What is a chargeback?

A disputed payment occurs whenever a shopper questions any goods or services you provide.

When a shopper disputes a transaction made at your website, we use a standard card scheme 'disputes procedure' to resolve the dispute (which involves the shopper, the card-issuer, and you). At Worldpay we are not directly involved but provide the Disputes Management page that enables you to manage and work on Chargebacks.

The chargeback process

If a shopper disputes a transaction made at your website, the amount is ’charged back’ to you. But you do not deal direct with the shopper, instead you deal with the card issuer and the bank that processes your transactions. This is because the chargeback process, that takes money from your account to pay back the transaction, is automatic.

The disputes procedure decides whether you get the disputed payment, or if a refunded amount should go to the cardholder's account. The process that returns the funds to the shopper's card issuer - when the shopper has successfully disputed a transaction - is known as a 'chargeback.' 

Reducing the number of chargebacks

To reduce the number of these chargebacks and avoid losing money, you must monitor your disputed transactions and be quick to answer any requests for information (RFIs) that our payment service forwards to you.

If you have a high percentage of disputed transactions you must take corrective action to prevent disputes. For example, you might improve customer services, resolve issues that are a common cause of disputes, or enhance your fraud prevention procedures. 

The chargeback time frame

The chargeback time frame varies depending on the reason for the transaction dispute and which card issuer raises the chargeback.

The cardholder/shopper can dispute a payment up to several months after the "purchase date.” The purchase date is one of the following:

Typically, the card issuer then has up to 190 days from this day to successfully dispute and recover the payment on behalf of the cardholder.

Any guarantee, membership or subscription period purchased as part of the transaction may be added to the 190 day period. For example, it is possible to fully or partially chargeback goods with a 12 month guarantee (as stated on the web site), within 545 days of the "purchase date". 

Because of the amount of time involved, try to keep good documentation about all transactions and the delivery of the goods/services.

Statements and reports about your transactions

The Merchant Interface provides you with statements and reports about the transactions you receive but you must also be vigilant about keeping any delivery documentation and documentation containing the cardholder’s signature.

In this section we outline the process involved when a cardholder disputes a transaction. We also explain your role and advise you on how to reduce the number of chargebacks that occur.

See also: