How to Reduce Credit Card Chargebacks: Tips and Tricks

July 20, 2021

Updated 10/24/22

Regarding business, there are a few things more frustrating than credit card chargebacks. Not only do they cost you money in fees and lot services, but they can also damage your reputation with your customers.

Chargebacks happen when a customer disputes a charge on their credit card statement. They may claim that they never authorized the charge, are due a refund, that the activity was not as described, or that they were charged twice for the same item.

Whatever the reason, if a customer initiates a chargeback against your business;  The bank will charge you for the price of the activity disputed plus the applicable bank chargeback fee while they investigate the chargeback claim. You can take several steps to reduce the risk of chargebacks happening in the first place.

First, ensure that you have clear and concise policies regarding returns and refunds posted on your website and visible to customers before making a purchase.

Second, keep detailed records of all transactions, including date, time of purchase, items purchased, shipping information (if applicable), and contact information for both parties involved if there is an issue later down the road. Getting proof of identity from the purchaser is crucial in winning any fraud chargeback.

Understand What Chargebacks Are

Know the Reasons Behind Chargebacks

Implement Strategies to Prevent Chargebacks

Respond Quickly and Appropriately to a Chargeback Claim

Keep Detailed Records Throughout the Process


Understand What Chargebacks Are

What are chargebacks?

A chargeback is a reversed transaction due to a dispute between a cardholder and a merchant. Chargebacks can be initiated by cardholders or by banks on behalf of cardholders.

Either way, the merchant is charged the transaction amount plus a fee. Chargebacks occur when a cardholder believes a merchant has wronged them.

For example, a cardholder may initiate a chargeback if they feel the event was not as described.

While chargebacks can be a hassle for merchants, they are essential for protecting consumers from fraud and ensuring they receive the goods and services they paid for. However, consumers can abuse chargebacks, so vendors need to take precautions to help protect themselves from fraudulent chargebacks.

How can merchants reduce chargebacks?

There are a few things that merchants can do to reduce the risk of chargebacks:

Use clear and concise terms and conditions explaining the product or service on sale and the refund and return policy.

Get authorization from the cardholder for every transaction, and keep records of all authorizations.

Keep accurate records of all transactions, including receipts, invoices, and correspondence with the cardholder.

Be sure the name on the reservation matches the name on the credit card used to pay for the reservation.

Take a picture of the customer’s driver’s license and store it in your reservation software to prove the customer was at your place of business. This is crucial in winning fraud charges with online purchases.

What happens if a merchant receives a chargeback?

If a merchant receives a chargeback, they will be charged the amount of the transaction plus a fee. The merchant must also provide evidence that the transaction was legitimate.

If the merchant cannot provide such evidence, or the bank decides the evidence isn’t sufficient to win the dispute, the chargeback will stand, and the money will not be returned to the merchant. Chargebacks can be a hassle for merchants, but there are ways to reduce your risk.

Key Takeaway: To reduce chargebacks, operators should use clear terms and conditions, get authorization for every transaction, keep accurate records, and take pictures of drivers' licenses for proof of service.

Know the Reasons Behind Chargebacks

The most common reason is that the cardholder did not receive the purchased product or service. Other causes include fraud, unauthorized transactions, and unrecognized transactions.

You know that chargebacks can be a real pain if you are a merchant. Not only did you lose the funds associated with the chargeback plus a bank fee, but you also lost the product or service you already provided.

So what can you do to reduce the risk of chargebacks?

Here are a few tips:

Keep Accurate Records.

Make sure you keep accurate records of all transactions. This includes the date of the transaction, the amount, the product or service purchased, and the name and address of the customer.

Get Authorization.

For all transactions, make sure you get authorization from the cardholder. This can be done by asking for the cardholder's signature or using a point-of-sale terminal.

Use AVS.

AVS, or Address Verification Service, is a service that verifies the address of the cardholder. This can help to reduce fraud chargebacks.

Use a Fraud Detection Service.

There are several fraud detection services available that can help to reduce the risk of chargebacks. These services can flag suspicious transactions and help you to prevent fraud.

Offer Customer Support.

Make sure you offer good customer support. If a customer is unhappy with a purchase, they should be able to contact you and discuss a refund or some other method of making them happy.

Key Takeaway: To reduce the risk of chargebacks, keep accurate records, get authorization, use AVS, use a fraud detection service, and offer customer support.

Implement Strategies to Prevent Chargebacks

As a business owner, you know that credit card chargebacks can be a huge headache. Not only do they cost you money, but they can also damage your reputation.

Fortunately, there are some strategies you can implement to prevent chargebacks. First, make sure you have a clear and concise refund policy. Be sure this policy is presented to the customer prior to their purchase to prove they were aware of your policy.

This will help reduce the chances of customers' disputed charges. Second, keep good records of all your transactions. . Make sure your personnel takes the time to ensure that the person arriving for your activity is the same person who paid for the activity. Asking for a photo I.D and taking a picture of it will help you win any fraud chargeback. However, it will not help you if the I.D doesn’t match the name on the credit card. If the names don’t match, refund the paid reservation and make the person standing in front of you pay for your service to protect yourself from a fraud claim.

Respond Quickly and Appropriately to a Chargeback Claim

When it comes to chargebacks, timing is everything. The quicker you can spot a chargeback and take action, the better your chances of winning the dispute.

But even if you do everything right, there’s no guarantee that you’ll win the chargeback. Each bank is different, and there is no rhyme or reason behind how they determine if you win the chargeback or not. It really comes down to who at the bank is looking over your documentation.

Here are some tips to help you reduce the risk of chargebacks and improve your chances of winning a dispute:

Use Clear and Concise Descriptions of Your Product or Service.

Make sure your product or service descriptions are clear and concise. This will help reduce confusion and prevent customers from ordering something they didn’t intend to.

Use a Secure Payment Gateway.

A secure payment gateway will help reduce the risk of fraud and chargebacks.

Keep Your Customer Service Team Up to Date.

Keep your customer service team up-to-date on chargeback procedures and policies. This will help them handle customer inquiries and disputes quickly and efficiently.

Respond Quickly to Chargebacks.

The quicker you respond to a chargeback, the better your chances of winning the dispute.

Gather All the Evidence You Need.

Make sure you have all the evidence you need to support your case before you respond to the chargeback. This may include order receipts, shipping records,  customer communications, and pictures of I.Ds, and searching social media posts made by the customer for mention of them at your facility.

Be Professional.

When you respond to a chargeback, be professional and courteous. The more information you can provide to prove the customer was at your facility and did your activity, the better.

Keep a Close Eye on Your Chargeback Ratio.

Your chargeback ratio is the number of chargebacks you have as a percentage of your total transactions. Keeping a close eye on your chargeback ratio will help you identify any potential problems so you can take action to prevent them.

Use Chargeback Prevention Tools.

Several chargeback prevention tools are available, such as fraud monitoring and chargeback insurance. Using these tools can help reduce your risk of chargebacks.

Key Takeaway: To reduce the risk of chargebacks, use clear descriptions, a secure payment gateway, and chargeback prevention tools.

Keep Detailed Records Throughout the Process

As a business owner, you know that customer satisfaction is key. Not only do you want them to have a good experience with your product or service, but you also want to ensure they don't encounter any problems along the way.

Part of providing excellent customer service is keeping detailed records throughout the process. This may seem like a no-brainer, but you'd be surprised how many businesses don't track customer interactions.

Whether it's a phone call, an email, or an in-person meeting, it's important to note the discussion. This way, you can refer back to it if there are any issues down the road.

Not only is it important to keep records of your customer interactions, but you should also keep track of their payment information. This includes their credit card details, as well as any other pertinent information.

This will come in handy if there are any chargebacks or other problems with their purchase. By keeping detailed records throughout the process, you can ensure that your customers are satisfied and that their experience is positive.

This will go a long way in preventing any problems down the road.

Key Takeaway: Keeping track of customer interactions and payment information is important to prevent chargebacks and other problems.


Following the tips and tricks outlined in this article can significantly reduce the risk of credit card chargebacks happening to your business.

By keeping clear and concise policies regarding returns and refunds, as well as detailed records of all transactions, you will be able to resolve any issues quickly and efficiently should a chargeback claim arise.

If you're looking for a way to reduce credit card chargebacks, consider using our online booking and waiver software. Our software is designed specifically for businesses in the tour, activity, and rental industries. It can help streamline your operations while providing you with tools to help reduce the risk of fraud. Contact us today to learn more about how we can help you grow your business while protecting your bottom line.

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