Experience-based businesses such as ski areas, resorts, and theme parks are highly susceptible to fraudulent charges made with stolen credit card numbers – resulting in billions of dollars in lost revenue each year.
“We would get disputes, but our payments provider at the time couldn’t quickly trace them back to a specific guest,” said Brett Bagley, VP of product and experience at SnowCloud. “Most resorts just accepted these disputes as a cost of doing business, but it was a lot of money. It’s something that plagues the entire resort and amusement industry.”
As SnowCloud started building out the latest version of SnowPay, its payment processing software, the company needed a payments provider that offered scalability, effortless deployment, and a broad suite of payment options, along with robust tools to fight fraud.
Stripe’s fully integrated suite of products offer a technology-first approach to payments and finance and was just what SnowCloud needed. By integrating Radar for Fraud Teams into SnowPay, SnowCloud was able to create custom rules to reduce fraudulent sharing of ski passes and to block or flag charges based on a cardholder’s Radar risk score, IP address, or geographic location.
“After researching many options, we learned that none were as forward-thinking or future-proof as Stripe,” said Jeff Boliba, chief operating officer at SnowCloud. “We were confident we had found a partner that would enable us to tap into its vast global network to bolster our platform, and allow – for maybe the first time ever – payment processing and access control that are linked, so fraudulent charges can be flagged and our team alerted in real time for denial of access.”
To reduce fraud at the resorts, SnowCloud uses Radar data to automatically block or flag transactions based on Radar risk level. By using this functionality at Mountain Creek Resort in New Jersey, SnowCloud was able to identify suspected fraudulent profile entries. By identifying these profiles in its system and then contacting the individuals, the resort was able to identify an international criminal ring that was selling discounted tickets purchased with stolen credit card numbers, amounting to over $36 million in fraud. The company then coordinated with authorities to pursue legal charges against the local perpetrators.
“Without our partnership with Stripe, we wouldn’t have been able to detect this fraud in the first place,” said Boliba. “Using Stripe Radar for Fraud Teams with SnowCloud’s resort operating software, we can recognise and combat fraud in ways that were never before possible, giving us a distinct advantage over the criminals.”
Beyond Radar’s fraud-fighting capabilities, SnowCloud also uses Stripe Terminal to give resorts reliable in-person payment options and capture on-site payments in retail, food and beverage, and other settings.
15% increase in win rate against dispute transactions
SnowCloud’s SnowPay functionality uses payment data from Stripe to help it challenge fraudulent payment disputes, gaining visibility into when a card was used to make a payment, along with the specific access point, products purchased with the card, and more. By crafting custom rules with Radar for Fraud Teams, SnowCloud has been able to block over $3.2 million in fraudulent transactions over a six-month period.
“Stripe lets us tell the full story when a charge is disputed, and we’ve become more successful fighting disputes,” said Bagley. “A 15% increase in dispute success is huge.”
One payments platform for intuitive, full-featured capabilities and payment data
With Stripe Connect and Stripe Terminal, SnowCloud allows its users to easily capture payments online and on-site. Stripe Radar also enables SnowCloud to leverage payment data to stop fraud as it happens while helping resorts better manage their businesses and serve their guests.
“The ability to integrate the resources of Stripe at on-site purchase locations is a game changer,” Bagley said. “We can use the risk score from Stripe Radar and connect it with SnowCloud data to flag an on-site attendant and say, ‘Ask for ID from this guest.’ Stripe’s tools really opened our eyes to how we could protect our company and our resort partners.”
A future-proof partnership for scalability and growth
“We have enjoyed collaborating with the different Stripe teams that have provided great resources and tools bringing more agility to our business,” said Boliba.
The Stripe partnership enabled SnowCloud to build a unified payments platform to capture payments everywhere, from online bookings to on-site retail, food and beverage, and more. As guests demand more seamless and modern experiences, SnowCloud is dedicated to creating an in-person payments experience for its resort guests, via Tap to Pay, cashless payments, and being able to have a one-stop shop for all purchases on resort property. As resorts consider subscriptions and look to capture more payments across more channels, SnowCloud can continue to rely on Stripe and scale with confidence.
In the future, SnowCloud has a goal to provide a cashless experience for its guests. To help promote this vision, the company plans to implement Tap to Pay to provide guests with more in-person payment options at its on-site resorts. “Stripe helped us rethink the possibilities of what we can do for our customers and their guests,” Bagley said. “As resorts create a more cashless and app-driven customer experience, Stripe and Tap to Pay on iPhone will be a big differentiator for us.”
We’re all in on Stripe. It’s the only payment option we offer because no other solution would allow us to securely scale to the degree we want to scale.