Dispute Management and Prevention

What You Know Could Save You Money

The term "dispute" describes the process that occurs once a customer refuses to accept responsibility for a charge on his credit card. It may also be initiated by the issuing bank due to a technical issue, such as no authorization approval code received. Disputes are something every business owner wants to avoid, as they can result in lost revenue. Subscribe to the online dispute management system to receive notification of your disputes through our online reporting tools, and respond to them electronically.

Why You May Have Received a Dispute

There are many reasons why disputes happen, but these are some of the most common. Your customer:

  • Did not receive a product or service
  • Does not recognize the charge or business name on his credit card statement
  • Believes the product or service was defective, damaged or not as it was described
  • Was a victim of fraud - his credit card was stolen or used without consent

Tips for Preventing Disputes

The best way to prevent disputes is to establish best practices at the point of sale that are followed consistently by all employees.

For example, always process a refund back to the original card number. Do not refund by check or cash. If credit is due on more than one sale, process each credit individually.

Read more dispute prevention tips and answers to frequently asked questions.

What You Can Expect

The dispute process involves many players: the customer, their issuing bank, the payment brand (for example, Visa or MasterCard), the acquirer/processor (such as Merchant Services) and you, the business.

If your customer appears to have a reasonable claim, the issuing bank will make a temporary credit payment to your customer and this begins the dispute process. Funds for the credit to the cardholder are debited from your merchant account during this process.

You'll receive notification of the dispute via fax, physical mail or the online dispute management system. If you submit proper documentation and successfully challenge the dispute in the necessary timeframe, the dispute funds will be returned to you. If you do not submit documentation in time, or you are unsuccessful in challenging the dispute, the dispute funds will not be returned to you.

Avoiding and Managing Disputes

Disputes can cost you time and money – but it's important to remember that many can be prevented and often it begins with comprehensive employee training.

Learn more about the dispute process and what you can do to prevent them.