When running your business, there may be times when something goes wrong with a sale. When this happens, your customer can issue a payment dispute or chargeback by asking their card issuer to reverse the charge. If this happens, our team of disputes resolution specialists is here to help you navigate the process.

Payment Dispute Process Overview

When a buyer disputes a payment, their card issuer contacts us to get more details about the sale. We will then reach out to you to request any supporting evidence you have to assist us in challenging the dispute. This process is completely free—Square does not charge you for receiving the dispute or for our assistance in helping you each step of the way.

We want your case resolved as swiftly as possible, but keep in mind that the timeframes and procedures surrounding the dispute process are managed by the card networks—not by Square. We will do our best to represent your case to the issuer, who will grant the final resolution.

The Dispute Process

The process may be lengthy, but we’ve made it an easy three-step process.

1. Notification

If the card issuer contacts us about a dispute, you will receive notification via email. In the email, we’ll provide you with a description of why your customer requested the chargeback and what the card issuer needs to resolve the case.

2. Dashboard Dispute Reporting

You can view a detailed report of your dispute by heading to your Square Dashboard. From here you will be able view a full breakdown of each disputed charge, submit your response, and provide documentation to help the Disputes Team build a case on your behalf. You can track the status of your dispute, so you’ll know when there has been an update to your case.

3. Your Response

You will have seven days to submit your response to the Information Request Form found in the notification email and in your Square Dashboard.

If you want to return the funds to your customer, select ‘No’ on the first page of the form.

Once we receive your response, we will let the card issuer know and the funds will be returned to your customer. If you do not respond to the form, we will auto-challenge the case using the payment details we have on file.

If you would like to challenge your customer’s dispute claim, select ‘Yes’ on the first page of the form. Then read over the details provided, collect your supporting documentation and submit it to us using the form. If we think the card issuer may want more details, we’ll reach out.

Once we receive sufficient information from you, we’ll submit your case to the card issuer for review. If you are unable to send us supporting documentation within the response period, we’ll review the payment details we have on file and use this to submit a response to the card issuer.

An immediate hold will be placed on the payment for the duration of the dispute process. Please note that if the funds are not available in your Square balance, your linked bank account will be debited to cover the disputed amount.

4. Resolution

It’s now up to the card issuer to resolve the case. It can take up to 90 days for the issuer to send us their decision, but we will notify you of the decision as soon as we receive it.

If the card issuer preliminarily resolves the case in your favour, your customer will be given the opportunity to re-open the case. If after 60 days your customer has not re-opened the payment dispute, we will release the deferred funds back to your account. Please note that disputes may be reopened after 60 days. If this happens we will notify you via email, re-collect the funds and request further information.

If the card issuer resolves the case in your customer’s favour, the transaction will be cancelled and your customer will receive a refund for the disputed amount. This decision is final–Square can no longer assist you in getting the funds back once this decision has been made. If you do not have sufficient funds available to cover the cost of a lost payment dispute, click here to discuss your available repayment options with our Recovery Team.

If you would like to know the status of your case during the resolution process, feel free to email us. We will be happy to let you know what’s going on.

Visit our frequently asked questions for more about the dispute process.

Improving the Payment Dispute Process

We’re constantly trying to make our payment dispute process better. If you have suggestions for improving it, please share them with us.