Best Practices for Disruptions

To minimize business disruption and consumer dissatisfaction, CyberSource recommends that merchants consider some or all of the best practices for handling outages.
CyberSource recognizes that service disruptions can greatly impact your business, and for that reason, we continue to invest in redundant, fault-tolerant systems to minimize service disruptions. Unfortunately, despite our efforts, CyberSource service disruptions do occasionally occur. In addition, bank processors sometimes experience outages that are entirely out of CyberSource's control. When these disruptions occur, they can hamper your ability to complete sales in a timely fashion. To capture these sales and ensure customer satisfaction, CyberSource recommends that you consider implementing some or all of the following best practices.

1. Accepting orders during the outage period

Consider adding logic to your systems to accept some or all orders during service disruptions. These transactions can be marked as "pending" within your system and retained internally until the disruption is over.
Once the outage period ends, you can submit the pended transactions to CyberSource to receive a credit card authorization. If the authorization is approved, your processing flow can proceed as normal. If the authorization is declined, contact impacted customers via e-mail or telephone to request another form of payment.

2. Selectively fulfill orders

If possible, you should delay shipping product until after systems come back online and you are able to authorize your customer's credit card. If this is not feasible for any reason, you can reduce your risk of loss by requesting CyberSource to run an Internet Fraud Screen score and/or a Delivery Address Verification look-up to help validate the consumer's identity. You can also use the dollar amount of transactions and the requested shipping priority as part of your criteria in their fulfillment decision.
If you sell digital goods online and don't have the luxury of delaying fulfillment until a later time, you should also consider these techniques to minimize your risk while providing a high quality customer experience.

3. Refer customers to your customer service telephone center

If it is not possible to accept orders and put them into pending status as described previously, consider displaying your customer service telephone number on your eCommerce web site.
CyberSource Professional Services is available for consulting and/or implementation projects in this area. Please contact your Account Manager for more information.
We hope that these suggestions help you to successfully manage the problems associated with any service disruption. If you have any questions regarding these best practices, please don't hesitate to contact your Account Manager or CyberSource Merchant Support.
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