Amex, Ethoca add 'Eliminator' to diffuse chargebacks

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In providing merchants real-time information when American Express cardholders call its customer service to dispute charges, Amex and Ethoca hope to reduce time and money spent handling chargeback disputes.

The Ethoca Eliminator platform retrieves transaction information from merchants who use the tool, enabling Amex customer service to relay clarifying information to the consumer while on the phone.

Ethoca revealed the Eliminator platform was being tested earlier this year as a way to reduce fraud in a digital economy.

"American Express is committed to providing merchants and card members a simple process for resolving disputes," Priscilla Kam, senior vice president of global strategy and capabilities for the global merchant and network services group, said in a Monday press release. "Ethoca's platforms can help prevent card member disputes before they happen, helping merchants save time and costs associated with chargebacks."

Amex plans to also offer the Ethoca platform to its online customer service in the first quarter of 2019, allowing cardholders to view more details about their charges at participating merchants if they are communicating with Amex online.

The new platform complements Ethoca Alerts, which Amex uses to notify participating merchants about transactions that have been confirmed as fraudulent. When merchants receive confirmation through Ethoca Alerts, they can potentially stop a shipment of orders and provide customer refunds when necessary.

Amex says the extra information will help the card brand continue its momentum in limiting chargebacks through policy changes and new technology. In 2017, Amex says its merchants saw 700,000 fewer disputes as a result of those changes.

"Our suite of collaboration-based solutions is focused increasingly on preventing unnecessary disputes before they ever disrupt a customer purchase journey," Keith Briscoe, chief marketing and product officer for Ethoca, said in the release.

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