We say it all the time at ChargebackHelp, “Knowledge is power.” And representment is another case in point. If you know when you should represent against a chargeback, your chances of winning representment increase significantly. Don’t be one of those merchants that waste time and effort representing every chargeback.

And don’t leave money on the table as one of those merchants that swallow every chargeback. We’re going to share a little “insider knowledge” with you on how we spot successful representment opportunities because we want our merchants to understand their role in fighting chargebacks and reclaiming lost revenue.

Representment is a team effort because believe it or not, you have allies in this fight. Your acquiring bank can provide many helpful resources and even initiate and resolve certain representment cases on your behalf. For everything else, you have ChargebackHelp on your side. We know exactly which disputes can be represented successfully, and provide an added layer of defense.

For educational purposes, this article deals in general terms. Details will vary in each case, but as a rule, there are a handful of reason codes you will consider representing against. They are invariably the “friendly fraud reason codes” where a cardholder is giving false information or trying to cover up a legitimate purchase with a fraudulent claim. Again, your team at ChargebackHelp can provide a more nuanced and experienced examination of each chargeback you receive to determine if representment is warranted. But these reason codes always merit a closer look at the transaction.

Reason Code Red Flags

  • “Services/merchandise not delivered”
  • “Subscription/Recurring billing dispute”
  • “Services/merchandise not as described or defective”
  • “Transaction/descriptor not recognized”
  • “No cardholder authorization”

However, you can have the best representment team on the planet, but the range of chargebacks we can prevail against with representment depends upon what you can bring to the fight.

Every single representment case lives or dies on the merchant’s ability to provide “compelling evidence” to refute a cardholder’s claim. “Compelling” is a notoriously tricky term to define, so perhaps it’s better understood with some perspective. The issuing bank’s primary concern is for the cardholder and to keep them happy they invariably issue the cardholder a provisional refund when requested. So the evidence you need to represent has to be so good that the issuing bank will have no choice but to reverse that provisional refund and ruin the day for their beloved cardholder.

Think of yourself as an intrepid crime scene investigator, gathering evidence. You’ll need to gather evidence that does the following:

1. Place the cardholder at the point of sale.

Your payment gateway should:

  1. capture the cardholder’s IP address
  2. verify the cardholder’s billing address via AVS
  3. verify positive match for CSC/CVV

2. Establish cardholder intent to purchase the item(s)

With the cardholder’s IP address taken from your payment gateway, you can track the user across on your site. You can show that they visited the pricing pages, for example. This shows that not only did they purchase a product, they actively sought it out beforehand.

3. Confirm delivery of the product/service.

If you’re sending physical goods, always get a delivery confirmation. If you’re selling digital goods, you should have user logs that show that the cardholder logged in behind your pay wall or downloaded your products online.

4. Demonstrate cardholder interaction with product/service.

This is another extension of steps 2 and 3. If the cardholder contacted your customer support, show it! Show that they signed your terms and conditions. In extreme cases, you might be able to catch them on social media using your products or services.

5. Reveal a pattern of behavior.

If the cardholder in question has filed a similar chargeback before, show how they did it—especially if they lost in representment before.

A key theme throughout this process is proper data capture. Specifically, your website should be configured to capture users’ IP address, geo-location and activity on site. Your payment gateway should then tie that information to a name, address, card number etc. And your should be keeping records of this information in a organized and accessible manner. In this day and age there is no reason why you can’t do this instantly and efficiently.

Results will vary case-by-case. Each business faces its own unique challenges from chargebacks, so experience will be your best guide. You can’t win them all, but you can gain powerful insights each and every time you represent that will help you fight chargebacks better going forward. That’s why you can benefit greatly from a partner like ChargebackHelp. Take the edge off your learning curve and put our experience to work for you!