What is a Chargeback?
First and foremost, let’s explain what exactly a chargeback is.
According to Investopedia,
“A chargeback is a charge that is returned to a payment card after a customer successfully disputes an item on their account statement or transactions report. A chargeback may occur on debit cards (and the underlying bank account) or on credit cards. Chargebacks can be granted to a cardholder for a variety of reasons.”
Some of the reasons chargebacks are granted are because a customer didn’t receive an item they paid for, a charge may have been accidentally duplicated, or their card was stolen, and the purchase(s) are fraudulent.
However, fraudulent chargebacks also exist that are unfortunately due a consumer knowingly (and unfairly) disputing a charge. Also known as “friendly fraud,” this occurs when a shopper purchases something with their own credit card and then requests a chargeback after receiving the purchased items or services.
The Chargeback Process
When a chargeback occurs, it typically includes a four-step process:
1. Initial Dispute: The cardholder begins a dispute and the bank issues the customer a temporary line of credit (meaning they get their money back, but it’s not completely settled yet).
2. Bank Communication: The cardholder’s bank sends the transaction back to the merchant’s bank and they communicate to get more information about the transaction.
3. Bank Decision: The two banks continue to communicate and either resolve the issue, or the merchant’s bank issues the merchant a chargeback notification.
4. Merchant Action: You, the merchant, either accept or dispute the chargeback.
So, how often do chargebacks occur and what do they cost you, the retailer? Alarmingly, chargebacks are increasing at a rate of 20% per year, and nearly 86% of chargebacks are likely cases of “friendly fraud.”
Discover more chargeback facts and figures in the below infographic from Expert Market:
How to Avoid Chargeback and Dispute Chargeback
While the frequency of chargebacks (and “friendly fraud”) can feel jarring, don’t worry, there are actions you can take as a retailer to avoid and dispute chargebacks.
Below are several ways your business can take control of the situation:
- Keep record of tracking numbers and delivery confirmation, if applicable. This can help you prove that a customer did indeed receive their order if they are claiming they did not.
- Keep chat transcripts with the customer (whether the conversation occurred via email, live chat, social media, or elsewhere).
- Write an informative, persuasive rebuttal letter including the amount that you are disputing, the reason code of the chargeback, and a detailed outline describing why the documents you are providing prove that the disputed transaction is indeed legitimate.
- Always provide a printed receipt in your brick and mortar location and keep copies of your receipts whether they are digital or printed.
The Value of Printed Receipts
Printed receipts are extremely important as you dispute chargebacks. As mentioned above, one of the first steps of the investigation is when the customer’s bank and the merchant’s bank communicate. A part of this action is to request a copy of the original transaction receipt from you, the business owner. Providing detailed receipts can not only help identify “friendly fraud,” but can also quickly solve the issue in the case that the customer simply didn’t recognize the charge on their account, but it is indeed legitimate.
To ensure the process goes as smoothly as possible, make sure that your receipts contain all of the information needed to meet the retrieval request standard of major card networks like Visa and Mastercard. This information includes:
- Merchant name and location
- Transaction date
- Merchant location code
- Description of goods or services
- Account number or token (it’s recommended to conceal everything but the expiration date and the last four digits of the account number)
- Payment card brand
- Transaction amount
- Authorization code, if applicable
- Space for cardholder signature, if applicable
- Return/refund policy
You can learn more about how to dispute chargebacks by visiting ChargebackGurus.com.
Star’s 5 Best Receipt Printers
Star offers several top-rated printers suited for a variety of retail, restaurant, and hospitality locations.
Meet Star’s Receipt Printers
The benefits of printed receipts don’t stop there. The right receipt printer not only helps you fight fraud, but can optimize your business’s operations, connect you to the industry’s most popular online ordering platforms, and enhance the aesthetics of your store.
Star is proud to offer a wide variety of receipt printers, ranging from those with ultra-modern designs to tried-and-true affordable industry leaders. Explore three of the most popular Star receipt printers below:
3” thermal printer
CloudPRNT for online ordering
Ethernet (LAN), USB, USB-C, Lightning, Bluetooth
Learn more >
Affordable and reliable
Ethernet (LAN), USB, Lightning, WLAN, Bluetooth
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Receipt printer/cash drawer combo
Compact Flat Bill cash management
iOS, Android, Windows tablet compatibility
Learn more >