A credit card chargeback occurs when a cardholder or card issuer (i.e., American Express, Discover, Mastercard, Visa) disputes a transaction charged to their account and the resolution process results in a favorable decision to the cardholder. The chargeback is the reversal of a prior sales transaction. There is a notification and retrieval process that is time-sensitive. If the department chooses to dispute the chargeback, it is critical to respond and provide appropriate documentation within the allowed timeframe. It is sometimes possible to avoid or dispute a chargeback, see details below.

Credit Card Chargeback Notifications and Retrieval Process

Ticket Retrieval

Request for copy of credit card transaction. The credit card holder is requesting documentation of the original transaction, such as:

  • a credit card sales slip with signature;
  • an invoice;
  • proof of delivery of goods and services; or
  • a copy of the cashed refund check (front and back).

Chargeback Notification

The issuing credit card company (i.e. Mastercard, Visa) advises that a chargeback is pending and a debit to the university’s bank account may be avoided by providing proof that the charge is valid. See above listed documentation.


A debit is issued to the university’s bank account for a transaction disputed by the cardholder. The charge is held pending the outcome of the response furnished by the university department who initiated the transaction to either accept or challenge the chargeback.

Challenge the Chargeback

The department can challenge a chargeback within the designated timeframe by submitting a response to substantiate the charge along with the appropriate documentation, such as:

  • original sales slip with signature;
  • invoice (reason for payment);
  • proof of delivery of goods or services;
  • non-refundable fees: a copy of the university policy detailing the terms and obligation for the particular charge;
  • indicate whether the item was an in-person, telephone or internet transaction;
  • copy of the cashed refund check (front and back);
  • proof of refund issued to the credit card;
  • name and address match (for internet transactions).

The response should be as accurate and detailed as possible. In addition to submitting documentation, be sure to return the first page of the chargeback advice and check the appropriate box at the bottom of the page.

Accept the Chargeback

If the chargeback is valid and the cardholder is entitled to the credit, indicate this in your response to University Accounting on the chargeback notification.