Who are Chargebacks911 and how did you get where you are?
Chargebacks911 is a technology platform provider for end-to-end chargeback and dispute management.
The story of how the company came to be is a unique one. I set up an eCommerce company in the early 2000s. We were growing fast, and our customers liked our products, but I found that chargebacks were seriously cutting into our bottom line.
When I investigated them further, I found that many of these chargebacks were illegitimate and negatively impacting the business, ultimately jeopardising our future. Even the chargebacks that appeared legitimate could be prevented through optimising our processes.
I began scouring the market looking for solutions, but found that there was nothing capable of addressing illegitimate chargebacks on a larger scale. Things were so bad that I almost had to shut my business down. But rather than giving in, I decided to tackle the problem head-on. Even though I had no formal experience in developing a platform, I was able to create a solution to the problem, which worked so well that other businesses and banks started coming to us to consult. This was the seed that eventually grew into Chargebacks911.
What has been your biggest challenge being a Women in Tech?
Overall, one of the most valuable lessons I’ve learned, regardless of being a woman in FinTech, was choosing to listen to myself and my own experience over self-professed “experts,” who said it was better not to react and to consider chargebacks a cost of doing business.
Even though I knew most of the disputes filed against me were invalid, I was advised not to fight back, and so I didn’t. Months went by, and I was losing more and more money with each chargeback. Finally, I said “enough is enough.” I decided to handle things my own way, which proved to be the right decision.
More from Interviews
- Meet Erik Wikander, CEO and Co-Founder At Content Marketing Platform: Zupyak
- Monica Eaton, Founder and CEO of Chargebacks911 and Women In Tech Judge, Explains What She’s Looking for From Entrants
- Meet Owen Thompson, CEO of Cambridge Future Tech
- Investor Insights: Everything You Need To Know About Index Ventures
- Investor Insights: Everything You Need To Know About Downing Capital Group
- Meet Sheryl Cuisia, CEO and Co-Founder, The Engagement Appeal
- Investor Insights: Everything You Need To Know About Sure Valley Ventures
- Meet Lenitha Bishop, Chief Operating Officer At The DPO Centre.
Do you think there is enough being done to support and encourage women in tech? but more specifically in FinTech?
I think it’s certainly true that there are barriers in place for women in tech (and specifically in FinTech). That’s evidenced by the fact that women earn just 19% of computer science degrees. And, even among that small minority, only 38% of women who earn a degree in computer science will end up working in the fields.
I believe that one of the main obstacles is a lack of female role models within our industry. Women who manage to find success in fintech should take it upon themselves to lend a hand to inspire and uplift younger women who wish to walk a similar path. What would help would be for every woman who breaks through the glass ceiling to provide mentorship and build networks among women working in tech.
Do you think there is a lack of women in FinTech? If so, why is that?
I think there is a lack of women in FinTech and fundamentally, it comes down to a workforce pipeline problem. Many young women are unable to see themselves as potential leaders in the FinTech industry, so few commit to learning the skills needed to get in on the ground floor.
There is no quick fix but I believe in education and finding self-worth through effort and hard work. That’s why I created an organisation in the U.S. called Paid for Grades, which provides financial incentives for students who raise their literacy level and overall GPA. I’ve also established the LIFT: Elevating Women Through Mentorship programme, a free mentorship programme that seeks to bridge the gap between established women in the FinTech industry, and those who are still trying to find their way.
Once we foster a wave of young women who are applying to colleges for degrees in STEM, we can start to move toward a truly meritocratic workforce that reflects the real world.