Diner paying bill with mobile device

Q: What is a representment?

A chargeback occurs when a consumer disputes a charge on their credit or debit card, and a representment is the merchant’s opportunity to counter the chargeback. A representment is the process of responding to a chargeback in the hopes that it will result in the recapture of funds that were originally lost to the chargeback. It’s the merchant’s opportunity to provide documentation and additional information that will prove the transaction in question is both valid and legitimate, and that the customer both willingly engaged in the transaction and received merchandise and/or services.

A successful representment starts with a quality rebuttal letter. This letter needs to incorporate all available data points, along with compelling evidence that demonstrates the transaction was valid. Additionally, consumer claims outlined in the accompanying chargeback documentation should be addressed directly, whenever possible. All information should be packaged in a logical way that tells the story of the transaction from the authorization to the sale and delivery of merchandise/services, ending with the nature of the received dispute information.

While the representment process can be time and resource-consuming, merchants rightfully want to recapture lost funds and increase their bottom line. It’s important for merchants to fight chargebacks, as invalid disputes are costly to all parties involved — the issuing bank, the card association, and the acquiring bank — not just the merchant. If merchants aren’t fighting chargebacks through representment, they’re essentially telling the bank that what the customer said is true.

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