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Frequently Asked Questions

Retrieval & Chargebacks

What is a retrieval (copy) request?

Card issuers typically initiate copy requests when cardholders question or dispute transactions appearing on their monthly billing statements. They may also initiate a copy request for legal reasons such as to comply with a subpoena. An issuer sends the request to the appropriate acquirer, such as BBVA Compass for fulfillment. The acquirer has 30 days from the date it receives a copy request to delivery a copy of the related sales receipt to the card issuer via a method that shows proof of delivery. BBVA Compass will advise you of the number of days you have to respond to a copy request. You must follow the timeframe provided by BBVA Compass.

How do I respond to a retrieval (copy) request?

If you receive a copy request, retrieve the appropriate sales receipt and supporting documentation, make a legible copy of it, and fax or mail it to BBVA Compass as instructed on the copy request within the timeframe specified. BBVA Compass will then forward the copy to the appropriate issuer. Upon receipt, the issuer will then send the copy to the requesting cardholder. The question or issue the cardholder had with the transaction is usually resolved by this means.

What happens if I don’t respond to a retrieval (copy) request?

Fulfilling copy requests is very important, as is copy legibility. When copy requests are not fulfilled, or not fulfilled in a timely manner, or the copies are illegible, they almost always result in a chargeback. So, if you store sales receipts, it is always in your best interest to respond promptly and properly to copy requests.

How do I keep retrieval (copy) requests to a minimum?

To minimize the number of copy requests, follow these guidelines:

  • Ensure that the transaction information on the sales receipt is complete, accurate, and legible before completing the transaction. A receipt which produces an illegible copy may be returned because it cannot be processed properly. The growing use of electronic scanning devices for the electronic transmission of copies of sales receipts make it imperative that the item being scanned be very legible.
  • Make sure your establishment name is recognizable to your customer. Verify that the name BBVA Compass has on file for you matches the name you show on the receipts you give customers. Generally, the name used for settlement should be the name you use for your business signage.) For example, if your legal business name is ABC Company Inc. and your DBA name is Small Town Bakery, you would want to use your DBA name as that is the name your customers know you by and will recognize on their monthly billing statement.

How to I avoid illegible transaction copies?

When BBVA Compass requests a copy of a transaction receipt from you, it must be photocopied and/or image-scanned. The copy should then be mailed or electronically sent to BBVA Compass. If the transaction information on the original transaction receipt is too light, too small, or on colored paper, the receipt will not copy or scan legibly. Since an illegible copy defeats the purpose of a copy request, the transaction may be returned to you as a chargeback for "illegible copy." Unless the readability of the transaction receipt can be improved, you may end up taking a loss on that transaction. To avoid causing illegible transaction receipts follow these guidelines:

  • Change point-of-sale printer cartridge routinely – Faded, barely visible ink on sales receipts is the #1 cause of illegible receipt copies.
  • Change point-of-sale printer paper when colored streak first appears – The colored streak down the center or the edges of printer paper indicates the end of the paper roll and diminishes the legibility of transaction information.
  • Keep white copy of sales receipt – Give customers the colored copy. Colored paper does not copy as clearly as white paper and often results in illegible copies.
  • Handle carbonless paper and carbon/silver-back sales receipt paper carefully – Silver-backed paper appears black when copied. Any pressure on carbon-back paper during handling and storage causes black blotches, making copies illegible.
  • If your establishment microfilms sales receipts, make copies from the microfilm at the same size as the original receipt – Reduced images result in blurred and illegible copies and could result in "illegible copy" chargebacks.
  • Position the company's logo or marketing messages on the sales receipts away from transaction information – Your company name, logo or marketing message printed across the face of sales receipts can make copies illegible and cause you to receive "illegible copy" chargebacks.

How long should I keep my transaction receipt copies?

Transaction receipt copies should be kept in a secure place, as directed by the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard, for a minimum of two years.

What is a chargeback?

A chargeback is typically a transaction that a cardholder disputes through their issuing bank for one of many reasons such as fraud, unauthorized transaction, services not provided, etc.). When a chargeback is processed, the cardholder is credited for the disputed amount and the merchant is debited and given an opportunity to respond to the dispute within a specified timeframe.

What triggers a chargeback?

Chargebacks arise for many reasons, primary among which are customer disputes, fraud, processing errors, authorization issues, and non-fulfillment of copy requests. Many types of chargebacks result from easily avoidable mistakes and omissions – so, the more you know about proper procedures, the less likely you will be to inadvertently do, or fail to do, something that might result in a chargeback. Of course, chargebacks are not always the result of something merchants did or did not do; sometimes errors are made by card issuers and cardholders.

What can I do to help prevent chargebacks?

Most chargeback situations arise at the point of transaction – at the time the transaction is completed – and most can be prevented with a little training.

Consider these 15 tips to avoid potential chargebacks.

  1. Do not complete a transaction if the authorization request was declined . Do not repeat the authorization request after receiving a decline.
  2. If you receive a "Call" message in response to an authorization request, call your authorization center . Be prepared to answer questions. The operator may ask to speak with the cardholder. If approved, write the authorization code on the sales receipt. If declined, ask the cardholder for another form of payment.
  3. Make an imprint for all card-present transactions . If you have a point-of-sale terminal with a magnetic-stripe reader, swipe the card through the reader for every face-to-face transaction. If the terminal isn't working or a card’s magnetic stripe cannot be read, key-enter the account information and make an imprint of the embossed information onto the sales receipt using a manual imprinter. Even if the transaction is authorized and the cardholder signs the receipt, if the receipt does not have an imprint of the embossed account number and expiration date, the transaction may be charged back to you for "no imprint" if the cardholder later denies participating in the transaction.
  4. Obtain cardholder signature . The cardholder’s signature on card-present transactions is required, except for qualified small-ticket transactions. Failure to obtain the cardholder's signature could result in a chargeback for "no signature" if the cardholder denies authorizing or participating in the transaction.
  5. Make only one imprint of the card for each transaction . Making more than one imprint can lead to duplicate deposits and increase the chance of a chargeback. If you need to redo a sales receipt because of an error, write VOID" across the incorrect sales receipt, inform the cardholder, and tear up the incorrect sales receipt in view of the customer.
  6. Ensure that transactions are entered into point-of-sale terminals only once—and deposited only once . Entering the same transaction into a terminal more than once, or depositing both the merchant copy and the bank copy of the sales receipt with your acquirer, or depositing the same transaction with more than one merchant bank can all result in "duplicate transaction" chargebacks.
  7. Ensure that incorrect sale receipts are voided and that transactions are processed only once.
  8. If your establishment has policies regarding merchandise returns, refunds, or service cancellation, disclose these policies to the cardholder at the time of the transaction. Your policy should be pre-printed on your sales receipts; if not, write or stamp your refund/return policy information on the sales receipt near the customer signature line before the customer signs (be sure the policy shows clearly on all copies of the sales receipt). Failure to disclose such policies at the time of the transaction will be to your disadvantage should the customer return the merchandise.
  9. Deposit sales receipts with your merchant bank as quickly as possible, preferably within one to five days of the transaction date—do not hold on to them. Failure to deposit in a timely manner can result in chargebacks for "late presentment."
  10. Deposit credit receipts with your acquirer as quickly as possible, preferably the same day as the credit transaction is generated. Failure to process credits in a timely manner can result in chargebacks for "credit not issued."
  11. If a customer requests cancellation of a recurring transaction which is billed periodically (monthly, quarterly, annually), always respond to the request and cancel the transaction immediately or as specified by the customer. As a customer service, advise the customer in writing that the service, subscription, or membership has been cancelled and state the effective date of the cancellation. Failure to respond to customer cancellation requests almost always leads to chargebacks.
  12. Keep customers informed on the status of their transactions.
  13. If the merchandise or service to be provided to the cardholder will be delayed, advise the cardholder in writing of the delay and the new expected delivery or service date.
  14. If the merchandise ordered by the cardholder is out of stock and delivery will be delayed or this item is no longer available, advise the cardholder in writing and offer the cardholder the option of purchasing a similar item or canceling the transaction. Do not substitute another item unless the customer agrees to accept it. By giving the customer notice and the option to cancel, you may help avoid a customer dispute regarding the merchandise and a possible chargeback.
  15. Ship merchandise before depositing transaction. Don’t deposit transactions with your merchant bank until you have shipped the related merchandise. If customers see a transaction on their monthly Visa statement before they receive the merchandise, it could lead to a preventable chargeback.

What do I need to know about responding to chargebacks?

Some chargebacks can be resolved easily without the merchant having to lose the sale. This can be done by simply providing additional information about the transaction or about specific actions taken regarding the transaction. The key here is to always supply as much information as possible to BBVA Compass to help us remedy the chargeback. Consider these guidelines to ensure you have a system in place:

  • Act promptly when customers with valid disputes deserve credit.
  • When cardholders contact you directly to resolve a dispute, issue the credit on a timely basis to avoid unnecessary disputes and their associated chargeback processing costs.
  • Let cardholders know immediately of the impending credit.
  • Respond to a chargeback as quickly as possible.
  • Address all of the cardholder’s pertinent claims.
  • Be sure to supply "compelling" information to provide the true cardholder participated in the transaction, receive the goods or services, and benefited from the transaction.

Examples of compelling information include:

  • Correspondence between the cardholder and merchant that proves the merchant spoke to the cardholder or received a letter stating that they acknowledge the validity of the transaction.
  • Evidence that the merchant swiped or imprinted the card, received an authorization approval, and the cardholder’s signature.

What are chargeback reason codes?

Chargeback reason codes are classifications designed to help you understand the underlying business reason for a chargeback. The following is a list of chargeback reason codes for your reference.

Chargeback Reason Code Summary Description Definition
60 Request Copy Illegible or Invalid The card issuer requested a copy of the sales receipt and received an illegible copy, or an incomplete substitute receipt, or something other than the requested item.
75 Cardholder Does Not Recognize Transaction The card issuer received a complaint from a cardholder stating that the transaction appearing on the billing statement is not recognized. This code applies to both card-present and card-not-present transactions.
57 Fraudulent Multiple Transactions The card issuer received a written claim from the cardholder, acknowledging participation in at least one transaction at the merchant outlet but disputing participation in the remaining transaction. The cardholder also states the card was in his or her possession at the time of the disputed transactions.
62 Counterfeit Transaction The card issuer received a written complaint from the cardholder claiming:
  1. he or she was in possession of the valid card on the date of the transactions, and
  2. he or she did not authorize or participate in the transaction.
81 Fraudulent Transaction – Card Present Environment The card issuer received a sales receipt that is missing required information, indicating a potentially fraudulent transaction. Specific situations where this chargeback code may be used include: The card issuer received a sales receipt that has no imprint of the card’s embossed or magnetic-stripe information or the cardholder’s signature and either: the cardholder certifies that he or she neither authorized nor participated in the transaction OR the card issuer certifies that no valid card with that account number existed on the transaction date.
83 Fraudulent Transaction – Card-Not-Present Environment The card issuer received:
  1. A written complaint from a cardholder in regard to card-not-present transaction, claiming that he or she did not authorize or participate in the transaction.
  2. 2) A card-not-present transaction charged to a fictitious account number for which authorization approval was not obtained. Card-not-present transactions include mail order, telephone order, Internet, pre-authorized health care transactions, recurring and advance payment transactions, and no-show fees.
71 Declined Authorization The card issuer received a transaction for which authorization had been declined.
72 No Authorization The card issuer received a for which authorization was not obtained or authorization was obtained using invalid or incorrect transaction data. For Automated Fuel Dispenser (AFD) transactions, the card issuer may only chargeback the amount exceeding any of the following:
  • Visa Fleet Card $150
  • All other cards $75
73 Expired Card The card issuer received a transaction that was completed with an expired card and was not authorized.
76 Incorrect Transaction Code The card issuer received a complaint from a cardholder, stating that a debit was received for a transaction that should have been credited to the account.
77 Non-Matching Account Number The account number transmitted to the card issuer did not match any account number on the card issuer’s master file and the transaction was not authorized.
74 Late Presentment The card issuer received a transaction after the 30-day time frame and the account number is blocked or closed.
80 Incorrect Transaction Amount or Account Number or Invalid Adjustment The card issuer identified the transaction amount or the account number posted as being different from what is shown on the sales receipt. For ATM transactions, this error code is used if an adjustment was incorrectly processed.
82 Duplicate Processing The card issuer received the same transaction more than once for posting to the cardholder’s account.
86 Paid by Other Means The card issuer received a written complaint from the cardholder stating that he or she paid for the transaction by other means (i.e., cash, check, or other type of card).
96 Transaction Exceeds Limited Amount The card issuer received a transaction that exceeds the allowable amount from a Limited-Amount Terminal, a Self-Service Terminal, or an Automated Fuel Dispenser (AFD) transaction.
41 Cancelled Recurring Transaction The card issuer received a claim by a cardholder that:
  • The merchant was notified to cancel the recurring transaction but has since billed the customer.
  • The transaction amount exceeds the pre-authorized dollar amount range, OR the merchant was supposed to notify the cardholder prior to processing each recurring transaction but has not done so.
53 Not as Described or Defective Merchandise The card issuer received a notice from the cardholder stating that the goods or services were:
  • Not the same as shown and/or described on-screen (for Internet transactions), or as described on the sales receipt or other documentation presented to the cardholder at the time of the transaction.
  • Not the same as the merchant’s verbal description (for telephone transaction).
  • Shipped to the cardholder and received, either damaged or defective.
85 Credit Not Processed The card issuer received a notice from a cardholder acknowledging participation in a transaction for which goods were returned or services cancelled, but:
  • The cardholder has not received a written refund acknowledgement or credit voucher from the merchant.
  • The credit has not appeared on the customer’s Visa statement.
30 Services Not Provided or Merchandise Not Received The card issuer received a claim from a cardholder that merchandise or services ordered were not received or that the cardholder cancelled the order as the result of not receiving the merchandise or services by the expected delivery date (or merchandise was unavailable for pick up).

What is the chargeback cycle?

Most chargebacks begin when a cardholder reports a problem to the card issuer. Here is a quick snapshot of the streamlined Chargeback Life Cycle in a customer-initiated dispute situation.


  • Cardholder disputes the transaction and notifies the issuing bank.


  • Issuer sends the transaction back electronically to BBVA Compass, the acquirer.


  • BBVA Compass receives chargeback, resolves the issue or forwards it to merchant to address the issue.


  • Merchant either accepts the chargeback item or addresses the chargeback issue and resubmits the item to BBVA Compass.


  • BBVA Compass reviews the information received from the merchant. If BBVA Compass agrees that the merchant information addresses the chargeback, BBVA Compass represents the chargeback electronically to the issuer.


  • Issuer receives the represented item. If appropriate, the issuer re-posts the transaction to the cardholders account. If the chargeback issue is not appropriately addressed, the issuer may submit the items to the card brands for a financial liability decision.


  • Cardholder receives the dispute resolution information and may be re-billed or credited for the item.

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