The Chargeback Cycle

The Chargeback Cycle

A chargeback is a processed credit card transaction that is reversed (charged back) to a merchant because the customer or customer’s bank finds something wrong with the transaction. They happen for a variety of reasons. The primary reason a chargeback is triggered is customer dispute. Other reasons include fraud, credit card processing errors, authorization issues and non-fulfillment of copy requests. Every chargeback is assigned a reason code — a two digit number used to indentify why a chargeback occurred. Reason codes may vary by VISA® and MasterCard®.

So how exactly does the chargeback cycle work? Here’s a graphic to better visualize the process:

Every merchant that offers credit card processing to its customers should be concerned about chargebacks to their merchant account. Chargeback fees are assessed to the merchant, regardless of the dispute’s cause or outcome. This makes the chargeback something merchants should seriously avoid.

Lower your risk of chargebacks by following the tips below:

  • Verify card logos, credit card numbers, identification, customer signature and check the expiration date.
  • Call for voice authorization if the card stripe doesn’t work or if the terminal is down or cannot authorize.
  • Authorize every transaction.
  • Be sure your customers are familiar with your return or exchange policy.

Additional tips for preventing chargebacks are available here.

TransFirst® forms an alliance with our merchants. We provide assistance for every aspect of the credit card processing experience. Contact a representative to learn more about credit card processing best practices that can help you grow your business.


Get Started Below

or Call 888.845.9457
Do you accept credit cards?
Are you a U.S.-based business?
What is your primary method of processing?
  • Your information is private and secure. We only accept U.S.-based businesses. We do not accept adult businesses


satisfied merchants, partners and vendors
See What Others Are Saying


Chat with a Professional!

Your information is private
and secure.We only
accept U.S.-based
businesses. We do not
accept adult businesses.

© 2017 Total System Services, Inc.®

All rights reserved worldwide. TSYS® and TransFirst® are
federally-registered U.S. service marks of Total System Services, Inc. TransFirst is a registered ISO/MSP of: Wells Fargo Bank, N.A., Walnut Creek, CA; Synovus Bank, Columbus, GA; and Deutsche Bank, New York, NY; for Visa® and MasterCard® transactions only. TSYS Merchant Solutions is a registered ISO/MSP of Wells Fargo Bank, N.A., Walnut Creek, CA and Synovus Bank, Columbus, GA.