Payment processing errors come in various shapes and forms, all of which can easily result in a chargeback. In a face-to-face environment, processing errors are far more likely to result from a key-entered transaction than from a swiped or a chip-read one, which is why you should try to keep key-entries to a minimum. Yet, errors can also be committed in swiped and chip-based transactions as well and you need to be prepared to manage the resulting chargebacks.
One of the most common chargebacks resulting from a processing error is Reason Code 80. In this article I will review the causes for this type of chargeback, suggest actions you can take in response to it and examine the most effective preventive measures.
What Causes Reason Code 80
Chargeback Reason Code 80 is initiated in one of the following circumstances:
- The transaction amount was incorrect.
- An error was made when calculating the transaction amount.
- The transaction was processed using an incorrect account number.
The most common cause for Reason Code 80 is that the merchant made an error when entering the transaction information (typically that means keying in the wrong amount or account number).
How to Respond to Reason Code 80
As with all other chargeback types, your response to this reason code will be determined by the circumstances, which will most likely be one of the following:
|The transaction amount or account number is the same on the sales receipt and the clearing record.*||If that is the case, provide supporting documentation (a copy of the sales receipt would do) to your processor to re-present the item.|
|The transaction amount or account number is not the same on the sales receipt and the clearing record.||In such cases you should accept the chargeback and move on. If the chargeback is the result of an incorrect account number, process a new transaction using the correct one within 30 days of the original transaction date. Do not process a credit, as the chargeback has already done this for you. If the chargeback is the result of an incorrect amount, the chargeback amount will be the difference between the transaction amount and the correct one, so you won’t need to take any further action.|
*A transaction involving an incorrect account number is one that has posted to the wrong cardholder’s account. A transaction involving a non-matching account cannot be posted, as the account number does not exist and cannot be identified by the card issuer (in such cases Reason Code 77: Non-Matching Account Number will apply). In cases of invalid adjustments to the transaction amount, your processor will typically handle the resulting chargebacks automatically so you will never see them.
How to Prevent Reason Code 80
As with all other processing error-types of chargebacks, preventing Reason Code 80 is mostly a matter of implementing best payment processing practices. In a face-to-face environment, where the card was present, but you had to key-enter the account number (because for one reason or another the magnetic stripe or the chip on the card could not be read), make a manual imprint of the front of the card on the sales receipt. Compare the keyed and imprinted account numbers to make sure the transaction information was processed correctly.
The only viable strategy for preventing chargebacks having to do with processing errors is training staff on proper card acceptance procedures. In the case of Reason Code 80, the emphasis falls on best practices for processing key-entered transactions and we have written in detail on that subject before. Staff should know how and when to use the manual imprinters. Additionally, they should be taught to double-check the key-entered information, which is where any error can come from in the first place.
The point is that, while processing errors cannot be prevented, they can and should be identified before the transaction is posted. It is the management’s responsibility to ensure that this is done.
Image credit: Bankenonline.org.