How to Fight a Chargeback 101

Fighting chargebacks is important to every business. Whether you process transactions at a point of sale location or operate an e-Commerce business making sure you have implemented a process to dispute your chargebacks is critical. Below we’ve listed the most basic concepts that can be used to begin learning how to dispute chargebacks for Visa and MasterCard transactions. We’ll bring on line processes for American Express and Discover in the near future as their process are different than Visa and MasterCard.


Step 1:  Keep accurate records of data that is easily accessible. By keeping track your sales and products you’ll have a much easier time in collecting the information necessary to combat a chargeback. Lack of organization and access to information can make the chargeback disputation process take more time and reduce the overall value.


Step 2:  Act quickly. Don’t wait until you only have a few days left to respond to a chargeback or retrieval request. By responding in a timely fashion you’ll show your processor that this is of concern to you and that you’re taking matters seriously. This also helps if for whatever reason you need to go back and forth with your processor or find additional supporting documents.

Step 3:  Create chargeback packets or templates. These allow you to quickly input specific relevant transaction information to support your view of the transaction being valid. Packets should include documents that support your case against the chargeback. Everything from a Terms of Use, signed receipt, customer history, usage logs and any other business specific items that prove the transaction was valid.


Tip: Work with your processor to determine how they want the packet to be formatted, the length of the document and the best method of delivery back to them for review. Doing this will ensure the greatest opportunity for speedy review.


Step 4:  Compile and submit your packet to your processor in the form that is most convenient for both you and them. Make sure the packet has the original chargeback documents attached as well as your packet with supporting documents.


Step 5:  Monitor your chargebacks to see which ones you’re successful on and which you’re not. This will help you understand what processes are work for each specific chargeback type. Review Prevent and Win to Maximize Business Potential for further details on how to monitor and track your chargebacks.


Tip: Review the Card Association Rules and Regulations related to chargebacks to better understand what is required for each chargeback type. Another way to understand the best documents to supply is to talk to your chargeback analyst with your processor. They will be able to advise you on the best practices for each chargeback type.


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