Chargeback Management

What is a chargeback?

A chargeback occurs when a cardholder contacts their issuing bank to dispute a transaction, and then the issuing bank submits a formal dispute case, leading to a payment reversal (refund to the cardholder). Not all cardholder dispute requests result in a chargeback. Chargebacks depend on whether the issuer submits a formal case.

When BlueSnap is notified of a chargeback, a hold is placed on your merchant account for the transaction amount. You have the right to dispute chargebacks for transactions you believe to be valid using our chargeback management services (described below). If a chargeback dispute is decided in your favor, we'll return the transaction amount to your account.

Common chargeback reasons

Shopper disputes

  • The shopper did not receive the product or service.
  • The shopper was dissatisfied with the product or service and was not able to reach a resolution with the merchant.
  • The merchant did not refund the transaction in a timely manner.

Processing errors

  • The shopper was charged twice for the transaction.
  • The shopper was charged an incorrect amount.

Fraud

  • The purchase was not authorized by the shopper due to a stolen card.

Friendly fraud

Friendly fraud refers to situations in which a shopper claims a valid purchase was fraudulent. Some common examples include:

  • The shopper made a purchase with the intent of submitting a chargeback.
  • A shopper dispute with the merchant went unresolved for too long, so the shopper submitted a chargeback, claiming the charge was fraudulent.

Should I dispute chargebacks?

Depending on the chargeback reason, you might find it's in your best interest to dispute. In doing so, you can:

Recover lost revenue.

Defend your business against friendly fraud.

Challenge invalid chargebacks. Some situations include:

  • A refund had been issued prior to the chargeback notification.
  • The shopper requested a chargeback after the allowable timeframe, as determined by the card brand.
  • Chargeback liability had shifted to the issuer.

Reduce future chargeback occurrences. When an issuer sees you successfully dispute chargebacks, they may conduct more research on cardholder dispute requests before submitting a formal case.

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Chargeback management service levels

BlueSnap has partnered with Chargebacks911 to facilitate the dispute process and provide you with comprehensive reporting and analytics, as well as the opportunity to have chargebacks disputed on your behalf. The following table highlights the capabilities of each of the service levels available to you. To learn more about each level, scroll below the table for detailed descriptions.

Capability
Full-Service Dispute Management
Self-Service Dispute Management

Automated disputing of invalid chargebacks

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Automated responses to retrieval requests

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Basic reporting

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Chargeback performance monitoring

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Advanced analytics to identify root chargeback causes

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Case Management for assigning cases to agents

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Case Builder for compiling evidence and building cases

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Chargebacks of valid sales disputed on merchant's behalf

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Customizable thresholds to determine when chargebacks will be disputed

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Price

Based on transaction amount

Fixed price per dispute

Full-Service Dispute Management

This level is ideal if you want BlueSnap and Chargebacks911 to fully manage the chargeback dispute process for you. All invalid chargebacks (those which should not have been submitted by the issuer) will be automatically disputed on your behalf. Examples include chargebacks submitted after the allowable timeframe set forth by the card brand, after a refund had been issued, and when chargeback liability had shifted to the issuer. We'll also dispute all chargebacks of valid sales, such as chargebacks resulting from friendly fraud. Included with this level is the ability to customize your dispute strategy by defining rules that determine when chargebacks are disputed.

With Full-Service Dispute Management, all retrieval requests will be responded to on your behalf. Retrieval requests typically occur when an issuer requests more information about a charge before submitting a formal case. In addition, detailed reporting and analytics will be available right from your Chargebacks911 Console. You'll be able to view chargeback ratios by card brand and reason code, as well as view analytics to identify root chargeback causes.

Note: We’ll only contact you if additional information is required to win the dispute.

To enroll in Full-Service Dispute Management, contact Merchant Support at merchants@bluesnap.com. You’ll receive an email explaining how to access your Chargebacks911 account.

Chargebacks911 dashboard

Chargebacks911 dashboard

Self-Service Dispute Management

This level is ideal if you want invalid chargebacks automatically disputed on your behalf, but you want to manage the dispute process for all other chargebacks. To help you manage and build your dispute cases, you’ll have access to two powerful tools in your Chargebacks911 Console. Case Management streamlines the dispute process by allowing you to assign cases to your own agents. Case Builder provides the structure for you to compile the evidence to submit strong cases. You’ll conveniently upload all cases right to your Chargebacks911 Console. In addition, all retrieval requests will be responded to on your behalf and the comprehensive reporting and analytics described above will be available right from your Chargebacks911 Console.

To enroll in Self-Service Dispute Management, contact Merchant Support at merchants@bluesnap.com. You’ll receive an email explaining how to access your Chargebacks911 account.

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Chargeback dispute process

The chargeback dispute process consists of three steps:

  1. Notification
  2. Dispute
  3. Resolution

1. Notification

When the card issuer informs BlueSnap about a chargeback, we'll notify you via email and the Chargeback IPN (if IPNs are enabled for your account) and we'll debit the transaction amount from your account.

If a chargeback is received, you may not refund the transaction through your BlueSnap Console or API. Please do not refund the shopper directly via cash, check, bank transfer, or another method, as you could potentially lose both the chargeback and refund amounts.

2. Dispute

Depending on your service enrollment level, the chargeback may be eligible for dispute. We'll notify you via email and the Chargeback Status Changed IPN to inform you whether the chargeback will be disputed on your behalf. If so, the case will be built and submitted for you. If not, you'll have the option to build the case yourself and upload it directly to your Chargebacks911 Console. Outstanding disputes can be monitored from your Chargebacks911 Console.

Note: After enabling Chargebacks911 on your account, you can sign into the Chargebacks911 Console from the BlueSnap Merchant Console by clicking Chargebacks, as shown below (there's no need to sign into both Consoles).

The Chargebacks911 Console opens in a new tab.

3. Resolution

It can take up to 75 days for the issuer to send their decision about your dispute. We'll notify you of their decision via email and the Chargeback Status Changed IPN. If the issuer resolves the case in your favor, we'll credit your account for the transaction amount.

Note: The cardholder has approximately 60 days from the resolution date to file a re-dispute.

If the issuer resolves the case in the cardholder's favor, the transaction will be canceled and the transaction amount will not be returned to your account. If at this time you want to pursue the case further, you'll need to resolve it with the shopper directly or seek legal advice. BlueSnap will no longer be involved in the dispute.

Note: There are significant costs involved to continue to pursue a dispute after the issuing bank has decided in the cardholder's favor.

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Preventing chargebacks

Chargebacks can be costly. You can lose the dollar amount of the transaction being charged-back and the cost of the goods, as well as incur chargeback fees. If you sustain a high level of chargebacks, you can also lose your ability to process card transactions. Below you'll find a list of best practices that can help you prevent chargebacks.

Fraud prevention strategy

Implement a fraud prevention strategy to stop fraudulent transactions at the point of sale, and therefore reduce the number of fraud chargebacks you receive. See BlueSnap's Fraud Prevention Service Levels to learn about your options.

Pre-chargeback alerts

Contact us to sign up for pre-chargeback alerts from Ethoca and Verifi. You'll get notified when a shopper disputes a charge with their issuer. These alerts allow you to resolve the dispute directly with the shopper before it turns into a chargeback.

When to charge

Ship merchandise and then charge the shopper’s card to minimize the likelihood of the shopper contacting their card issuer to dispute billing.

Out of stock or unavailable merchandise

Advise the shopper in writing if they've ordered merchandise that is out of stock or unavailable. Let them know when the merchandise will be delivered or let them choose between selecting a similar item and canceling the order.

Statement descriptor

Inform the shopper of the statement descriptor that will appear on their card statement. After the purchase, you could display a message like: "You will see a charge from 'Your Company Name' on your card statement.” Ensure website branding is consistent with the statement descriptor as well.

Product descriptions

Maintain detailed and accurate product descriptions on your website to prevent disputes related to shopper dissatisfaction with the product. The more detail you provide, the better.

Business hours & support contact

State your customer support contact details and hours of operation clearly on your website to allow shoppers to easily reach a company representative.

Policies

State your refund, return, and cancellation policies clearly on your website, making sure they are displayed at the final point of checkout. You could require the shopper to proactively check a box to agree to your policies. More lenient return policies may also prevent chargebacks.

Subscription cancellations

Honor requests for subscription cancellations. If a shopper requests cancellation of a subscription billed periodically (such as monthly), cancel the transaction immediately or as specified by the shopper. Advise the shopper in writing, stating the effective cancellation date.

Subscription charges

Communicate future charges, and terms and conditions clearly on your website, product pages, and checkout page. You could have the shopper select a checkbox to acknowledge that they understand there will be future charges.

Subscription trial periods

State trial period terms and conditions clearly on the checkout page. A clickable checkbox agreement with terms and conditions should be on your website, requiring shopper agreement before the purchase is finalized.

Emails

Send emails to notify shoppers of important events. For example, emails to inform about an ending trial period that will convert into a paid subscription, and emails that inform about upcoming account debits are very helpful to shoppers to stay informed of subscription events. This reduces the chance that they'll be caught off guard by a charge on their statement.

Friendly fraud

Fight friendly fraud to prevent future chargebacks. If a card issuer sees that you never dispute chargebacks, they may be inclined to submit a chargeback without questioning the cardholder. However, if you regularly dispute chargebacks (and win), the issuer may conduct more due diligence of questioning the cardholder before submitting the chargeback.

Important details

  • Disputing a chargeback does not guarantee the issuing bank will reach an agreement in your favor.
  • Chargeback dispute resolutions are not decided by BlueSnap and are solely determined by the rules and regulations set by the card payment brand.

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