Payment Disputes Process
With any transaction, there’s always a risk that your customer will dispute the validity of their purchase. Customers have the right to dispute purchases they disagree with by asking their bank to reverse the charge. Square does not decide the final outcome of payment disputes. That decision will be made by the bank that issued your customer’s credit card (like Visa or MasterCard).
Our aim throughout the disputes process is to help you send relevant evidence to your customer’s bank that gives you the best chance of protecting your sale. The bank is looking for any supporting evidence you may have about the transaction, such as contracts, invoices, email correspondence, or signed proof of delivery. You will have a short seven-day window to submit your information. The more evidence you can provide, the better chance you have of winning the dispute.
Watch a video to learn more about how the process works:
Our Disputes Resolution Team can help you submit documentation to make your case to your customer’s bank. You’ll have our full support and guidance throughout the process – at no extra cost.
Note: Square does not charge any additional fees for dispute management.
Types of Disputes
One of the inherent risks of accepting card payments is receiving a payment dispute, commonly known as a chargeback. For the protection of your business, you need to understand how the dispute process works at a high level and what parties are involved.
Dispute Process Timeline
Prevention is our collective focus, but we know that despite best efforts, disputes may still occur. To defend yourself when a dispute does happen, you need to provide compelling evidence to your customer’s bank showing that their reason for filing the dispute is invalid. You can submit relevant documentation to defend open disputes in your Disputes Dashboard.
Respond to the Dispute
Read over the details of the dispute on the form, and pay close attention to what your customer is claiming. Take a close look at the reason code and the amount disputed — this will help you determine which transaction is being disputed and which supporting evidence to send to us.
You then have two ways to proceed:
Send Square Documentation and Information
If you decide to challenge the dispute, the customer’s bank will be looking for supporting documentation and information related to the disputed transaction – such as receipts, invoices, email correspondence, proof of delivery, or photos.
The documentation you send us should help us directly remedy the customer’s claim. For example, a signed receipt alone would not be effective evidence to challenge a dispute in which the customer claims the goods were not received. Their bank would need to see proof of delivery, as well.
You will have a short seven-day window to submit your information. This deadline is determined by the card network, not Square, and may vary across different networks. You can locate the deadline for sending your information in your Disputes Dashboard online or Square Point of Sale app > More > Reports > Disputes. Once you submit the information request form to Square, additional information can not be shared with the bank.
Note: If you are not able to send us your information within the allotted time, Square will have to represent the dispute with any information about the disputed payment we already have, which decreases the likelihood of winning a dispute.
Wait for the Bank to Resolve the Case
After your documentation is submitted to Square through your Disputes Dashboard, we’ll review your documentation and forward your information to your customer’s bank. In your Disputes Dashboard or your mobile device, you can also view the status of the dispute, all the documents you uploaded, and what’s next in the dispute process.
Note: Disputes tracking is available on iOS devices only at this time.
Note: Once the bank makes their decision, the dispute outcome is final — Square will not be able to continue challenging the dispute on your behalf. If you want to pursue the case further, you’ll need to resolve it with your customer directly or seek legal recourse.
If you and your customer directly resolve the dispute before the bank makes a decision, you can ask the customer to contact their bank to cancel the dispute. Cancellations can be requested any time during the dispute process before it is closed.
You have a better chance of avoiding disputes — and when they do happen, of convincing your customer’s bank that you’re in the right — by following a few best practices.
Note: Square does not have any influence over or determine the resolution of the chargeback process and can only support the merchant by helping present a sound case for review.