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Three Check Card Dispute/Fraud Questions

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How do you determine the difference between a "check card dispute" and "check card fraud?" If a customer claims he did not make the transaction, but the merchandise was shipped to his address, can we deny the claim? If a merchant verifies the security questions through Visa, and the transaction is approved, is the bank obligated to reimburse the customer?

I'm assuming your first question is particular to Visa or MasterCard. That may take a guru with that expertise to answer, or you could ask in the forums for someone familiar with those proprietary rules.

As to the second question, the definition of an unauthorized EFT includes that the consumer received no benefit of the transaction, but that alone isn't conclusive in my opinion. What was sent may be worth less than what was charged. If the scenario is that information was provided to debit the account for a future purchase, but then that authorization was revoked, certainly the claim could be justified. The circumstances will influence the answer, but you couldn't automatically deny these.

Lastly, and again I can't speak on specific Visa rules, but under Reg E, you would still need to investigate the claim. This means Visa wouldn't relieve you of this, but special Visa rules may not apply. It could be that if the security questions were not secretive or confidential enough, the unauthorized claim may be a valid claim. We are reading how social networking sites often provide much of the answers to common security questions. Banks should avoid questions that may answered on these sites, and should warn customers accordingly.

First published on 4/19/10

First published on 04/19/2010

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