Here’s what Epoch is and why they charged your credit card.
Epoch is a payment service provider, and they pass bills on from webshops to you.
So if you want to know all about Epoch and why they pop up on your credit card statement, then you’re in the right place.
Let’s get started!
Why Does Epoch Show Up on My Credit Card Statement?
One of the worst feelings is when you get a bill for something you don’t recognize. You might be losing money you can’t afford to miss, and if your identity has been stolen, things are going to be annoying at best.
Sometimes, that sinking feeling will hit you before the news is necessarily bad. Some charges are hard to recognize, but they are legitimate, and your security is intact.
A name that comes up often in this situation is Epoch. Many people see a bill of Epoch, and they don’t know why it’s there. When you know more about Epoch, the whole situation is much less scary.
What Is Epoch?
Epoch is a payment services provider. You can think of the company as being similar to PayPal. It is a company that processes a transaction, and it specifically caters to online purchases. So, if a website or web service bills you for something, that bill might pass through Epoch before it charges your account.
More specifically, Epoch fills a gap in online payment processing by providing services for high-risk merchants. This is a category of industries where PayPal and traditional credit card processors don’t like to get involved. These industries have a higher risk of customers defaulting on purchases, and that can hurt the bottom line for the payment processors.
Some common high-risk industries include hospitality, CBD products, dating services, cryptocurrency, pornography, and firearms. There are plenty more high-risk industries. If you make online purchases from a provider in these industries, there is a good chance that Epoch will process the payment.
How Does Epoch Work?
Ultimately, Epoch works like any credit card processor, like Visa or Mastercard. When you make a purchase with a credit card, the processor (e.g. Visa) acts as a go-between for you, the merchant, and your bank. They handle secure communication, and they guarantee that the merchant will be paid for the transaction.
While they pay the merchant, they bill you (via your bank) for the amount that they paid the merchant. They charge the merchant a small fee for the service, and everyone gets what they wanted from the transaction.
Epoch performs this same service, but they specifically work in the space of online transactions. If you order something online, there is a good chance that Epoch will handle the digital mechanics of the transaction itself.
The major difference between Epoch and a traditional credit card is that both can be involved in a single transaction. Epoch will ultimately bill your credit card rather than your bank. Because of that extra step, your credit card statement will show Epoch as the reason for a charge rather than the original online purchase.
Why Has My Credit Card Been Charged to Epoch?
If your credit card has been charged to Epoch, it means that its information was provided to Epoch to make an online purchase. This transaction can be for virtually anything on the internet.
Epoch does cater to high-risk merchants, but it also works with low-risk merchants. If you buy from an Etsy store, subscribe to online continent, or make any number of other online purchases, there is a good chance that Epoch handles payment processing. That is why you see them on your credit card statement.
If you want to track down the initial transaction, you’ll have to match up the Epoch bill to your original online receipt.
Is Epoch Safe?
Yes. Epoch is as safe as any online payment processor. The company exists to provide security and reliability for online purchases, and they have a reputation for doing that well.
The most common complaint against Epoch involves its inability to directly refund canceled online subscriptions. If you subscribe for online content and decide to cancel, Epoch can only stop future billing. Refunds are handled by the original merchant.
What Should I Do if I Don’t Recognize Charges?
If you find Epoch charges that you do not recognize, you should treat the situation just like you would any other suspicious charge.
You might find that nothing nefarious happened, but it’s always important to investigate the charges. Below are step-by-step instructions to help you.
Check Your Receipts
Epoch’s policy is to email a receipt for every transaction they process. If you have such an email, it will explain the purchase and include the original vendor or merchant.
The Epoch statement on your credit card might not reflect the original purchase, but the Epoch receipt will. If you recognize the purchase in the Epoch receipt, you are fine. If you do not recognize that purchase or never received an email, continue to the next step.
At this point, you are not necessarily a victim of fraud. Sometimes, email addresses are entered incorrectly, or any number of other circumstances can prevent you from receiving your receipt email.
When you contact Epoch, they can bring up their record of the transaction and show it to you. Once you have that information, you can confirm if the charge is for a purchase you made or if it is fraudulent. If you remember making the purchase, everything is fine. If the charge is fraudulent, notify Epoch and continue to the next step.
Notify Your Card Issuer
Log into your account for the card or call the support number. Keep in mind that you want to contact the bank that issued your card, not the processor (such as Visa).
Let them know about the fraudulent charges. Typically, they will immediately deactivate the card to prevent additional bad charges. They can also help you review your account to see if other fraudulent charges occurred.
Most importantly, they will take you through the necessary steps to secure your account. Sometimes, this is as simple as issuing a new card. Sometimes, it can be more involved.
Once your account is secure, they can help you decide how best to involve the authorities.
Notify the Police
For a single fraudulent charge under a hundred dollars, it’s unlikely that the authorities will be able to take much direct action. If you know who committed the fraud or have other identifying information, that changes the game.
The police will be happy to get this information. Without such information, their ability to pursue the perpetrator will be limited. It always helps to provide whatever information you can, but it is important to have reasonable expectations. In most cases, the police will be limited in the help they can provide.
Now that you know what Epoch is and how it works, you don’t have to fear seeing the name on a credit card bill. If ever you receive charges that you did not initiate, you have a process to pursue relief.