Disputes and fraud

    Learn what disputes are, how the process works, and how to prevent them from happening.

    A dispute (also known as a chargeback) occurs when a cardholder questions your payment with their card issuer. The issuer creates a formal dispute which immediately reverses the payment. The payment amount, along with a separate $15.00 dispute fee (for users in the United States) levied by the card network, is then deducted from your account balance.

    There is a dispute resolution process through which you can respond and submit evidence to make your case that the payment was valid. If the dispute is found in your favor, the disputed amount and fee is returned back to you. If a dispute is upheld, the card issuer’s decision is final and the cardholder’s payment remains refunded.

    To help our users submit the best possible response, Stripe provides a guided process within the Dashboard. This allows you to provide all of the necessary text and images you feel are appropriate.

    Inquiries and retrievals

    Some card issuers may begin to investigate a payment before creating a formal dispute, and request further information about it. This is known as either an “inquiry” or “retrieval”, depending on the card brand. Unlike a formal dispute, no funds have been withdrawn and the payment it relates to can still be refunded. Inquiries are common for American Express payments, as are retrievals for Discover cards. Mastercard and Visa almost always create a full dispute immediately.

    Inquiries and retrievals still appear as disputed payments in the Dashboard. To avoid it becoming a formal dispute, you should submit any required evidence or refund the payment in full. This marks the inquiry or retrieval as resolved and no dispute fee is incurred.

    Many inquiries or retrievals are the result of the cardholder not recognizing the transaction, and providing basic info about your business and what was purchased is usually sufficient to close the case. However, if the cardholder refutes your evidence, or the card issuer considers it insufficient, the card issuer might escalate the inquiry or retrieval into a formal dispute and reclaim the cardholder’s funds. It’s important to resolve the case while it is still in the inquiry or retrieval stage.

    Regardless of which option you choose, it’s always best to reach out to your customer first to get more information about the reason for the inquiry or retrieval. Failure to respond to an inquiry or retrieval with sufficient evidence may lead to a full dispute that cannot be remedied. Always respond to inquiries and retrievals as if they were formal disputes, and make every effort to resolve issues with your customer during this stage.

    The status of a Dispute object relating to an inquiry or retrieval can be one of the following:

    • warning_needs_response, no evidence has yet been provided for the dispute
    • warning_under_review, evidence has been submitted to the card issuer and it is under review
    • warning_closed, the inquiry or retrieval has timed out and did not escalate into a full dispute

    Next steps

    Explore the Stripe Radar documentation to learn more about what happens when you receive a dispute, how to respond to them, and prevent them from happening.

    If you require assistance with a dispute, please contact Stripe support.

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