased. Payment processors are suspicious of high-ticket items for many reasons. What causes high ticket items?
- A person could be using a stolen credit card at your store
- It could be that your sales person accidentally typed in the wrong numbers
- Or, it could be a genuine and incredibly successful sale of $21,000
Making large purchases without regard to cost is one sign that a person might be using a stolen credit card. So, seeing a ridiculously high sale, could be a sign that a customer is trying to commit fraud. If the sale goes through, you will have to pay back the real owner of the card all $21,000.
If you have ever dialed the wrong phone number, switched to the wrong TV channel, or even had to start over on a calculator, you know just how easy it is to accidentally type the wrong number. Accidentally transcribing two numbers, or adding in a digit are common mistakes. If the sale goes through, you will get charged back by the customer the additional amount. Having to pay $9,000 is bad enough. What about having to pay back $110,000? Maybe you accidentally hit the same button twice and keyed in $122,000, instead. It happens.
Making a genuine and successful sale of $21,000 is incredible! We understand why it can be upsetting to have that money held momentarily. We understand why it can be upsetting to have to prove a sale. That is why our next section is about steps you can take to make this process smoother.
How Can I Prevent A Large Sale From Getting Flagged?
There are a few things you can do to help this process. Three of them involve contacting your payment processor ahead of time.
- Have a strong feeling a potential customer is going to finalize the sale? Give us a call ahead of time and let us know. We can start working on getting things arranged to ensure the sale goes through without hiccup.
- If you are about to submit a bid on a contract, call us and let us know. Contacting us ahead of time helps speed up the process.
- Send us the summary pages from your last three monthly bank statements. This allows us to see if you can cover a higher charge back. If you can, we will adjust it so less items are flagged.
- If you are asked to provide information on a sale, just send the information in quickly. If a bank statement is requested, you only need to send the summary page. The sooner you send information, the faster the funds will be deposited.
We strive to provide your business with the tools it needs to succeed. One of those tools is protecting it from suspicious transactions. We want to ensure you do not end up in a situation where you are charged back hundreds or thousands of dollars.