ARC Risk Check Q&A

Q&A – Keeping Fraud Down When Business Ramps UP

On our recent webinar, Keeping Fraud Down When Business Ramps Up, there were questions about fraud in general, the ARC Risk Check service and managing chargebacks and debit memos. We weren’t able to answer all the questions live, so we addressed those questions with answers below.


What is friendly fraud?

Friendly fraud occurs when a customer files a chargeback instead of trying to first obtain a refund from the merchant. Authorized cardholders dispute legitimate charges to their credit cards, pushing the bank to force a refund under the pretense that the merchant made an error.

How do you get the free two-month free ARC Risk Check enrollment?

You can register with our partner, Perseuss.

Using ARC Risk Check

How do you obtain an IP address of a customer?

A customer’s IP address is not a required element to search in ARC Risk Check. You can check a customer without it.

Usually, an IP address can be found in the header details of an email if you have one. There are also online tools which can help you to trace an IP address. Here is an example of a tool for determining IP addresses.

Do you recommend doing a risk check on all customers or just customers you are unsure about? Does performing a risk check help ARC grow their data?

We recommend checking a customer when you have a concern or are working with someone new. The data you use to perform a check enhances results for the entire industry, but it doesn’t become “ARC data.”

Is this a free tool or is there a charge for the agency?

For now, you can access ARC Risk Check for free for two months. Should you opt in to continue using it, there is a subscription fee that is outlined on the ARC website. If you are interested in an API connection based on volume, please contact ARC.

Is credit card information used? For example, someone who commonly disputes charges that they actually made (friendly fraud)?

Card data is not something that is used in ARC Risk Check. If you know the card holder’s name, your search will return a risk score for that individual.

Is there an option or link that can be used by an agency to verify “credit card not present?”

That function is not part of ARC Risk Check. In most instances, if the card is compromised, the fraudster has all the information to avoid the checks and balances that a business would perform.

Our agency has been using credit card verification in the GDS with the CVV format. Is there is an updated format or option used to validate credit cards?

There are a number of add-on solutions you can use to verify the card. I would start by asking the GDS what more they can do for you as their business partner to validate the card.

Is it possible to check against data from industries outside travel?

Travel and bank merchants are the backbone of the Perseuss database. When you run a search, ARC Risk Check provides detail on how many times this fraud has been reported by the community. The majority of data points that are checked have been seen before.

The ARC Risk Check subscription fee allows one person to login. Can anyone in the company login to this or will have to be ARC specialist.

There are many subscription types that allow more than one user to login (Plus and Premium). The person having access doesn’t need to be ARC specialist. It should be a person who is responsible for managing fraud within your company.

How quick is the response to a request for an expert opinion once clicking the “get help” button?

We try our best to respond within the void window of 24 hours or less.

Does ARC Risk Check verify any credit card (US, Canadian, European)?

Credit card verification is not part of ARC Risk Check. It calculates the risk score based on historical fraud data including email addresses, names, phone numbers and IP addresses.

Chargebacks and Debit Memos

How do we contest a debit memo that we received for a chargeback from a customer who used the tickets?

Contact the airline and ask them to provide the manifest showing that the passenger boarded the plane. Use this documentation as your support when disputing the chargeback.

Does ARC Risk Check automatically search on common variances of names, e.g. “Frederick” in addition to “Fred”?

At this time, ARC Risk Check searches for an exact match of the data that were entered.

It takes almost 90 days to close a chargeback dispute. Is there a way to push credit card companies and acquirers to improve this process?

There is always a benefit to get this time period turned around and there are many industry groups working on this. Please refer to the Payments Forum webpage on ARC’s website for information on how you can get involved in driving change.

Due to COVID-19, some international airlines are processing refunds via checks instead of the original form of payment (FOP). This is an issue because passengers can dispute the transaction saying they didn't receive the funds back to their original FOP, after they received the check for the refund. Is there anything ARC can do regarding this since I thought all refunds have to go back to the original FOP?

Correct, all refunds must be returned to the original FOP. The change could result in a potential debit memo to your agency. You and the airline need to work together to dispute that chargeback. In these instances, the travel agency should also flag the transaction via ARC Memo Manager using the code COVID19 in the Agency Reason field. This will signal ARC to not take action. Additional details can be found on the ARC website.

If an airline has not refunded a nonrefundable ticket but that ticket possibly may qualify for a refund due to a COVID-19 cancellation, can the passenger contest the charge with the credit card company?

Yes. The card holder always has that right. It is up to the travel agency and the airline to provide detailed information as part of the dispute to offset against the card holder’s claim.


Is the agency protected if fraud is not detected but is later reported?

ARC Risk Check shows you the risk involved with accepting a booking based on the available data. The final decision and responsibility are the responsibility of the agency.

Are there insurance coverages available to protect against chargebacks?

Historically there have been companies that will insure this type of exposure. Recently, and due to the unprecedented volumes of refunds and chargebacks, insurers have retracted this service. Other service providers might guarantee your transactions to be free from fraud. If there is a chargeback, they will pay for it; however, those type of services can be expensive.

At what point would Perseus accept full or partial responsibility for a fraudulent transaction processed by an agency? In other words, if a credit card's information was vetted by Perseus and was found to be 100% trustworthy and a chargeback or other fraudulent issue resulted in a chargeback to the agency, would Perseus accept responsibility?

ARC Risk Check gives you a recommendation based on the available data whether to accept or reject a booking. There's no guarantee; the final decision is the responsibility of the agency.