Chargeback vs. refund: How to protect your online business2023-03-21T15:01:54+00:00
Chargeback vs. refund: How to protect your online business
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As an online retailer, understanding chargebacks vs. refunds is essential to protect your business from unnecessary revenue loss. While the two processes seem similar on the surface, each impacts your bottom line differently.
In this article, we will explain what chargebacks vs. refunds are and you can minimize chargeback risk while maximizing profits.
Chargebacks vs. refunds: What’s the difference?
Chargebacks and refunds are two processes that allow customers to recover funds from online purchases. A chargeback occurs when a customer disputes a charge on their credit or debit card and the issuing bank later reverses the charge. A refund is when a merchant voluntarily issues a return.
While returning funds is never ideal, refunds are much easier to process and control. Chargebacks involve a dispute process that can take weeks or months to resolve and often incur fees. Additionally, chargebacks are tedious and hurt customer experience, while a professional refund policy can build trust.
Fundamentally, chargebacks and refunds occur because a customer wants money back from a merchant. However, the reasons customers choose chargebacks vs. refunds can vary.
Common reasons for chargebacks
Chargebacks may occur for several reasons. For example, disputes may occur over quality, delivery, unauthorized transactions, technical problems, or billing errors. Some of the most common reasons for refunds are:
Customer dissatisfaction– A customer simply did not like the product or service. Usually, this reason for a chargeback is an indicator the customer should have requested a refund.
Payment fraud – Criminals can abuse the chargeback process to steal money from merchants.
Order errors – An error on an order may drive a customer to request a refund.
Failure to get a refund– If a customer tried to get a refund and failed, they may file a chargeback claim.
Friendly fraud – Friendly fraud is a special type of payment fraud. Real customers can commit this type of fraud without realizing it.
What is “friendly fraud”?
Friendly fraud is a type of chargeback that occurs when a customer disputes a charge, even though the purchase was valid. This type of fraud often costs online retailers thousands of dollars each year.
Friendly fraud often happens when customers don’t recognize the charge on their statement or because of poor communication. Customers may also “double dip” and keep the product after receiving their funds. This loss and the fees incurred can seriously hurt your bottom line.
Unlike chargebacks, merchants initiate refunds. As a result, refunds give you more control over. Customers usually request refunds because they are dissatisfied with a purchase. For example, common reasons for refunds include:
Incorrect orders – If a customer gets the wrong item, they’re likely to request a refund.
Damaged goods – Damage that occurs during shipping and handling can lead to a refund.
Late deliveries – Timing matters. If customers don’t get their order quickly, they may cancel and ask for a refund.
Quality issues – Poor product quality can increase refund requests.
Chargebacks and refunds can be costly for any online retailer. Fortunately, you can minimize them with the right tools and processes. For both chargebacks and refunds, being proactive is key. The faster you respond, the more likely you are to protect your bottom line and provide quality customer service.
How to reduce chargebacks
To reduce chargebacks, ensure you have a fair refund policy and make it easy for your customers to request refunds. Additionally, ensure that your customers know their order details before they are charged by providing a detailed description for each order.
You should also protect your business from chargeback fraud and chargebacks that could be handled by a refund. For example, TailoredPay’s chargeback mitigation process helps protect your business and give you more control over the chargeback process.
How to reduce refunds
To minimize the number of refund requests you receive, ensure product descriptions accurately reflect what the customer is purchasing. Additionally, you should have a clear return and exchange policy in place. This will help customers and make it easy to process a refund if needed.
Exceptional customer service is also key. If customers have a good experience with your business, they are less likely to request a refund and more likely to provide repeat business.
TailoredPay can help mitigate chargeback risk
Both chargebacks and refunds can be costly for online retailers. However, when it comes to chargebacks vs. refunds, chargebacks can do more damage to your bottom line. Fortunately, with the right chargeback monitoring systems, fraud prevention tools, and clear return policies in place, you can protect your business.
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