Practical Online Payments Presenting Information

How you show up on customer card statements matters.

One of the basic mistakes online merchants make is not thinking about how their brand, company shows up on a customer’s card statement.  Clearly presenting information about your brand, the products purchased makes a big difference—particularly in preventing unnecessary chargebacks.  


Practical Online Payments—Best Practices—Presenting Information 

Accepting online payments requires extra care and consideration. There are many factors to consider, from the security of your transactions to preventing costly chargebacks before they happen. In the Practical Online Payments series, we’ll present some of the most basic best practices to consider when accepting payments online. Use them as a guide for your online payments program.

Step 1: Presenting Information

One of the most important best practices is to make your company’s contact information readily available and clearly presented to all of your consumers. Consider the following: 

Contact Information:

Clearly display contact information on every page of a catalog or web store, on shipping materials, and on all correspondences. If customers can’t reach you about a dispute, they may call their card issuer, which might lead to a chargeback. Contact information should always include a toll-free phone number (all digits, no letters) and an email address.

Billing Descriptor:

This identifies you on the customer’s credit card statement. For example: 


Use a company name or brand the customer will recognize and include a toll-free telephone number. If your customer doesn’t remember the purchase, they will generally call the number on their card statement before contacting the card issuer. Billing descriptors can be truncated by processing systems, thereby displaying incomplete phone numbers. Avoid this by confirming your descriptors monthly, making test purchases with various credit cards, and reviewing the descriptions online and on your statements. 

Email Confirmations:

Send an immediate email confirmation whenever an order or refund is processed. Always indicate that the card issuer may require a full billing cycle to apply a refund and may not immediately appear on an online statement. 



Post clear policies for billing, returns, shipping, back orders, and privacy. This will provide your processor with additional evidence to fight chargebacks and win representments. Order confirmation emails should include this information in the body of the message or via a web link.


Stay tuned for the next chapter in our Practical Online Payments series.