Podium adds chargeback-fraud prevention for in-person purchases

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Podium is offering chargeback-fraud screening for local businesses taking in-person, offline purchases that use its customer messaging platform and accompanying Podium Payments service.

Lehi, Utah-based Podium says the messaging tools and fraud prevention measures in Podium Payments will deliver the same type of protection to local retailers that e-commerce merchants enjoy.

"Chargebacks remain one of the most difficult and costly risks retailers experience in the course of doing business," Eric Rea, co-founder and CEO at Podium, said in a Wednesday press release.

"By offering a chargeback guarantee for the first time for local businesses to handle offline purchases, Podium is able to provide peace of mind and allow our customers to not only have the most modern way of receiving payments, but also allow them to continue to focus on gaining new business instead of often fruitless disputes of chargebacks," Rea said.

Because of the challenges of COVID-19 and competing with e-commerce, local businesses need to productively utilize their time, marketing and financial efforts more than ever, Rea added.

Podium introduced Podium Payments this year as an option for businesses to use text messaging to accept funds directly from customers when in a store, or in sending a message with a payment link after they have left a store undecided about a purchase.

Designed specifically for brick-and-mortar businesses, companies can set up Podium Payments in less than an hour and begin accepting contact-free payments from customers using the messaging service.

In addition, retailers will now be able to use Podium Payments to offer a financing option at checkout and also allow merchants who offer layaway or Cash on Delivery to automate recurring payments until items are paid in full.

Podium Payments integrates within Podium’s messaging platform, allowing retailers to continue messaging conversations with customers using the same thread where the payment was made.

"Prior to COVID-19 hitting, we added the Podium Payments service to our plan and we couldn’t be happier with it,” Tom Priola, co-founder of Primetime Audio Video in Rockford, Ill., said in the release. “Before and during the pandemic, Podium Payments has been the only payment solution that is really easy to use."

Primetime has enjoyed the simplicity of Podium Payments, and the opportunity to provide customers with a contactless payment option, Priola added.

In just over five years, Podium says its platform has been used by half of all smartphone owners in the U.S. to interact with a local business. Podium has 60,000 businesses using the platform across the U.S., Canada and Australia, ranging from single-location small businesses to large enterprise companies with thousands of physical locations.

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Fraud prevention Chargebacks Small business