Good Idea: “What is this charge on my credit card?” Page

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Chris Coyier on

In looking over my last month’s credit card charges, I saw one I didn’t immediately recognize:

Well, it’s a URL: WP-FEE.COM, so I checked it out. It’s a redirect to a URL of a page that explains what this charge could have been:

Oh yeah, of course, my VaultPress subscription.

Now this isn’t a new idea. We do it at Wufoo as well.

And we got the idea from 37 signals.

In googling around for others that do this, I found a good one from SlideRoom:

Via PayPal

If you accept payments via PayPal, and you have an account that is dedicated to one business, you should consider putting in a URL as your “Credit Card Statement Name” so that people have an immediate resource for checking into that charge.

I have PayPal Pro, so as of this writing, to get to that preference, it’s My Account > Profile > Payment receiving preferences (Under Security and risk settings). Toward the bottom of those settings:

Now I didn’t tell it to, but my phone number also appears on credit card statements next to that name. I’d recommend using something like Grasshopper to have a phone number you can use on your PayPal account with a prerecorded message that explains essentially the same thing the URL would explain.

I’m sure other payment gateways or merchants or providers or whatever you call them have similar ways to change what appears on people’s credit card statements.

Do this

Now you might think, yeah sure, for big fancy companies with thousands of users being charged every month, this is good, but I’m just a small guy, it’s not worth the effort. Not true. When selling Digging Into WordPress we accepted online payment that were just one-off payments and on a much smaller scale than these other services. Yet, at peak sales, I would sometimes get one phone call a day asking what this charge was on their card. Certainly not how any of us want to be spending time.