What is a retrieval request?

While chargebacks are a well-known part of running an online business, retrieval requests are still a mystery for some of merchants. What is a retrieval request and what are the most common reasons for them?

A retrieval request, also known as soft chargeback, occurs when a credit card issuer asks a merchant for the details of transaction to validate it. Usually, retrieval requests are connected to traditional point-of-sale transactions, however, it’s also applicable to card-not-present purchases.

Reasons for a retrieval request

One of the reasons for the retrieval request is when a cardholder questions a transaction, for instance, when they lose their transaction ticket. Here are other most common reasons for retrievals:

  • The customer doesn’t remember the purchase or doesn’t recognize the transaction details on the bank statement (for instance, because of the different name of the business – this is why it’s important to create clear transaction descriptors).
  • The amount on the credit card statement is different than the agreed amount.
  • The information on the receipt is hard to read or transaction information is incomplete or inaccurate.
  • The issuer considers a certain transaction as fraudulent.

When the bank asks for information regarding a certain transaction, a merchant needs to submit additional documentation that will help the bank to decide whether the transaction was legit or not.

Remember that the information you provide should be as descriptive as possible, so these could be, for instance:

  • The cardholder’s name, the IP, and account number
  • The merchant details, such as name and web address
  • An order confirmation number, transaction amount, authorization code, etc.
  • Description of the products or services purchased
  • The date of both the transaction and shipping a product or a service

When a merchant delivers documents that clearly explain the transaction details, the situation is resolved.

We recommend you to react quickly (up to 10 days) to resolve retrievals in a timely manner and prevent your business from chargebacks.

Note that if you don’t respond to the retrieval request, it may turn into a chargeback with no reversal rights for the merchant, which comes with extra costs.