The chargeback process is unfortunately a common part of running both an online or physical store. If you run a business yourself, you’ve probably had to deal with your fair amount of chargebacks. You may have even had to deal with a retrieval request or two.

If you haven’t as of yet, or are trying to understand the retrieval request process, you’ve come to the right place. The following article will outline what it’s all about and how you can best deal with the situation.

A retrieval request is known as a “soft chargeback”, which occurs when a credit card issuer asks a merchant for the details of a transaction for validation. Usually a retrieval request is connected to a traditional point-of-sale transaction, but it can also happen with a card-not present purchase.

Why a Retrieval Request?

A retrieval request occurs when a cardholder questions a transaction.

For example, a customer may not remember they made a purchase or doesn’t recognize a transaction on his or her bank statement. This could be because a business name may be different than the name presented on a bank statement.

[This is why it’s extremely important for you to create clear and concise transaction descriptors.]

Another reason for a retrieval request is when a credit card statement is different than the agreed amount at the time of a transaction or the information on a receipt is difficult to read.

There can also be instances in which the issuer (or bank) thinks a transaction is fraudulent. In this case, a bank may ask for information regarding a transaction, which may require that a merchant submit additional documentation to prove that it was legitimate.

If you are ever asked to provide information, it’s important that you have as much detail as possible, including

    • The cardholder’s name, IP, and account number.
    • Cardholder address.
    • Merchant name and web address.
    • Order confirmation number, transaction total, authorization code, or any further proof of transaction.
    • A description of all the products and services the customer purchased.
    • The date of the transaction and date of shipment/service.
Why a Retrieval Request?

If you can send the proper documents to explain the transaction and provide proof that you correctly charged the customer, the situation should be quickly resolved.

The secret to your success also depends on your dealing retrieval request within 10 days. The sooner you can provide proof, the better.

And finally, if you don’t respond to a retrieval request, you may have a chargeback on your hands. This will most likely lead to extra costs and potentially being seen as high risk to your bank.

What the Retrieval Request Looks Like:

#1 – A credit card holder notices a charge on his or her statement, but feels it isn’t correct. The customer will call their bank

#2 – The issuing bank sends a retrieval request to the merchant’s bank.

#3 – The acquiring bank either deals with the request itself or asks a merchant for documentation proving the transaction was correct.

#4 – The merchant provides requested documentation to the acquirer.

#5 – The information is passed on to the issuer. When this occurs a decision will be made as to whether or not there is a chargeback or if the cardholder will be notified that the charge was indeed correct.

Last Words

As you move forward, we can’t say enough about having your ducks in a row. Make sure that you have systems in place for gathering each and every piece of information that will help you if you face an inquiry from a bank or credit card company. The facts can save you a lot of money!

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