Preventing Retrievals from Becoming Chargebacks

Preventing Retrievals from Becoming Chargebacks

While most merchants are familiar with Chargebacks, there is something else called a Retrieval that, while less frequent, can lead to a chargeback.


Retrievals occur when the card issuing bank is suspicious of a transaction and requests that the merchant provide more information regarding the validity of the sale. These can be initiated by a cardholder calling their bank and questioning charges, or by the bank if they believe the transaction is suspicious.


When you as a merchant receive a retrieval request, they do not take the money from your account initially, as they would in a chargeback, but you will receive a letter from your processor requesting verification of the transaction. What they are looking for specifically will be outlined in the letter. Generally, they are looking for proof that the transaction took place and that there is a valid signature from the cardholder on the receipt.


If you fail to respond within the specified time frame, the retrieval defaults to a chargeback, usually without the ability to dispute, and the money in question is taken from your account as a chargeback.


As with chargebacks, our advice is that you keep copies of all of your receipts, as well as check ID with credit card purchases so that when they do come, you will be prepared.
For questions or more information, contact us by phone at (800) 644-3909 or email us at


-The Agapay Team

3 Simple Ways to Prevent Chargebacks

3 Simple Ways to Prevent Chargebacks

Chargebacks are something that most of us would rather live without. With the change to EMV and the subsequent decrease in Card Present Fraud, Fraudsters have had to get more creative. As a way to help you keep on top of your data security, here are 3 simple ways to prevent chargebacks.

1. Stay Informed

Information is power. Keeping current on trends will help you know how to identify threats. There are several sources where you can find out what’s going on in the market. One example is the Consumer Credit Card Report from

2. Use Secure Technology

With the migration to EMV, card present fraud became harder. Another example of advancements in payment security is Apple Pay and Samsung Pay that create unique single use transaction information. Using technology that encrypts, prevents duplication and secures sensitive data will help to protect your business from chargebacks and limit the damage in a data breach.

3. Be Alert to Suspicious Activity

It’s not always apparent when someone is committing fraud, but when you notice suspicious activity (Larger purchases than normal, behavior outside the norm, etc.) it may be worthwhile to take extra precautions such as asking for ID to verify the name, Making sure the card is signed, matching signatures, etc.

If you have any questions or would like more information, contact us at (800) 644-3909 or at

The Agapay Team

Visa Eases EMV Chargeback Policy

Visa Eases EMV Chargeback Policy

The transition to EMV has been messy for many merchants. Visa, being a leader in the migration to EMV technology in the US has decided to ease the burden placed on small businesses. According to a press release to their investors dated June 16th, they’ve released the following statement:

“Visa is modifying its policies to limit the number of fraudulent transactions that issuers can charge back to merchants (and their acquirers). Effective July 22, 2016, Visa will block all U.S. counterfeit fraud chargebacks under $25… These blocks will stay in effect until April 2018.”

For many small businesses, this is great news. Currently, if the merchant doesn’t accept EMV chip cards, banks have the authority to chargeback any disputed transaction often without allowing the merchant to respond. This update will limit the banks authority to transactions above $25 starting July 22, 2016.

Please feel free to contact us if you have any questions.

Best Regards,

Daniel Han, ETA CPP

President, Agapay

P.S. For a link to the press release it can be found here:

5 Ways to Avoid Chargebacks

5 Ways to Avoid Chargebacks

Two weeks ago we wrote about how to dispute incorrect and fraudulent transactions on your own statement. This week we want to talk about how to avoid card holders disputing transactions at your business. Below are 5 simple ways your business can avoid chargebacks.

1. Check ID
Visa, MasterCard, Discover and American Express all recommend that merchants check ID for credit card transactions. By checking ID, you can prevent use of stolen and fraudulent cards at your location. If you process transactions with a high probability of chargebacks, checking ID is a must. Please note, while you may ask for an ID to verify the identity of the cardholder, it is illegal in California to record any personally identifiable information from their ID as part of the credit card transaction.

2. Verify Signatures
Most credit card transactions require the cardholder to sign in order to authorize the sale. It is a good idea for merchants to verify the signature on the back of the card with the signature on the receipt. If a credit card is not signed, you as the merchant have the right to refuse the card or ask them to sign it.

3. Look for Suspicious Activity
Often, people’s buying habits and mannerisms are fairly consistent. If you see something come through that seems out of character for a customer, or buying high ticket volume or items, it may be worth taking extra precaution to verify the person is who they say they are. New customers purchasing expensive items may be using stolen credit cards.

4. Use EMV Whenever Possible
With EMV it is a lot harder to copy the card data. The use of EMV technology is meant to greatly reduce card present fraud, and when used appropriately, is very effective. While EMV may not prevent a person using a stolen card, it will prevent the use of a duplicate card. By verifying ID and signature with EMV card present fraud can be reduced to almost nothing.

5. Use a Credit Card Authorization Form
If you take cards for large purchases, it may be a good idea to have a signed Credit Card Authorization Form. An authorization form is a document that proves the cardholder verified the transaction and has agreed to pay the amount due. It will often discourage erroneous chargebacks and provides documentation of the cardholders participation in the transaction. For an example of a Credit Card Authorization form email us at
These five tips, when implemented, can greatly reduce the likelihood of fraud, and thereby reduce the probability of a chargeback. Fraud is costly at all levels of the payment cycle, and failure to prevent fraud can often have negative effects on the merchant. By being proactive, merchants can avoid many mistakes and pitfalls associated with credit card fraud.

Best Regards,

The Agapay Team

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