How to Fight Chargebacks

Many merchants feel it is an absolute necessity to fight chargebacks. Adding revenue back into the bottom line is more than a luxury — it’s an essential task that keeps the business profitable.

Can you fight a chargeback? Unless you have an efficient strategy to fight chargebacks, the effort could cost more than the actual revenue you recover.

Here’s how to fight chargebacks and recover more revenue — with less effort and fewer costs.

GOAL #1: Improve Your Fight Strategy to Recover More Revenue

If you want to recover the maximum amount of revenue possible with the greatest ROI, keep these things in mind as you fight chargebacks.

Collect More Compelling Evidence

To successfully fight chargebacks, you’ll need to present a compelling argument. You’ll need evidence to validate the original transaction and overturn the chargeback.

If you don’t have this evidence, you shouldn’t fight the chargeback. Therefore, the more evidence you have, the more chargebacks you can fight — and the more revenue you can recover.

  • Check your most common reason codes. What compelling evidence is required for those reason codes? Are you collecting all the items suggested by the card networks? Or is there more information you could submit and bolster your case?
  • Check the reason codes for your losing chargeback representments. Are you losing because you don’t have the right compelling evidence? Is there other information you should submit instead of — or in addition to — your current evidence?

Not only do you need to collect the right pieces of compelling evidence, you also need the ability to easily access that information when you create your dispute response packages. Keep in mind, your compelling evidence could be stored in a variety of different platforms.

Know What You Should and Shouldn’t Fight

Win rates — or how many chargebacks you successfully overturn — are an important chargeback management KPI. However, win rates aren’t the only data point you should analyze. 

Focusing on win rates exclusively can have a negative impact on your bottom line. This is because it entices you to fight every chargeback you receive. After all, if you don’t fight, you can’t win.

However, you also need to monitor ROI. And if you monitor ROI, you quickly realize a “fight all” philosophy isn’t cost effective.

Here’s why:

  • You could fight chargebacks that have already expired. You’ll devote time and money to cases that have no chance of winning.
  • You could fight chargebacks without sufficient compelling evidence. You’ll devote time and money to cases that have no chance of winning.
  • You could fight chargebacks that your processor has clearly identified as “indisputable”. You’ll devote time and money to cases that have no chance of winning.
  • You could fight low-dollar chargebacks that generate expenses that exceed the amount you’ll recover.

The best way to accurately determine what should or shouldn’t be fought is to use automation. You can customize fight rules so you win the most cases possible but also optimize ROI.

Create an Air-Tight Case

Once you have zeroed in on just the chargebacks that should be fought, create an air-tight case that has the best possible chance of winning.

  • Write a professional, concise cover letter.
  • Include the required compelling evidence.
  • Adhere to the submission deadline.
  • Submit documents in the order that your processor prefers.

Again, automation can help with this task by noting the relevant characteristics of the chargeback and customizing the response accordingly.

GOAL #2: Increase Efficiency to Cut Costs

If you want to fight chargebacks with greater efficiency, here’s what you need to do.

Monitor Performance

To optimize efficiency, you’ll want to identify processes that are working well and improve strategies that aren’t achieving desired results. Analyzing available data can help you get a clear understanding of your performance.

Examples of key performance indicators you’ll want to monitor include:

  • Did Not Fight – Keep track of how many chargebacks you didn’t fight. Why didn’t you fight those chargebacks? Was it for cost-saving reasons or because you didn’t have enough compelling evidence?
  • Won – Identify the characteristics that are common in your winning cases. Can you duplicate that success with other chargeback response?
  • Lost – Why did your chargeback response lose? Do you need to adjust your fight rules so you aren’t wasting resources on cases that are impossible to win?
  • Amount Recovered – Keep track of how much revenue you are able to recover so you can compare it against costs and determine ROI (return on investment).
  • Costs – If you create and submit chargeback responses in house, figure out how much time and money is being devoted to each case. Compare your operating expenses against available service providers to see if you have the most cost-effective solution.
  • Win Rate – Win rates (the percentage of chargebacks you’ve won compared to the number you’ve fought) can help you monitor changes in success over time.
  • ROI – Are you recovering revenue with the most cost-effective strategy?

If you consolidate your data in a central place, you’ll be able to effectively and efficiently monitor your performance. You won’t miss key pieces of information and you won’t have to access multiple reports to get what you need.

Prevent More Chargebacks

If you improve your chargeback prevention efforts, there will be fewer chargebacks to fight.

As the efficiency of your chargeback responses improves, you’ll free up even more resources that can be funneled back into chargeback prevention — thus creating a never-ending cycle of efficiency and effective resource management.

Our blog has dozens of articles with helpful prevention tips. Check them out here.

Decrease Manual Processes & Increase Automation

There are three very compelling arguments for replacing manual processes with automation when you fight chargebacks.

FIRST, technology is error-free.

With manual processes, every touchpoint is an opportunity for errors. You have to worry about things like:

  • Missing deadlines and cases expiring before you’ve had a chance to respond
  • Accidentally fighting chargebacks that have already expired and have no chance of winning
  • Sending the wrong compelling evidence or not sending enough
  • Investing more resources in the fight than you are able to recover

SECOND, technology is faster.

In less time, technology can accomplish far more than manual processes. What could take hours or days can instead be accomplished in seconds.

This feature will become more and more valuable as the allotted time frame to fight chargebacks gets shorter and shorter. Visa has already reduced time limits; Mastercard will soon follow suit.

Seemingly overnight, some processors have cut response time frames from weeks to as little as three days. Manual processes aren’t agile enough to adapt — but technology is.

Midigator Case Study

How long does it take the average ecommerce merchant to fight 600 monthly chargebacks?

With Manual ProcessesWith Technology

Time spent fighting chargebacks

24,000 minutes

0 minutes

Labor requirements

2.5 FTEs

0 FTEs

THIRD, technology is less expensive.

Due to its efficiency, technology costs less than manual processes.

Midigator Case Study

How much does it cost the average ecommerce merchant to fight 600 monthly chargebacks?

With Manual ProcessesWith Technology

$ spent to fight chargebacks



Technology cost 45% less than manual processes!

Reallocate Team Members

Introducing automated chargeback management doesn’t have to result in job cuts. Technology isn’t replacing your workers, it is making them more efficient, satisfied, and profitable.

If you fight chargebacks with automation, your workers can change responsibilities. There will be no more paper pushing. Instead, workers can do the tasks that technology can’t — which is usually much more stimulating and rewarding. Employees can do things like analyze data and initiate A/B testing.

For you, reallocating team members means you have a greater focus on growing the business and bringing in new revenue. For your team, it means greater job satisfaction and company loyalty.

Automation empowers people to increase their individual value and connect more fully with the purpose and strategy of their organization.

Source: Deloitte

Are You Ready to Fight Chargebacks With Greater Efficiency?

Midigator® is a technology platform that prevents and fights chargebacks. If you’d like to learn more about strategies to optimize your chargeback management efforts, contact us for a  of the technology.

We’d be happy to help you fight chargebacks in the most efficient way possible while also generating the highest ROI possible.

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