Travel Agent Communications

PED 03/09/2014

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Liat Airlines (140/LI) No Longer Accepts American Express

Effective PED March 16, 2014 (sales as of March 10, 2014), Liat Airlines (140/LI) will no longer accept American Express credit cards as a form of payment through ARC.


Agent Notification: Carrier Policies Now Accessible

We are pleased to announce that as of Monday, March 3, 2014, links to the carriers' policies were added to the Participating Carriers page on ARC's corporate website. The links were added in response to a request from the Debit Memo Working Group. ARC now provides these links so travel agents have quick and easy access to carriers' ticketing and debit memo policies.

As always, our Customer Care Center representatives are available to answer any of your questions at (855) 816-8003 or ccchelp@arccorp.com.


Important Message Regarding Unembossed Credit Cards

In today's rapidly changing payment environment, travel agents are seeing more and more unembossed credit cards being tendered as payment for airline tickets and other travel-related services. Unembossed credit cards, designed primarily for use at electronic point-of-sale terminals or for card not present transactions (internet or phone), lack the raised numbers, letters and symbols necessary for a card imprint.

To avoid financial liability for a chargeback where the cardholder alleges fraud, credit card company rules require a valid authorization (aka approval code), cardholder signature and, in instances where a card's magnetic stripe cannot be read and processed by an electronic point of sale terminal, a card imprint. Since card imprints cannot be obtained for unembossed credit cards, travel agents who accept these cards are encouraged to evaluate the risk that the transaction could be fraudulent before accepting the transaction, since there is no way to obtain the necessary supporting documentation in the event of a fraud chargeback. Travel agents unwilling to take the risk that they will be financially liable for the transaction paid with an unembossed card are encouraged to request another form of payment.

Customers with questions or concerns regarding an unembossed credit card should be directed to contact the financial institution that issued the card. The issuer's telephone number is generally listed on the back of the card.

ARC offers additional credit card fraud prevention resources, including a Guide to Credit Card Acceptance and Chargebacks and a Credit Card Red Flag Guide, available online on our fraud prevention page using your My ARC login.


Criminals Pretending To Be From Well Known International Entities

Agents continue to receive emails from prospective customers who pretend to be from a well known, international company or entity associated with foreign governments (e.g., consulates, companies promoting foreign tourism or business opportunities, etc.). The email seeks a travel agent to fulfill their requests for international airline ticketing (currently for South America departures from BOG and EZE). The criminal sets up a fake domain to look like his or her emails are coming from the well known company. He or she may use most of a real domain name and add a dash or underscore. The fraudster will provide photoshopped/fake passports, driver's licenses and credit cards.

Before you issue tickets for an unsolicited international corporate account, you may want to contact ARC's Fraud Prevention Team, since we may be able to immediately advise you of potential or confirmed fraud.

What to consider as high risk:

  • Non-local company approaching you to do international tickets
  • International tickets (South American airports, such as BOG, LIM, EZE and GRU, or African airports, such as ACC, DKR and ABJ) for immediate or next-day departures
  • Third-party transactions (caller, passenger and cardholder are not the same)
  • Extensions in email addresses of a well known international company, e.g., using a dash, such as visitmexico-us.com instead of visitmexico.com
  • Newly set up websites rarely belong to a well established international company, or you may find that the domain was set up in a different country than the international company requesting tickets. Verify the domain address, especially those with extensions, e.g., visitmexico-us.com, through whois.com to determine where and when the site was created.
  • Use of multiple credit cards
  • Driver's license/passport/credit card copies sent to you appear fuzzy and contain errors, e.g., using GI instead of GA for Georgia on a driver's license.
  • Credit cards may not be signed.

What should you do if you suspect compromised credit cards? Act quickly to properly void transactions with confirmed compromised credit cards through your GDS to obtain the ESAC code from the carrier's e-ticket database.

Contact ARC's Fraud Prevention department for more ways to identify possible compromised credit cards and important follow-up information at fifp@arccorp.com,
(703) 816-8137 or (855) 358-0393.


Webinar: Credit Card Acceptance and Fraud Prevention Best Practices

The travel industry continues to be hit hard by fraud, and it very frequently involves credit cards. In 2014, ARC is focusing on reducing fraud in the industry, and education is a large part of the initiative. This webinar originally took place on Wednesday, February 19. For those unable to attend the first session, we are scheduling an additional session to take place on Friday, March 14 at 2:00 p.m. EST.

This webinar will cover general credit card acceptance and fraud prevention best practices.

  • The credit card acceptance process – authorization through settlement
  • Best practices for managing risk in a card not present world
  • The credit card chargeback policy
  • Basic tips to increase your chances of "winning" chargebacks
  • Tips for dealing with "friendly fraud"

You can now register for the additional Credit Card Acceptance and Fraud Prevention Best Practices Webinar.

If you have questions, would like additional information or see activity you suspect is fraud, please contact the team at fifp@arccorp.com.


2011 ARC Transaction History File Now Available

ARC's Transaction History File containing your organization's transaction data for all of 2011 is now available on CD. Starting in April, ARC will begin purging the oldest data from its Document Retrieval Service (DRS), which provides online access to the past 39 months of ticketed transaction data.

ARC's Transaction History File provides you with your settled and voided transaction information for all PEDs in 2011. It comes equipped with free viewer software that allows you to easily search for a specific transaction, view it on screen and print it onto a single page. Plus, the software is self-contained—there's nothing to install.

You can import the Transaction History File into several popular software programs, such as Microsoft Excel and Access, in order to create reports, manage, sort and analyze the data as you please. For more information, please call (703) 816-8530, email businessdevelopmentsupport@arccorp.com or visit ARC's Transaction History File page online.


Tip of the Week: Sixty Seconds to Update the Agency Email Address or Telephone

It really does take just sixty seconds to update your agency's email address, telephone or fax number with ARC! You can make these updates as often as necessary. Please remember that keeping your agency's contact information updated will ensure you can always be contacted promptly by ARC and/or our participating carriers regarding important information, and avoid unnecessary delays.

Please follow these steps:

  1. Select the Accreditation tool from the drop-down list in your My ARC toolbox. (If the Accreditation tool is not in your toolbox, you can request tool access via your My ARC Primary Administrator. Your My ARC Primary Administrator may then approve your request.)
  2. Once logged in to the Accreditation tool, the homepage will display your agency's general info such as the ARC number, agency name, phone number, fax number and email address.
  3. Simply type in the updated information in the appropriate field for phone, fax or email address.
  4. Log out of the Accreditation tool by clicking on close, and your agency info will be updated instantly.

Using the Accreditation tool, you can also make updates such as minor address changes, changes in personnel and redistribution of shares to existing shareholders—formerly a Type I Ownership Change—at no cost.

If you have any questions or concerns, please contact the Customer Care Center at (855) 816-8003 or ccchelp@arccorp.com. As always, we are more than happy to talk with you.


Please distribute the ARC TAC among staff and colleagues.


ARC Customer Care Center | Tel. (703) 816-8003 | Fax (703) 816-8039 | csc@arccorp.com

ARC Corporate Communications | Tel. (703) 816-8525 | Fax (703) 816-8168 | corpcom@arccorp.com

www.arccorp.com