Resolve disputes quickly

Learn the basics about how to handle chargebacks.

Protect your business

Although most sales transactions are processed, posted and paid for with few problems, Visa has an efficient process for settling disputes.

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Safeguard your business with the right information

Chargebacks refer to the reversal of the dollar value (in whole or in part) of a transaction by the card issuer to the acquirer, and usually, by the merchant bank to the merchant. Chargeback can be costly for merchants—you could lose both the dollar amount of the transaction as well as the related merchandise, and may also incur internal handling costs.

Understand the chargeback process


Step 1: A cardholder disputes a transaction

A cardholder contacts their issuer to question a charge on their billing statement.


Step 2: Find the transaction receipt

Your acquirer contacts you for an accurate copy of the transaction record.


Step 3: Send a copy to your acquirer

Promptly fax or mail an accurate, legible copy to keep the process on track.

State your policies clearly at the time of transaction.
Your policy should be pre-printed on your sales receipts; if not, make sure to add the policy information on the sales receipt near the customer signature line before the customer signs. Be sure that the policy is legible on all copies of the sales receipt. Failure to disclose such policies at the time of transaction could be disadvantageous should the customer try to return the purchase.

Deposit your sales and credit receipts within one to five days of the transaction date—do not hold on to them. Failure to deposit receipts in a timely manner can result in “late presentment” chargebacks.

Ensure that incorrect sales receipts are voided and that transactions are processed only once. Entering the same transaction into a terminal more than once, or depositing both the merchant copy and the bank copy of the sales receipt with your acquirer, or depositing the same transaction with more than one merchant bank can all result in “duplicate transaction” chargebacks.

If delivery of the cardholder’s purchase will be delayed, let the cardholder know about the delay as well as the new expected delivery or service date.

Don’t deposit transactions with your merchant bank until you have shipped the related merchandise. If customers see a transaction on their monthly Visa statement before they receive the merchandise, it could lead to a preventable chargeback.


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