Types of Chargebacks You Should Know About

StrategyDriven Managing Your Finances Article | Entrepreneurship | Risk Management | Types of Chargebacks You Should Know AboutChargebacks have become a menace for online businesses. You risk losing a lot of money and valuable resources when you don’t pay attention to fighting chargebacks. They are transaction reversals that a buyer issues after purchasing products that did not meet the description or for other reasons. An effective way of fighting chargebacks is to understand how they occur and putting into place preventative measures. Here are some common chargeback types that your business might experience.

Chargeback Fraud

A fraud chargeback is a fraudulent request for a refund in the form of a chargeback. The cardholder disputes a transaction to regain the transactional amount and retain the services or products offered.  A chargeback fraud accounts for a significant percentage of all fraud losses. Chargeback fraud occurs when buyers try to take advantage of the chargeback process. They buy the product and try to get their money back by making false claims for the chargeback dispute. While it could be challenging to prevent chargeback frauds, winning such disputes can be equally hard. You can win the conflict by submitting a response with compelling evidence indicating that the buyer is trying to take advantage of you. Also, make sure that you collect all the necessary information from a buyer.

Merchant Error

Merchant error is among the most common chargeback types. While your employees may not intentionally commit a merchant error, its consequences can be dire. Merchant errors are caused by an array of things, including clerical mistakes and system errors. It could also be anything else that doesn’t satisfy your customer. For instance, goods not received or received in an unsatisfactory way and technical issues with your payment process, causing unauthorized errors or duplicate transactions.

Friendly Fraud

It’s an innocent act that could be costly to your business. Friendly fraud doesn’t involve malicious intentions by the cardholder. Professionals, such as Ethoca can help with the measures needed to fight friendly fraud. Some primary causes of friendly fraud include some friends or family members making unknown transactions or forgetfulness. Sometimes a simple action like an unclear product description can trigger a buyer to issue a chargeback for transactions made. An effective way of preventing friendly fraud or generally any chargeback is to tighten measures on your end.

These are some of the common causes of chargebacks. The bottom line is that you need measures to protect your business from any chargeback. Liaise with the professionals to save your reputation and money.

A Small Business Owner’s Emergency Preparedness Checklist

StrategyDriven Managing Your Business Article | Entrepreneurship | A Small Business Owner's Emergency Preparedness ChecklistIf a natural disaster were to impact your city or town, would your small business be prepared for it?

Many small businesses are, unfortunately, not ready for emergency situations. It’s why about 40 percent of small businesses end up closing down following natural disasters and other emergencies.

You can avoid this fate by creating an emergency preparedness checklist for your small business. You should be especially mindful of doing this if your small business is located in an area that gets hit with a lot of hurricanes, tornadoes, earthquakes, and other weather-related emergencies.

Take a look at some of the things you should do as a small business owner to protect your property and, more importantly, yourself and your employees.

Identify Potential Emergency Situations

There are some emergency situations that will pop up out of the blue and catch small business owners completely off guard. If, for example, a car drives through the front of your business, that’s not something you would have been able to predict.

But most of the emergency situations that small businesses face have to do with the weather. And while some of these situations can catch small business owners asleep at the wheel, most of them should be things that are on your radar.

Depending on where your small business is, it could be subjected to:

  • Hurricanes
  • Tornadoes
  • Earthquakes
  • Blizzards
  • Flash Floods
  • Wildfires

Your emergency preparedness checklist should include details on how you’ll respond to each of these things. But it all starts with identifying which of them are most likely to impact your small business.

Figure Out Ways to Respond to Each Specific Type of Emergency

Once you know which types of emergency situations your small business could potentially face, the next order of business will be to figure out how you’ll handle each one. This will require some careful planning on your part.

Sit down and take a look at each type of emergency situation and think about how it could affect your small business. This will help you decide what you’ll need to work your way through an emergency situation.

For instance, if your small business is positioned right in the middle of a city that gets hit with bad hurricanes every few years, you’ll need to find the best ways to respond to hurricanes. You should plan to do it by:

  • Boarding up windows and doors prior to a hurricane touching down in your city
  • Moving electronic equipment to a place where it won’t get wet if water makes its way into your small business
  • Securing anything that could get washed away during flooding in your area

Every emergency situation is a little bit different and will require you to take different steps. The key is outlining a detailed response plan for each individual situation.

Outfit Your Small Business With the Right Tools to Handle Emergencies

In order to respond to emergency situations, you’re going to need to have more than just response plans in place. You’re also going to need a series of tools that will help you carry your plans out.

Prior to a hurricane, for instance, you’ll need to have everything from hammers and nails to plywood and sandbags on hand to prepare your small business. Without these things, it’s going to be difficult to get your small business ready for an emergency.

Yet, you would be surprised to see how many small business owners wait until the very last minute to try and obtain these tools. Some end up not being able to get the tools they need to shore up their small businesses and make emergency situations worse for their businesses.

See which tools you will need to respond to different emergency situations and invest in them long before you ever have to pull them out. It never hurts to have these tools stored away since you never know when you could need them.

Put a Communication System Into Place for Emergency Situations

Communication is going to be of the utmost importance when an emergency situation strikes.

You’re going to need to communicate with your employees to let them know what you need them to do to keep your small business safe. You’re also going to need to communicate with other small business owners in your area so that you can lend a hand to one another.

And of course, you’ll need to communicate with your local police station as well as your local fire station in many cases. You might need to have them come out to assist you with an emergency.

Figure out who from your small business is going to be communicating with others during an emergency situation. Whether it be you, your general manager, or someone else, there should be a point person in place for all communication efforts.

Get Out Ahead of Emergencies as Best You Can

As we mentioned earlier, it’s impossible to predict all emergency situations. There are going to be emergencies that sneak up on you from time to time.

But you can get out ahead of many emergency situations by paying close attention to what’s happening in the news. If there is a hurricane threatening to touch down in your city, you can map its progress and see how much damage it could potentially do to homes and businesses in your area.

This will help you prepare for emergencies so much better than you would be able to otherwise.

Start Checking Items Off Your Emergency Preparedness Checklist Today

You don’t have to allow a hurricane, an earthquake, or another type of emergency to cripple your small business. By creating an emergency preparedness checklist, you can limit the amount of damage that an emergency does.

Use the tips listed here to formulate your own emergency preparedness checklist based on the potential emergency situations your small business might face. You won’t have to worry about an emergency shutting your business down for good when you prepare for it ahead of time.

Read the articles on our blog to find out more about the emergencies that could bring your small business to a halt.

Increasing Trust: Engineering Autonomous Vehicles that Are Safe and Secure

StrategyDriven Risk Management Article | Increasing Trust: Engineering Autonomous Vehicles that Are Safe and SecureThe concept and aspiration for fully autonomous vehicles has been around for at least 40 years. The reality in 2019 depends on who you talk to; it’s either here today, a few years away, or a decade or more before they truly become mainstream.

The Society of Automotive Engineers has defined six levels of autonomy from level 0 – 5. While manufacturers have been working hard on the development of autonomous vehicles, the reality is that today the vast majority of vehicles for sale are only capable of providing level 2 assistance features. Level 2 automated driving is defined as systems that provide steering and brake/acceleration support, as well as lane centering and adaptive cruise control. The human at the wheel must be driving and constantly supervising the automated features. A few OEM’s in-market today have been working towards Level 3 & 4 automation, meaning the car can take over most driving functions , but the driver must still be able to intervene at any time.

For most automakers, in order to reach this goal, incremental technological and commodity changes will not be enough. Instead, to achieve the full road map of autonomy will require a transition to a complete automotive platform inclusive of AI-enabled microprocessors, software, new architectures and levels of performance to be deployed scalably.

Navigating the Path to Pervasive Autonomy

Because of the emphasis on commodity-based engineering, workflow in a typical OEM has a very long lead time and cycle. Worst case cycle times have ideas begin in the research factory maturing over several years leading to product engineering where they take around 3-4.5 years.

For these main reasons and many smaller ones, this approach is not scalable nor cost effective as we move into the 21st century.

One of the cornerstones of the new architecture is the concept of a layered software-based platform which allows for the addition and deletion of software defined capability in each layer (see below). This facilitates features to run as “applications” executed on top of the service platform like PC or mobile phone which provide the ability to change (extend or restrict) the performance.

The impact of these rationalization and transformation initiatives are providing significant value for the OEM as well as the end-consumer:

  • The amount of wiring can be reduced (cost)
  • This allows further weight reduction of the car
  • Increased performance and/or driving range (performance/emissions)
  • Reduce manufacturing cost and time.

The end-picture and future benchmark to consider is provided by Tesla. Through digital connectivity within the car an ultimate level of rationalization will bring cabling requirements from about 5 km of wiring today to 100 m in a Tesla Model Y.

Tesla also recognized early that hardware rationalization and connectivity capabilities outside of the vehicle system would be paramount to unlock and accelerate the uptake of the ACES (Autonomous, Connected, Electric and Shared Mega-Trends) trends, which would ultimately not only provide the revenue streams of the future but also leverage AI benefits across the different functionalities inside and outside of a vehicle.

The commercial confirmation and practical demonstration of this flexibility can be seen at Tesla where they have already established this software working environment and pushing new autonomous and AI benchmarks as announced in April 2019.

In a world of static automotive features, closed systems and changes made through recalls and other legacy methods, such an architecture is viable. However, to achieve the three automotive pillars of being safe, secure and smart, fully autonomous vehicles need to have a more open, integrated hardware and software systems architecture vs. siloed and disconnected. Autonomous vehicles must possess architectures that allow subsystems to work together to harness and exchange data in real-time to make intelligent decisions.
The sooner this transformation happens, the sooner Level 5 autonomous vehicles will become a reality.

Solution for Autonomous Driving

Wave Computing, for instance, offers a full range of SoC solutions designed specifically for the automotive industry. The company’s MIPS technology-based ISO-26262 certified processors enable OEMs to design, develop and scale their vehicle software architectures in a secure environment. The architecture includes hardware multithreading with support for up to four threads and the ability to run two instructions simultaneously during every clock cycle. And Wave Computing’s TritonAI 64 IP platform enables developers to address a wide range of automotive AI use cases with a single comprehensive platform, including optimized AI libraries.

Whether next year, five years or a decade, the dream of fully autonomous driving will become a reality. To fulfill that dream, however, automotive manufacturers must make major changes to their automotive architectures and supply chains. Transforming what was once a rigid hardware platform of siloed features and functions, to a fully systems-based software platform won’t happen overnight, but it’s a critical component to delivering Level 5 autonomous vehicles that are safe, secure and smart.

About the Author

Steve Brightfield, Senior Director of CPU and AI IP, MIPS Machines Div, Wave Computing. For more information, please visit

Winter Is Coming, So Protect Your Business With Its Very Own (Fire)Wall

Game of Thrones fans across the world have spent years marveling at Jon Snow’s dedication to his all-important wall. While business lessons are probably few and far between in Game of Thrones, his dedication to keeping his country safe is one that any company should take on board. You might not need a physical brick wall outside your office, but that doesn’t mean you can’t still use a wall of some kind to keep your company safe.

Virus and spyware protection services like those offered by Charles are a first port of call for any company that wants to keep their data and customers safe. And, once you put managed security services like these in place, you can bet that a firewall will soon follow.

Unlike Jon Snow’s physical wall, Wikipedia describes a firewall as ‘…a network security system that monitors and controls incoming and outgoing network traffic based on predetermined security rules.’ But, what exactly can a security measure like this do for your company?

Your first line of defense

The GOT wall is the first line of defense in case of attack, and your business network firewall is no different. Viruses or malware on a business computer can have a catastrophic impact on your company’s operations and reputation. In fact, malicious malware that steals customer information could cripple your company altogether. In a sense, a firewall works as a shield against attacks like these. Whether you put one in place or trust a managed security service to do it for you, this is a way to improve security with little real effort on your part.

A way to stop anyone getting in (or out)

Like any good wall, a firewall provides a solid support to stop things getting either in or out of your company network. Strong firewalls will inspect the flow of traffic both ways, monitoring and blocking viruses as and when they arise. A firewall can also prevent unauthorized websites to ensure no unwanted pages find their way into your office. As well as keeping your company safe, then, a well-installed firewall can keep distractions like social media and personal browsing well clear of your work environment, and can make for increased productivity all around.

pasted image 0 5A safe place from which to spot trouble

Our GOT favorites continually patrol their wall for any sign of trouble, and this is yet another benefit that a firewall can bring to you. Far from just blocking viruses as they arise, a firewall can work wonders for foreseeing and even warning you of coming trouble. For instance, any firewall will log potential intrusions or unauthorized activity, thus allowing you to check out possible problems before they arise. By foreguessing and blocking malicious applications, your firewall can even do a pretty good job at its own patrol out of office hours.

For these reasons and more, a firewall is vital for security in any business setting. As a company owner, you should, therefore, go forth and be the watcher on the firewall.

Business Risks and How to Prepare for Them

StrategyDriven Risk Management Article | Business Risks and How to Prepare for ThemBusiness is a risky game and one threat that arises that you weren’t ready for can have a devastating impact. Risk management plays a big role in the finance department who are constantly assessing for risks that could impact the company’s cash flow or investments. However, there are a number of other risks that all departments have a view of that can cause big problems if not assessed and prepared for in advance.

Data Breaches

One of the biggest risks to all businesses in modern times if the risk of being the victim of a cyber-attack. Criminals are on the hunt for a range of information from businesses. The most common data they go after are customers personal details. These could include, names, addresses, bank details, and credit card numbers.

There can be huge fines and PR consequences if businesses are found to have been incompetent with their data management. Another piece of information that criminals are looking for is IP information. Stealing intellectual property is becoming very common now and businesses need to have the right systems and processes in place to protect IP that could be worth millions or billions of dollars.

Injured workers

It’s estimated that every 7 seconds a worker is injured in their place of work. Many of the injuries sustained are avoidable but it costs businesses millions of dollars and time in lost production to compensate workers for losses.

Among the questions employees regularly have about workers compensation are ‘how long does it take to receive workers comp’ and ‘are workers comp benefits taxable’. Being clear with your employees about the processes and health and safety procedures you have in place will help to minimize the risk of people being injured at work. This, in turn, will lead to fewer claims if people are more aware of the safety precautions that they need to take.

Product Recalls

There have been many high profile cases of product recalls in recent years, one of the main ones being the Volkswagen emissions scandal. This originally began in 2015 when the EPA found that Volkswagen had been deliberately tampering with their emissions outputs.

There is no limit to the damage a product recall can have on a business. Some businesses have been so badly affected that they have declared bankruptcy and closed down. Implementing tight quality controls and regularly auditing processes, machinery and staff are good ways to ensure that the risk of having a product recall issue is lowered.

Even if your business has never had a product recall issue, you should have a process in place in case this does ever happen. Along with how you will identify a defective product you must think about how you will get the message out to consumers that they need to return the product and what your policy will be on refunds or exchanges. Just as important will also be your PR strategy and how you manage a potential customer or industry backlash.