ClearSale Review: Will It Protect You From Fraudulent Refund Claims?

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In North America alone, false refund claims made to ecommerce retailers accounted for a staggering 29% of fraud losses in 2021. On top of that, chargeback fraudsters often use false identities to make other claims. By combining both fraud types, the total amount of profit loss can increase to 59% for an ecommerce company.

Fortunately, there are solutions to help combat this issue. 

Enter, ClearSale.

ClearSale is an ecommerce fraud prevention solution that assists merchants with tackling the growing risk of ecommerce-related fraud. They offer solutions for small to enterprise-sized businesses and focus on online dispute management.

With that said, in this ClearSale Review we'll examine why fraud prevention solutions are crucial to online retailers and what ClearSale offers in this regard. More specifically, we'll look at the ins and outs of the product, Clearsale’s pricing, and frequently asked questions about the solution.

There’s lots to cover, so let’s dig in!

ClearSale Review: The Problem 

Chargebacks are an ongoing struggle for both eCommerce and brick-and-mortar merchants. In fact, according to recent statistics, eCommerce payment fraud estimates for 2021 were a staggering $20 billion. This is a growth of over 14% from 2019! 

Sadly, with the pandemic and other global shifts, it’s become an opportune time for fraudsters to make the most of the ensuing chaos.

Since merchants and consumers are increasingly moving their activities online, the global online retail market now accounts for nearly 20% of all retail sales. However, while this surge has brought a new stream of customers to many online businesses, it’s also increased their risk of falling foul of cybercrime.

One of the most common cybercrimes ecommerce stores are at risk of is a phenomenon dubbed “friendly fraud.” But don't let the name fool you. It’s anything but friendly.

For the uninitiated, friendly fraud is when a consumer intentionally makes an online purchase on a debit or credit card, which they later dispute with their bank. This leads to a dispute between the customer and the online merchant. Ultimately, this comes down to the bank's decision on whether the payment is returned. 

If the bank sides with the consumer, not only is their payment refunded, but the merchant is often slapped with a hefty administrative fee. With nearly 40% of online merchants reporting this kind of attack in 2021, it's become more critical than ever for online businesses to take steps to protect themselves.

This is where solutions like ClearSale come into their own…

illustration of a cat climbing a ladder

ClearSale Review: About ClearSale 

Chargebacks are an ongoing struggle for both ecommerce and brick-and-mortar merchants. In fact, according to recent statistics, ecommerce payment fraud estimates for 2021 were a staggering $20 billion. This is a growth of over 14% from 2019! 

Sadly, with the pandemic and other global shifts, it’s become an opportune time for fraudsters to make the most of the ensuing chaos.

Since merchants and consumers are increasingly moving their activities online, the global online retail market now accounts for nearly 20% of all retail sales. However, while this surge has brought a new stream of customers to many online businesses, it’s also increased their risk of falling victim of cybercrime.

One of the most common cybercrimes ecommerce stores are at risk of is a phenomenon dubbed “friendly fraud.” But don't let the name fool you. It’s anything but friendly.

For the uninitiated, friendly fraud is when a consumer intentionally makes an online purchase on a debit or credit card, which they later dispute with their bank. This leads to a dispute between the customer and the online merchant. Ultimately, this comes down to the bank's decision on whether the payment is returned. 

If the bank sides with the consumer, not only is their payment refunded, but the merchant is often slapped with a hefty administrative fee and risks losing the opportunity to accept online card payments by being labeled as a risky merchant. With nearly 40% of online merchants reporting this kind of attack in 2021, it's become more critical than ever for online businesses to take steps to protect themselves.

This is where solutions like ClearSale come into their own…

illustration of a cat climbing a ladder

ClearSale Review: About ClearSale 

Chargebacks are an ongoing struggle for both ecommerce and brick-and-mortar merchants. In fact, according to recent statistics, ecommerce payment fraud estimates for 2021 were a staggering $20 billion. This is a growth of over 14% from 2019! 

Sadly, with the pandemic and other global shifts, it’s become an opportune time for fraudsters to make the most of the ensuing chaos.

Since merchants and consumers are increasingly moving their activities online, the global online retail market now accounts for nearly 20% of all retail sales. However, while this surge has brought a new stream of customers to many online businesses, it’s also increased their risk of falling victim of cybercrime.

One of the most common cybercrimes ecommerce stores are at risk of is a phenomenon dubbed “friendly fraud.” But don't let the name fool you. It’s anything but friendly.

For the uninitiated, friendly fraud is when a consumer intentionally makes an online purchase on a debit or credit card, which they later dispute with their bank. This leads to a dispute between the customer and the online merchant. Ultimately, this comes down to the bank's decision on whether the payment is returned. 

If the bank sides with the consumer, not only is their payment refunded, but the merchant is often slapped with a hefty administrative fee and risks losing the opportunity to accept online card payments by being labeled as a risky merchant. With nearly 40% of online merchants reporting this kind of attack in 2021, it's become more critical than ever for online businesses to take steps to protect themselves.

This is where solutions like ClearSale come into their own…

illustration of a cat climbing a ladder

ClearSale Review: About ClearSale 

ClearSale review

ClearSale is an online fraud protection platform that offers merchants the tools and resources they need to handle fraudulent chargebacks. They specialize in tackling “friendly fraud,” a type of fraud that, as previously outlined, is now prevalent within the world of ecommerce.

ClearSale started its journey in 2001 and has since become an industry leader in online fraud prevention. Their features are designed to automate risk identification. This empowers ecommerce businesses to make better decisions regarding the uncertainty of online transactions to help keep fraudulent customers at bay. A combination of experienced fraud analysts and AI software designed to collect consumer data, analyze risk, and identify fraudulent activity fuels this solution.

However, ClearSale isn’t just about protecting merchants against legal disputes; it’s equally concerned with safeguarding revenue and expediting false claims. For instance, it runs through your online orders to check whether customer information is accurate so that suspicious orders can be flagged and addressed if disputes arise. This ensures that merchants aren't unfairly losing profits. 

If we consider that merchants end up with a loss of $3.60 per fraudulent dollar, that means if a consumer charges back a $10 item, the actual loss is close to $30.60. With some merchants reporting as many as 800 fraudulent attacks per month, preventing these losses adds significant savings!

At this point, it’s worth noting that ClearSale is suitable for small to enterprise-sized businesses operating across an extensive range of industries.

ClearSale Review: Features

Now that we’ve covered the basics let's discuss precisely what you can expect from ClearSale.

Firstly, ClearSale adapts its features to meet the needs of the merchant This means that you can decide which features are appropriate for your needs during a discussion with the ClearSale team. 

For example, larger enterprises often require more rigorous assistance. In contrast, focusing on automated fraud prevention for quick and efficient transaction approval is usually best for small to medium-sized businesses with limited resources. 

ClearSale also offers specialized services based on industry and risk. Again, you’ll need to discuss these options with a ClearSale rep to better understand what’s available. However, below we'll endeavor to provide a quick overview. ClearSale’s core features give you an idea of what might be best for your business. 

illustration of a cat climbing a ladder

ClearSale Review: Key Features Upfront

  • AI-based chargeback automation
  • Easy to use and intuitive dashboard
  • Customer order management
  • Visual reporting and analytics
  • 24/7 customer service
  • Tailored pricing plans
  • An extensive list of integrations

Order Approval 

With ClearSale, you can approve customer transactions in seconds. AI collates customer data concerning their recent transactions to calculate the likelihood of whether the transaction is valid. 

If an order passes this check, it’s automatically approved by the system. However, suppose a concern is raised about the validity of the order. In that case, the transaction is flagged for further analysis. 

At this point, the transaction is passed over to ClearSale's manual review team to be checked before the transaction is declined. 

This is designed to stop fraudulent customer orders before a dispute arises and is particularly effective where customer chargeback claims are made under false identities. By catching these perpetrators early on, you help prevent repeat offenses later down the line.

Chargeback Management Dashboard

The ClearSale dashboard boasts a modern-looking, intuitive interface designed to provide an overview of all your data in one place. 

As well as benefiting from the automatic fraud flagging system, you can manually flag chargeback orders to be reviewed by the ClearSale team. You'll find all your orders and approved and declined transactions displayed here.

You can filter this info to quickly find what you need according to the category, time, and approval status. You can also search for specific orders by address, name, number, and order type. 

Chargeback Insurance

ClearSale offers complete fraud protection that guarantees 100% coverage against fraudulent chargebacks. Meaning, you will not lose out on the sale if the approved order is reported as fraudulent, as ClearSale will refund you the entire value of the order. This feature is explicitly designed for high-risk industries to help them reduce their chargeback rate.

Analytics and Reporting 

You can view comprehensive information concerning your customer transactions and orders via the ClearSale dashboard. 

Here you’ll also find data about:

  • Conversion rates
  • Fraud scores
  • Transaction approval rate

In addition, each order is logged so you can see previous orders made by the same customer and the payment method used. All this information can then be segmented as a report to display the data points you’re interested in. For example, you can generate reports to present visual information concerning your chargeback rates, transaction volumes, and performance. You can then export said reports as an Excel sheet for your own reference.

For larger businesses needing more comprehensive data sets, ClearSale can tailor its insights to better meet the client's needs. For instance, they offer focused data on product performance, target markets, and customer profiling. 

Integrations

ClearSale offers a wealth of native integrations, including:

  • Shopify
  • BigCommerce
  • WooCommerce
  • Zoey
  • VTEX
  • Salesforce
  • Bold Checkout

They also offer developer support for those wanting to use CleaSale’s API to create their own integrations.

Customer Service

ClearSale review

ClearSale offers a wealth of self-help resources designed to help ecommerce owners manage fraud and understand the potential risks within their industry. 

Available resources include:

  • A blog
  • Ebooks and guides
  • A glossary
  • Webinars, podcasts, and videos
  • A knowledge base and frequently asked questions 

They also offer a free approval rate calculator to help merchants determine how many transactions they’re currently declining or approving. 

Pro Tip: Ideally, you don’t want an approval rating that’s either too high or too low. Too many approvals can encourage fraudsters, whereas too many declines can deter customers. You can also contact ClearSale's fraud consultation team to determine what your rate should be. 

Lastly, ClearSale also has an in-house fraud team to address issues 24/7.

ClearSale Review: Pricing

ClearSale review

ClearSale tailors its pricing to your business. So to get an exact quote for their service, you have to enquire. That said, there are a few pricing models to choose from:

KPI Pricing

KPI pricing is based on an agreed target between the merchant and ClearSale. Here, businesses set up key performance indicators (KPI), such as the number of approved monthly transactions. 

KPIs are evaluated every quarter. 

If ClearSale exceeds the KPI, they offer an agreed discount on your monthly invoice. 

This plan includes:

  • A chargeback management dashboard 
  • Integrations
  • 24/7 customer service

This does not include chargeback insurance.

Fixed Percentage Model

ClearSale review

The fixed pricing model bills merchants based on a fixed fee for every approved transaction. The business's sales volume, average order value, industry, current chargeback rates, and risk profile (how at-risk you are regarding fraud) determine this price. 

This plan includes:

  • Chargeback management dashboard 
  • Complete list of integrations
  • 24/7 customer service
  • Full chargeback insurance 

ClearSale Review: FAQs

As we're wrapping up, we will address some of the most frequently asked questions concerning ClearSale.

What pricing model is best for me?

While it’s best to discuss your options with the ClearSale team, we'll cover the basics: 

The fixed percentage model may be a good choice for small to medium-sized businesses because it includes full insurance coverage for fraudulent chargebacks. However, suppose you're a smaller business with limited time and resources to dedicate to your fraud prevention strategy. In that case, this approach acts as a catch-all for unwarranted charges and bank dispute fees. 

In contrast, the KPI model is often more suitable for enterprise-sized businesses. Namely, because many companies already have their own in-house fraud team. So, instead of paying a fixed fee based on the number of chargebacks, it provides your team the resources and flexibility to better manage chargeback complaints. Of course, you still benefit from ClearSale’s flagging system, but your team can still decide whether or not they take action. In addition, setting your pricing by KPI means you only pay when your transaction approval rating is met.

How do I add ClearSale to my Shopify account? 

To add ClearSale to your Shopify account, you’ll need to:

  1. Go to the Shopify Marketplace and search the ClearSale app. 
  2. Once you’ve identified the app, click add app and install.
  3. You’ll then be redirected to ClearSale, where you’ll need to enter your login details. 
  4. Decide your settings and select save.
  5. You'll now be able to access ClearSale from your Shopify dashboard. 

ClearSale Review: Our Final Thoughts 

Fraud is an issue that affects all businesses. But unfortunately, thanks to the anonymity of the internet, ecommerce merchants are particularly at risk. So, having the proper protections in place is all the more crucial. 

With ClearSale, preventive measures are personalized to online merchants to suit their needs. This advantage provides a lot of leeway for choosing the right fraud prevention plan for your needs. 

All in all, we would recommend reaching out to ClearSale to get a better feel for what they can do for your business and for what cost. 

That’s all, folks; we’ve finally reached the end of our ClearSale review. Are you thinking of using ClearSale? Or have you had any experience with this platform? Either way, tell us your thoughts in the comments box below!

Rosie Greaves

Rosie Greaves is a professional content strategist who specializes in all things digital marketing, B2B, and lifestyle. She has over three years of experience crafting high-quality content. Check out her website Blog with Rosie for more information.

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