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Account Updater: What you need to know

A compromised credit card number and its replacement used to be a nightmare of updating every recurring billing and automatic payments vendor with your new number.

Now, Account Updater, a service offered through all major credit cards, provides consumers with a seamless customer experience for ensuring the smooth transition of your data. But the benefits of Account Updater go beyond just consumer de-hassling. Minimizing the friction of a customer getting a new credit card also helps merchants.

What exactly does Account Updater do?

Account Updater ensures merchants have the most up-to-date information on their customers. Whenever recurring billing or subscriptions services are involved, this help guarantee a more seamless billing cycle.

There are two ways a merchant can use the Account Updater service provided through major credit cards such as Visa, MasterCard, American Express and others.

  1. All customer account data is sent through Account Updater prior to billing, in hopes of stopping a potential decline from ever happening thanks to consistent, up-to-date customer information
  2. The second way to use Account Updater is after a transaction declines. That transaction and customer data can be sent to the Account Updater program and an attempt can be made to obtain updated customer credit card data
      • Account Updater can also notify a merchant of an Account Closure so the merchant will cease attempting to authorize this payment
      • Account Updater can send Contact Customer information so the merchant can reach out to the consumer for updated information

There are myriad reasons a transaction can decline. These include: Expired credit card; credit card has been cancelled or replaced; the card’s credit limit is reached; there are insufficient funds, and more. Each of these declines will have its own specific decline reason code, helping to identify the source of the problem.

Will Account Updater affect chargeback levels?

The expectation is that Account Updater should not have much of an impact on a merchant’s chargeback percentage. Based off the different decline reason codes a merchant sends to Account Updater, they could potentially see higher numbers of chargebacks from certain decline reason codes versus others. Every merchant should monitor chargeback levels to determine whether or not an increase is seen.

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