7 common reasons for chargebacks and how to mitigate their risks

Chargebacks are a significant issue for businesses, especially those that operate online. Whenever there is a chargeback, the company loses money and risks its reputation with customers.

It’s essential to understand why chargebacks happen to mitigate their risks. This article will examine seven of the most common reasons for chargebacks and how to avoid them. 

We'll also explore ways to reduce your exposure to risk as well as strategies that can help you prevent future instances of chargeback fraud or illegitimate claims from occurring. 

Understanding Chargebacks and Their Risks

The first step in mitigating chargeback risk is understanding the causes and consequences of a chargeback. It occurs when a customer disputes a purchase they made to their bank or credit card company, alleging fraud or some other issue with the transaction. 

This leads to financial losses for businesses due to order cancellations, return shipping fees, and more. It can also hurt a business’s reputation, as customers may be less likely to make future purchases if they believe their money isn't safe with that company.

Common Causes of Chargebacks

Below are the reasons most chargebacks happen. Some of these are more common in certain industries than others, but combined, they are the most likely culprits.

Wrong or Inaccurate Information

The use of incorrect information can have serious consequences when it comes to chargebacks. Whether it’s a wrong address or an inaccurate shipment date, mistakes like these can lead to customers disputing the charges on their credit card statements. 

This results in lost revenue for the merchant and can damage their reputation and customer relationships. 

To prevent chargebacks due to wrong or inaccurate information, it’s important for merchants to double-check all data and make sure they are communicating clearly and effectively with their customers. By doing so, they can avoid the frustration and financial losses that come with chargebacks.

Unauthorised Purchases

Unauthorised purchases are a common form of chargeback fraud. This type of fraudulent activity occurs when someone uses another person’s card or account information to purchase something without the owner’s permission. 

This fraudulent strategy can range from small items like clothes or electronics to large, expensive things like vacations and cars. To prevent unauthorised purchases and resulting chargebacks, merchants should always ask for proper identification when processing a purchase. 

They should also check that the billing address matches the one on file with the card issuer and use multiple security measures (such as encryption) to protect customers’ data from being used by unauthorised parties.

Product Not As Described

If a customer believes that the product they purchased does not match what was advertised, they can dispute the charge and request a chargeback. Inaccurate or misleading product descriptions, either from a website or marketing materials, are the typical culprits for a chargeback in this category. 

To reduce the chance of this happening, merchants should make sure to provide accurate information about their products and services so that customers know what they are getting. Additionally, asking customers to leave reviews and feedback after a purchase can help merchants understand how the public is receiving their products or services.

Late or Missing Shipments

Chargebacks can also occur if customers don’t receive their products or services in a timely manner. This chargeback is usually caused by late shipments, incorrect shipping addresses, or never delivered items. 

To reduce the chance of this happening, merchants should only use reliable shipping companies and tracking numbers for each order. They should also ensure their customers are always aware of when their products or services will be delivered so there won’t be surprises.

Non-Receipt of Goods/Services

Non-receipt of goods/services occurs when a customer claims they never received the product or service they purchased, even though the merchant has evidence that it was delivered. 

Merchants should use tracking numbers for their shipments and offer customers proof of delivery upon request to avoid this kind of chargeback. Consider offering refunds or replacements in the event of non-delivery to ensure customer satisfaction and avoid potentially fraudulent activity.

Cancelled Subscriptions

Chargebacks can also happen when customers cancel their subscriptions or memberships and forget to notify the merchant. In this scenario, the best form of prevention is to have clear policies for subscription cancellations. 

They should also offer reminders about upcoming cancellations and send regular updates about billing status so that customers know what is happening at all times.

Billing Errors

Billing errors are another common reason for chargebacks. This can be caused by incorrect information being entered when processing a purchase or discrepancies between the customer’s billing address and what is on file with the card issuer. 

To reduce these types of chargebacks, merchants should double-check all data before processing a purchase and communicate clearly with their customers about billing errors and discrepancies.

How to Avoid Chargeback Fraud

Chargeback fraud is when a customer requests a chargeback even though they received the product or service. This type of fraud can be challenging to detect, but there are steps merchants can take to reduce their risk, based on information found on the Chargeback Field Report

First, they should ensure that all customers are verified before purchasing. 

Companies should use encryption and other security measures to protect sensitive customer information. They should also consider implementing fraud detection tools such as address verification to ensure that all purchases are legitimate. 

Finally, merchants should always keep detailed records of their transactions and dispute any chargebacks they believe are fraudulent.

Benefits of Protecting Against Chargeback Fraud

Protection against chargeback fraud is important for any business. By reducing the risk of chargebacks, merchants will be able to protect their profits and maintain a good reputation with customers. 

Businesses can minimise losses due to fraudulent activities while maintaining customer satisfaction. Finally, preventative measures can help save time and money that would have been spent on dealing with chargebacks in the future.

Final Thoughts

Chargebacks can be a major problem for any business, but there are steps merchants can take to reduce their risk. 

Companies can protect themselves from chargeback fraud by verifying customers before completing purchases and using encryption and fraud detection tools. They should also keep detailed records of all transactions and dispute any chargebacks that appear fraudulent. 

Taking these preventive measures now will help save time and money in the long run while protecting your profits and customer satisfaction levels. With proper prevention methods in place, you'll be well on your way to mitigating chargeback risks.