Refunds and Charge-backs are an almost inevitable part of accepting payments online. Both arise due to a number of reasons including but not limited to: successful charge but value/service not given, the cardholder does not recognise the charge on their bank statement, fraudulent transaction, etc. However, it is your ultimate responsibility to ensure that you take appropriate actions to prevent or respond to them.

The Refunds and Charge-backs menu now provides a medium for collaborating between You and Flutterwave. We recommend you respond within the Dashboard.

This document guides you through the collaboration process; step-by-step.

What are charge-backs?

Charge-backs are used by customers to dispute transactions and secure a refund for their purchase. Basically, charge-back voids a card transaction withdraws funds that were previously deposited into the merchant’s account and credits it to the consumer. Charge-backs are different from refunds. For a refund, the consumer contacts the business for a refund while for charge-backs, the customer asks the bank/processor to forcibly remove funds from the business’s account back to them.

How Flutterwave handles Charge-backs

The process for a charge-back is as outlined below:

  1. The customers’ Issuing bank initiates a charge-back request through Flutterwave’s Acquiring Bank.

  2. The acquiring Bank debits the charge-back value from Flutterwave’s account.

  3. Flutterwave sends the charge-back to the merchant requesting for proof of service/value and supporting documents. The expected response timeline from the merchant is 48 hours from the date request was sent by Flutterwave.

  4. Once the supporting documents are received, Flutterwave responds to the Acquiring bank based on the response from the merchant.

  5. If the evidence submitted is accepted, the issuing bank is credited and the debit is passed on the merchant’s settlement. Otherwise, the charge-back transaction is declined.

Handling Charge-backs

All charge-backs logged against you will be displayed within the Charge-backs tab. New charge-backs logged against you will have status: Pending. You will receive an email notification once a charge-back is logged against you. To view logged charge-backs:

1. Click on Refunds & Charge-backs.

2. Then on tab: Charge-backs

View New Charge-back

Click on the charge-back record to view the details of the new charge-back. Based on the images below,

a. This is the date the charge-back was logged by Flutterwave against the merchant.

b. This is date the merchant is expected to respond to the charge-back.

c. Click on this icon to respond to the charge-back

You should not refund a transaction that has been logged as a Charge-back. The funds have been withheld temporarily from your settlement, pending the outcome of the charge-back resolution process.

Responding to Charge-backs

When you receive a charge-back, you have the opportunity to respond to it. To respond to a charge-back claim, click on the dropdown icon in (c) displayed in the screen above.

Detailed information about the chargeback is displayed; including the reason in (d) for the chargeback (See screen below).

If a full refund was issued to a customer prior to a chargeback, then you simply need to provide proof of the credit for the chargeback to be reversed.

If you refund a customer after you have received notification of a chargeback, then you may effectively be crediting the cardholder’s account a second time.

Decline Chargeback

Choosing to Decline a chargeback means that you provided value/service to the customer. Declining a chargeback requires you to submit evidence which begins the response process between You, Flutterwave, Flutterwave’s Acquiring bank and the cardholder’s Issuing bank. To decline a chargeback:

  1. Click on Decline Chargeback - (e)

  2. Enter the reason for decline - (f)

  3. Click on Choose file to submit chargeback evidence - (g)

  4. Click on Decline Chargeback

Flutterwave will present the submitted evidence to the Acquiring bank, who reviews the information submitted and then represents the same to the Card Issuer. These are necessary steps in the evidence submission process. We will feedback on status of the chargeback evidence via the Flutterwave dashboard.

Chargeback Evidence Cycle

i. Proof is Declined – You will receive an email notification if the evidence submitted has been declined. The reason will be displayed within the chargeback record on your dashboard.

Click on View trail (h) to view the reason for decline.

[You can re-submit chargeback evidence by clicking on: Decline Chargeback again]

ii. Resolution: Won  Chargeback – You will receive email notification if the chargeback has been won in your favor. The status of the chargeback record will display as: Won.

iii. Resolution: Lost  Chargeback – You will receive email notification if chargeback has been lost. Status of the chargeback record will display as: Lost.

A chargeback is lost if the evidence submitted to the card issuer has been denied and the chargeback stands.

Please note that dispute fees are charged for International charge-backs.

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