Preventing credit card chargebacks

Failure to follow Visa and MasterCard regulations exactly can leave retailers out in the cold when a customer challenges a billing.

Several common errors could cause you to be held liable for a chargeback:

  • A single card transaction was processed more than once and the customer was double-billed.
  • The sales draft from a hand-keyed transaction was missing an imprint of the card. If the card does not have the traditional raised lettering and you are unable to imprint the customer’s name and account number on a sales draft, you should decline the transaction and request a different form of payment.
  • The cardholder’s signature on the sales draft was missing or questionable.
  • The card was accepted after the expiration date.
  • The card number was invalid.
  • The embossed number on the card did not match the number printed on the receipt or the last four digits keyed into the terminal.
  • A legible copy of the sales draft was not provided to the requesting bank within the 21-day time limit.

Remember, if you receive a chargeback on a credit card sale made by phone, mail or the Internet, you’ll be responsible because you accepted the transaction without the card present.

Swiping the card through the terminal rather than hand-keying the sale helps you avoid some of the problems that lead to chargebacks.

Also, be sure to obtain and check the customer’s signature. If you ever suspect that a card may be fraudulent, call the voice authorization center for your processor and ask for a Code 10 authorization.