NEWNHAM PHARMACY PRESTON is one of the highest queried bricks & mortar transactions that Look Who’s Charging has seen in 2019 with over 25,000 queries from consumers in the last 30 days alone. and hundred of calls to bank contact centres.
Why are consumers so confused?
Consumers become confused when they look at their bank statement as they do not recognise the areas of ‘NEWNHAM’ or ‘PRESTON’. A Google search points the consumer to the Chemist Warehouse store in Newnham Tasmania. The Australian Business Register (‘ABR’) takes the consumer to Newnham Pharmacy in Newnham Tasmania.
A call or a visit to the consumer’s bank will more often than not result in a Google or ABR search, and therefore help to confirm the consumer’s suspicion that they have been subject to fraud as they have not recently visited Tasmania.
And the correct merchant is….
Why does this issue arise?
There are a number of reasons that drive the above problem being:
- Incomplete and inaccurate data captured by acquiring bank and payment schemes. When a merchant first applies for a card terminal they do not always have the option as to how they would like their business to appear on statements. This can often be left to the discretion of offshore processing centres with the most common cause of confusion being a merchant’s legal entity name being used for the statement description as opposed to the trading name. For example, a bank statement will show C&A WALKER PTY LTD being the legal entity for the Domino’s Pizza restaurant in Belmont, NSW.
- Merchants move. Merchants frequently change location or something about their business. For example, what is a dry-cleaning business today could be a Gloria Jean’s franchise tomorrow. Often merchants will simply take their existing terminal with them.
- Limited data passed from acquiring bank to issuing bank. The payment message sent from the merchant’s acquiring bank to the consumer’s issuing bank only has a limited number of fields. The description of the merchant is generally limited to approx. 23 characters. This explains why issuing banks generally have to resort to a Google search if a customer queries a transactions; the issuing bank has no additional detail on the merchant compared to what the consumer has.
- Payment scheme used. Depending on whether the consumer uses EFTPOS, Visa, Mastercard or Amex can determine how the transaction appears on a statement. The correlation between card accepting merchants and statement descriptors is far from one to one. In fact, in Australia alone there are 95 million different ways that 1.2 million card accepting merchants can appear on a statement.