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Stolen Debit Card - Dispute Denied

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Question: 
We have a customer who had their Visa debit card stolen. He filed a police report and we filed a dispute. The dispute came back denied because they had a signature, but it was not his signature. Why are [Name of Discount Stores Withheld] not responsible for these charges as they did not check the ID of their customer? The signature is clearly different, what can we do?
Answer: 

Under Reg E you have investigated your claim and the customer will get their money back, less perhaps their liability amount based on the claim. This is generally $50 that they do not get reimbursed if they notified you of the loss within two business days of learning of the loss of the card.

Under your Visa/MasterCard rules you have a different set of issues, zero liability and the recovery of funds from the merchant. Rules vary between Visa and MasterCard, but if there is a signature on the receipt, it would seem 99% of the merchant's work is done. It is recognized that neither the merchant nor the bank is a signature expert. The customer at the sales counter may have had packages in their arms, bent over a counter to sign, etc., and there is no wonder the signature would look different. Visa and MasterCard also have a compliance right for mismatched signature but the requirements are very specific and difficult to meet. Primarily, the card used must have been a valid card (not a counterfeit card) and you must have recovered it. You'll need to compare your specific scenario to the rules applicable in this case.

First published on BankersOnline.com 5/28/07

First published on 05/28/2007

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