Payments Dos and Don’ts During the Time of COVID-19
By Dan Chandre
During the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, making the wisest decisions for your business has never been more important. That’s why it’s vital to understand the payment processing and card brand regulations that are in place to protect both you and your customers. These payment regulations are key to the long-term success of your business and should not be ignored—especially given the current situation.
The following dos and don’ts will help keep your business and your payments safe amidst the coronavirus:
DON’T give yourself a cash advance from your personal credit card
Although cash may be tight, don’t run a personal credit card through your business as a sort of “cash advance.” This payment activity is against merchant regulations and can have long-standing consequences when ignored.
DON’T take loans from family or friends through your merchant account
In a similar manner, don’t run the credit card of a family member or friend as a cash advance. This, too, is against merchant regulations and will have lasting ramifications.
(Read on for our recommended option if you determine a need for a cash advance.)
DON’T run abnormally large transactions without calling Mindbody Merchant Support first
During crises, like the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, the payments industry becomes increasingly risk-averse. In fact, many payment processors will withhold credit card settlements to protect their business from losses incurred by chargebacks and returns that cannot be funded by the merchant. During this time of COVID-19, our Payments team is actively advocating on behalf of Mindbody businesses to prevent or limit the amount of funds being unjustifiably withheld.
That said, we need your help. Avoid running transactions deemed as “risky”, including large volume payments or transaction sizes outside of your normal day-to-day. If our internal Risk team sees this kind of suspicious financial activity, the transaction will be withheld, and a representative will reach out within 48 business hours to discuss the next steps.
If you do have large atypical transactions to run, please reach out to our merchant support team in advance so we can do everything we can to help you.
DON’T accept payments from suspicious “new clients”
No business is immune from fraud and although it’s relatively uncommon for Mindbody customers, when it happens, it’s typically from fraudsters using stolen credit cards as their own to pay for exorbitant amounts of gift cards, memberships, or packages. Be on high alert for unusual requests such as refund requests in a different form or to another card that is different from the original transaction. It’s always in your best interest to refund a transaction to the original payment method and card. During an economic crisis—in this case the COVID-19 pandemic—your business may be highly susceptible to these situations because fraudsters know businesses may be desperate for cash.
DO reach out to your credit card or bank to run cash advances per your card contract
If you’re in this situation, call the 800 number on the back of your card and have the company or your bank tell you how to move forward with a proper cash advance request.
DO monitor your account for new chargebacks and respond immediately if you receive any
Many businesses are closed due to government mandates. If this is the case for your business, reach out to your payment processor to request all chargeback notifications are sent via email. Typically, these notices are sent in the mail–if you’re not able to access your business’ mailbox, you could be missing them.
Once you’ve received a chargeback notification, follow up with your payment processor immediately. Time is of the essence as you only have a certain amount of time to respond and take necessary action.
If you’re a Mindbody customer looking for more information on preventing and responding to chargebacks, please see our Chargeback FAQs. Within this content, you'll find additional links with guidance specific to your payment processing provider.