MasterCard Takes Mystery Out of Digital Statements


Most—if not all—merchants have encountered a situation like this: A customer looks at a credit card statement and does not recognize a charge. Instead of trying to find out more—or after an unsuccessful attempt to find out more—the customer becomes convinced that they have been a victim of fraud. The end result: the merchant is hit with a chargeback.

Mastercard Takes Mystery Out of Digital Statements

But MasterCard is planning changes that have strong potential to eliminate such headaches. Such changes, Johan Gerber, MasterCard’s executive vice president of security and cyber-innovation, told, are imperative if costs related to chargebacks and disputes remain unchecked. Gerber pegged those costs as reaching $8.6 billion in the U.S. alone by 2021.

The changes come under the umbrella of an initiative by MasterCard and Ethoca, its fraud and dispute resolution technology arm, to inject some clarity into consumer card statements. One change is the option for a merchant’s logo to be placed next to transactions in digital banking applications. This will enable consumers to see clearly what a transaction is and that it is legitimate.

In an interview with, Gerber said the presence of the logo makes it possible for consumers to view “everything they need to know about (a) transaction”—the identity of the merchant, the logo, and the descriptor. He noted that MasterCard wants to work with its merchants “to say, ‘Give us your logos and we will match that transaction to your business. And we will actually enable the issuing banks, so the bank that (issued) a credit card can actually put an enriched descriptor (with) the merchant name.”

MasterCard also plans to attach images of digital receipts to online statements, permitting consumers to obtain a complete view of any transaction in question through a simple click. On the back end, this will be enabled by artificial intelligence (AI) and various other technology components.

“This solution goes well beyond solving a pain point of the money being spent to resolve chargebacks,” Gerber stated in the interview. “We’re empowering our consumers to know what’s going on and allowing ourselves to spend the ‘mind share’ on more strategic things,’” Gerber said the solution will help consumers focus on activities like analyzing the impact of a purchase on their spend, understand where their credentials are being held, and remain cognizant that there is one place to get the details of what they spend and how they spend without searching through receipts in their email.

No timeline for the changes has been announced, but we at E-Complish applaud the initiative and hope these developments come sooner rather than later.

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