Filing a Chargeback for your TransferWise Debit Card Transaction

Carly Cahill
07.05.20
4 minute read

The day has come: that new phone you ordered with your debit card has finally arrived in the mail. Excited, you tear through the packaging and open the box. After days and days of waiting, you’ve finally gotten… a brick?

This isn’t the only way a transaction with your TransferWise debit card can go wrong: sometimes the package doesn’t arrive at all, sometimes you’ve been charged twice for the same thing, or sometimes you’ve been charged several times for a subscription you don’t want. While it’s always good to be careful when using your card details online, there are some problems with card transactions that are hard to anticipate.

If you're having trouble with a transfer sent through TransferWise rather than a transaction with the TransferWise debit card, you can find more information here.

What can you do for debit card transactions gone wrong?

Usually, merchants are willing to correct mistakes that have been made when you get in touch to let them know. It’s quickest to send them an email and get things fixed that way, be it a new product or a refund.

Sometimes, though, a problem can be difficult to resolve on your own. If the merchant isn’t able or willing to help, there’s another recovery option you might be able to use to get your money back: a chargeback.

What’s a chargeback?

A chargeback is a formal fund recovery process for debit card transactions. It’s basically another layer of protection for your card transactions, online or in person. It’s a way of disputing a card transaction when something’s gone wrong.

So, how does it work?

A chargeback goes through the debit card company (like Visa or Mastercard). The bank or financial institution (like TransferWise) that issued the card can often file this on your behalf if the transaction meets the chargeback requirements. It’s a bit like ping-pong or playing lawyer—each side presents their case to the other as to why or why not the transaction should stand. If the issuer wins, the cardholder gets their money back.

Though not a legal process, a chargeback can often take a long time, kind of like a court case. It often takes 30- 45 days for the issuer to hear back from the merchant and a few more days to process the result. If the issuer needs to continue disputing the transaction, in most cases it will take another 30- 45 days to know the outcome. That’s why it’s often easier to resolve the problem with the merchant directly instead.

There are a few factors that determine whether a transaction is eligible for chargeback, for, example: how long ago the transaction was made, if it was made directly to the merchant or through a payment processor, and why it’s being charged back.

transferwise-debit-card

What do we need for a chargeback?

If your TransferWise debit card transactions go wrong, we as your debit card issuer, also might be able to help you out. Since we’re only able to submit a chargeback once for your transaction, we want to make sure we have a strong case for you. In most cases, we’ll need to include supporting documentation when we submit the chargeback.

This often includes:

· screenshots or PDFs of your conversation with the merchant

· receipts or confirmations of your purchase

· specific description of what the purchase was for and what’s gone wrong

There might be other things we ask for too, such as contracts or cancellation policies, or the merchant’s terms and conditions. When we ask for this additional information, it’s to help build a clear, strong chargeback on your behalf.

Do we really need all that?

On the surface, it may seem like a lot of paperwork, especially if the case is straightforward. Not only does the documentation act as evidence to support your claim, it’s also often required by the debit card company in their chargeback guide. The guides themselves are often several hundred pages long, but we’re here to help make sure you have what you need to submit a chargeback.

When a chargeback is submitted it has a specific reason attached to it and different reasons have their own documentation requirements, so we might ask for different things depending on the nature of the case. One of the most common requirements is proof that you’ve reached out to the merchant. The requirements may seem tedious but they’re there to make sure the process is fair and efficient.

Once we have what we need, we’ll be able to submit a chargeback for the transaction to try to recover the funds. It can take some time, but we’ll keep you updated.

How do you file a dispute?

You can dispute your TransferWise debit card transaction by filling out the dispute form. When you fill it out, be sure to give reasonably specific details and add any documents or screenshots you have to speed along the dispute process. We’ll take a look and let you know if we need anything else.

We’re not always able to submit a chargeback for a transaction, unfortunately. For transactions involving investment accounts, forex trading, and cryptocurrency accounts, we often only have chargeback rights if the amounts have not been deposited into your account. Once there is activity on the account, we might not be able to charge the debit card transactions back.

If that’s the case, your next best steps might be to get in touch with local consumer protection board. They may be able to help, even if the chargeback avenue is not a good fit for your transaction.

As always, it’s good practice to make sure you’re using merchants you trust when making purchases. Reading over online reviews and checking their website can sometimes provide more insight on a merchant. That said, we’re happy to help if you have any questions about a TransferWise debit card transaction.

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