Chargeback Management

How Payment Gateways Can Help

Explore the role of payment gateways in chargeback management to build better customer trust and protect your business revenue.
May 20, 2024
Gautham Gopakumaran
5 min read

The digital shift is today’s reality, more vividly in the payment industry. Digital transactions are super convenient and have changed the face of payments. But it also has its share of challenges.

Some of the common challenges include safety and security issues, technical challenges, geographical limitations, payment processing downtime, and chargebacks.

While they all affect your business’s finances and cashflow, one of the most challenging ones to handle are disputes and chargebacks. If a business sells to global markets and manages records manually, they can potentially end up spending hours on the audit process and still lose the case.

In this blog, we give you a quick recap of what chargebacks are, common chargeback reason codes and how payment gateways like PayBy can help you prevent them.

What are chargebacks?

When a customer disagrees with a charge and disputes the transaction, it leads to what is called a chargeback. A successful chargeback reverses a payment and sends the amount back to the customer’s account.

But in addition to the reversal, the issuing bank or credit card issuer levies a fee on the merchant and the payment gateways.

This results in merchants experiencing revenue losses and paying additional fees, which affects their bottom line. A high chargeback rate can also lead to revoked payment processing privileges.


It is important to note that a chargeback is not similar to a refund. In a refund, the merchant voluntarily disburses funds for whatever reason. However, chargebacks are initiated by customers mostly via the issuing bank.

Here are the steps for how a chargeback is processed:

  • Dispute initiation - a customer connects with the issuing bank to dispute a transaction for a reason. The issuing bank, in partnership with the acquiring bank, lodges the dispute and processes it. Money is debited from the merchant’s account and credited back to the customer’s account. The payment gateway notifies the merchant of the transaction, following which the merchant can take action.
  • Merchant response - when notified, the merchant launches an investigation into the dispute. The merchant can choose to accept the chargeback or counter the dispute by submitting evidence to prove the request is invalid.
  • Issuer's decision - when the merchant counters the dispute to claim the request is invalid, a dispute resolution process is initiated. The issuing bank reviews all submitted documents to make a decision.
  • Potential outcomes - if the evidence is legit, the merchant wins the chargeback and the funds. Otherwise, the dispute and the chargeback are lost.

In this process, payment gateways play the role of notifying the merchants about the issuing bank initiating the chargeback. They also help with processing, managing and mitigating chargebacks in the future.

What are chargeback reason codes?

Issuing banks, while processing a chargeback transaction, issue an alphanumeric charge code. The purpose of the charge code is to inform the merchant of the reason behind the chargeback request. These reason codes are unique to card networks such as Visa, Mastercard, Botim, and more. Payment gateways may launch their own set of reason codes too.

These alphanumeric codes are carefully structured to educate the merchant about the underlying reason for the dispute. Some codes are alphabetic, like “DP”, illustrating the initials of the reason “Duplicate Processing”. While some are a combination of letters that explain the dispute group and numbers that point out the exact reason. For example - F14, where “F” is fraud and “14” is the reason.

Though the reason code system in chargeback management might differ, the categorization is more or less similar:

  • Processing errors
  • Authorization errors
  • Fraud
  • Customer disputes
  • Miscellaneous
  • Not classified

How payment gateways help manage chargebacks 

Chargebacks are not just merchant liability; they cost payment gateways a fee too. For company financials as well as better partnerships, payment gateways can help merchants with chargeback management.

Payment gateways assist merchants with better tools, features, accessibility, fraud detection, and management processes to resolve chargebacks. Some payment service providers go the extra mile to work with issuing banks for better merchant account status management. Here are some of the assistance from payment service providers:

Fraud prevention tools

Payment service providers maximize machine learning (ML) and artificial intelligence (AI) usage. These technologies have the power to detect and stop fraudulent activities. They can also pick up patterns of possible fraudulent activities and take the correct measures to cut them off.

Furthermore, the service providers deploy strict safety features such as multi-factor authentication (MFA) to authenticate users, card verification value (CVV) or card security code (CSC) to increase security, advance verification services (AVS) to compare and verify billing addresses, and more.

Dispute resolution features

Payment gateways provide guidance and support to resolve debit as well as credit card disputes. They offer an established process for dispute resolution that merchants can plug in and deploy. Besides being equipped with the process, they also provide real-time access to any data, documentation support, transaction records, communication channels, and evidence-gathering support.

They may also offer educational materials that walk merchants through best dispute resolution practices, strategies, compliance information, and more.


Some payment solutions can help merchants automate many mundane chargeback management steps. They help the company set up an automated chargeback alert to generate real-time triggers every time a customer requests a chargeback. Such prompt notifications leave enough time and room for merchants to chart a course of action in their favor.

Risk analysis

The chargeback resolution process is complex, time-consuming, and labor-intensive. It only makes sense to counter a chargeback and go through the entire resolution process when the odds are in your favor. Some payment providers can help you with just that.

They offer risk analysis based on all the data and documents. You can generate a detailed report of your winning or losing chances, or at least get a percentage win score. You can then analyze it to decide whether to fight a chargeback or accept it.

How can merchants prevent chargebacks with payment gateway assistance?

Spare yourself and your employees the hassle of chargeback resolution and strategize its prevention. Here’s what you can do:

  • Communicate clearly - practice clarity in communications. Communicate the terms and conditions of your product or service, features, pros and cons, agreements, policies, and more to your customers in an easy-to-understand manner. Eliminating misconceptions can reduce chargeback requests to a great extent.
  • Prioritize safety - choose the payment gateways that provide a high level of safety and security. You, your business, and your clients are in dire need of this. A couple of the safety measures you can follow are encrypting customer data for safe storage and following authentication practices like requesting multiple-factor authentication or CVV codes. AVS (Address Verification System) is another safety measure where billing addresses are cross-checked for verification.
  • Be thorough - have thorough steps in place to verify a transactor and the status of the transaction. Always confirm if the product was delivered, its delivery time, and receiver. As the merchant, you also need to have a thorough billing process. Display the charges and a breakdown in detail. Also, include any additional charges as and when they are levied.
  • Improve customer service - gaps in customer service often lead to chargebacks. You must provide your customer support team with everything they need to resolve customer queries proactively. You can also educate your customers to seek help from your helpline numbers before disputing a chargeback because it is faster.
  • Do follow-ups - you must monitor your chargeback rate and constantly try to improve it. You can always get started with your existing customers. Collect feedback from them to identify the shortcomings, if any, and ultimately correct your chargeback rate.
  • Keep records - maintain a database of your customers as well as chargebacks. In this way, you will have access to any documents you might need as proof, for research and analysis, and more.
  • Implement Security - you can use your payment gateway’s fraud detection tool to keep malicious activities in check. These tools not only detect and stop existing types of fraud attempts but also analyze data to find emerging patterns.

Lastly, be aware and informed at all times. Know your industry regulations, legal obligations, limitations, best practices, and more to make the best decision for your company. Build processes tailored to the unique needs of your company.

If you are on the lookout for a payment gateway that offers chargeback management assistance, PayBy can help you. We offer end-to-end chargeback management and also shield your business from false chargeback requests.

Get started today and manage chargebacks efficiently with PayBy.

Ready to track and record transactions more efficiently?

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