Archive for May, 2011

Ecommerce Payments and Stats

Are you trying to decide if alternative payment methods (APMs) are right for your ecommerce business? Well, you’re on the right track. Alternatives to traditional credit card transactions are becoming a go-to way for digital merchants to boost revenue, expand markets, and reduce fraud exposure. Check out these ecommerce payment stats and facts:

Consumers Need Payment Alternatives for Digital Content.

  • Nearly 30% of American consumers said they didn’t own a credit card in a February 2010 survey—a 10% jump from June 2009. (CreditCards.com)
  • 17 million American adults do not have a bank account, relying instead on check-cashing services. (The Wall Street Journal)
  • 21 million Americans are considered “underbanked.” These consumers have a checking account but often use payday services and car title loans. (The Wall Street Journal)
  • According to a Javelin report, only 35% of merchants offer the alternative payment methods that make ecommerce transactions possible for those without credit cards or banking services. (Internet Retailer)

Credit Cards Cost Consumers.

  • Credit card penalty fees cost consumers $20.5 billion in 2009. (CreditCards.com)
  • Proposed caps on interchange (or swipe) fees charged to merchants could trigger banks to make up for lost revenue by charging consumers more. For example, in June Bank of America will start charging some users a penalty interest rate of up to 30% if they make late payments. (CNN Money)
  • The proposed caps have also spurred banks to consider capping debit card transactions at as little as $50 or $100, even if the transaction is run as credit. (CNN Money)

Fraud Costs Consumers.

  • 11.1 million U.S. adults were victims of fraud in 2009—the highest level since 2003. (CreditCards.com)
  • Identity fraud victims are twice as likely as non-victims to change the way they shop and pay for purchases on ecommerce sites, according to Gartner research. (Information Week)

Fraud Costs Ecommerce Merchants.

  • Ecommerce merchants lost $3.3 billion to fraud in 2009, translating into 1.2% of lost revenue. (CyberSource)
  • The FTC estimates merchants lose 6x as much revenue from the fear of fraud than from actual fraud. (Ethoca)

It’s time to add alternative payment methods to your digital shopping cart. To learn more about what APMs will do for you, contact ILD Teleservices, an industry leader in LEC (or phone) billing, which allows customers to easily and safely charge purchases to their phone bill.

Protect Yourself From Identity Theft

From Osama Bin Laden phishing scams to PlayStation Network’s hack, consumers have become increasingly aware of the risk of providing sensitive information, such as credit card numbers, online. But you don’t have to say “good-bye” to wary customers when you offer easier and safer alternative payment methods.

The risk of identity theft discourages risk-averse consumers from ecommerce shopping.

A 2010 study by the Identity Theft Resource Center found:

  • 87% of consumers had “significant” concerns about personal information (such as credit card numbers, etc.) being stolen in a business data breach.
  • 41% will NOT use a payment method that requires them to provide access to their bank account.

Digital merchants who rely solely on traditional payment methods, like credit cards, or alternative payment methods (APMs) that request bank account info, like some PayPal transactions, could be sending business to competitors who offer less risky checkout choices.

The right alternative payment method gives customers the peace of mind to shop safely.

Not all APMs are created equally. For example, some platforms allow customers to shop without a credit card, but they must share their bank account information instead—and, not surprisingly, some view that as an even riskier method of ecommerce shopping.

If you want to expand your digital store’s market to welcome risk-averse consumers, then it’s time to consider adding an alternative payment method like LEC billing. This simple checkout alternative allows customers to charge their purchase to their phone bill.

For more information about expanding your digital market to reach risk-averse consumers, contact the ILD Teleservices team about Bill to Phone. Our LEC billing will provide an online shopping experience that creates less risk for your customer and more revenue for you.

Chargebacks

The chargeback is a financial liability that commonly stings ecommerce merchants. When a credit card holder disputes the validity of a sale, it can be the result of anything from processing errors and authorization issues to fraud attempts and data entry mistakes. But how much are chargebacks really dinging an ecommerce merchant’s bottom line?

If the card payment processor rules a chargeback is valid, the merchant is left holding the bill. Here’s what digital merchants lose:

  • Cost of goods or services: The purchase of whatever it was you sold to that customer, whether it was an online dating service subscription or website hosting, is reversed.
  • Cost of customer acquisition: How much do you invest into customer acquisition? Every time you’re subject to a chargeback, you lose the time and resources invested into getting that customer to click the “buy” button.
  • Chargeback fee: These fees vary from $15 to $50 for each reversed transaction. If your ecommerce business is subject to what the processor considers a high fraud rate, those fees may be even steeper. What’s more, if the business is subject to too many chargebacks, the bank can terminate your merchant account, making it hard to develop partnerships with other payment processors.
  • Retrieval fee: Disputing a chargeback? Some payment processors also charge this fee, which covers the cost of retrieving data from the transaction.

One way to avoid ecommerce chargebacks is to provide customers with alternative payment options, such as LEC billing. This checkout option, which allows consumers to charge their purchase directly to their phone bill, provides a credit card free way to shop.

But the right alternative payment processor will also offer validation services that quickly and affordably verify the customer’s identity, reducing your exposure to bad transactions.

For more information about ILD Teleservices’ LEC billing option, Bill to Phone, contact one of our account reps. As an industry leader in third-party payment processing, we’ll provide a ready-to-go checkout option that takes away some of that chargeback sting.

ILD Turns 15

Anniversary Showcases Business Evolution Reinforced By Groundbreaking Digital and Social Media Solutions.

ILD Corp., a global leader in digital back office solutions is proud to announce that today is the company’s 15 year anniversary.  Originally a call center for telephony services, ILD has grown into one of the largest digital back-office support providers in the United States. Best known by the company’s brands, RollCall Business Conferencing Solutions (conferencing and webcasting services), ILD Teleservices (bill to phone payments), ILD Call Center and Social Strategy1 (social web services),  ILD Corp. continues to serve over a thousand national and global enterprises. 

“Reaching this milestone is a true testament to our employees and our partners. Over the years, hundreds of individuals have worked together to make ILD what we are today, and we’ve very proud of the achievements that have taken place since we founded the Company,” said Mike Lewis, Chairman and CEO. “It’s an important time to pause and acknowledge the accomplishments of the past, but even more importantly it is a time to focus on continually improving our operations and developing new and innovative services to ensure a long and bright future for each of our business units.  In this technology savvy world, we continue to evolve our businesses and service offerings with the needs of the digital age.”

President and Chief Operating Officer Dennis Stoutenburgh added, “We’ve introduced new innovative services to our product portfolio, which are all on a strong growth path. We’ve made a commitment to provide the latest technology, the most experienced people, and with this, our customer service levels are higher than ever! Investing in technology has streamlined our processes and made us quicker, more efficient and more competent in offering the technical expertise and insights that our customers have come to expect from us.”

ILD is part of the INC 5000 list and has also been named one of the Best Companies to Work for by Florida Trend Magazine.

Questions to ASK an Alternative Payment Processor

Your customers have the need. You have the product. Traditionally, credit cards have been the way ecommerce merchants and customers have completed that transaction. But between rising credit card interest rates and the fear of identity theft, consumers may not be as comfortable breaking out the plastic to subscribe to a service or download digital content; that’s why merchants who want to lift revenue and expand their market add alternative payment options to their checkout.

When it’s time to invest in a third-party payment processor, ask the company these four questions:

  • Do you offer validation services? You don’t like uncollectible accounts, so choose a payment processor who helps you reduce exposure with a process that verifies the customer’s identity.
  • Will you help me maximize my revenue potential? A quality third-party payment processor is more than just a money handler. The right partner will monitor the transactions and suggest adjustments to reduce your exposure to bad debt and build revenue potential.
  • Do you have experience as a third-party payment provider? You’ve invested considerable time and resources into completing that sale, so it’s vital to partner with a company who can navigate the digital world as well as payment processes. The result should be transactions that are seamless and satisfying for you and your customers.
  • How do you interact with my customers when they have questions? When buyers have a question or problem with a payment method, you want a third-party processor who addresses issues quickly and professionally. Look for a firm that offers a range of customer touchpoints, such as toll-free numbers or an online self-help center.

If it’s time to look for an alternative payment method, such as LEC billing, contact ILD Teleservices. Our team delivers the payment processing tools you need and the service you deserve. Learn more today.