Important Note: We will inform you (the account owner/practice principal) of a client payment dispute via email. Depending on the payment method used, you may be able to challenge the dispute:
- For direct debit (BACS) disputes, we will send you an email to notify you about the dispute however, the dispute cannot be contested and will always be automatically resolved in the clients favour. You will need to reach out to the client to better understand why they have disputed the transaction and re-add the payment details and re-collect payment.
- For credit card disputes, we will contact you via email when a dispute is raised and send a follow-up via email if we don't receive a response from our first email in 2 business days. If we still don't hear back after our second email, we can no longer submit evidence to our payment partner which means you will need to settle the dispute directly with the client.
We highly recommend to check your emails (at the practice principal email address) on a timely basis so you don't miss a dispute notification.
A ‘disputed transaction’ can arise for a variety of reasons. The most common types of disputed transactions include fraudulent transactions, unrecognised transactions, unauthorised transactions, duplicate processing, and recurring transactions.
Avoiding Payment Disputes by your Clients
Disputes are a very rare occurrence, but there are a few things you can do to decrease your chances of a client disputing a payment made by you:
- Ensure your payment descriptor clearly identifies your business. You are limited to 16 characters, so consider this when selecting a payment descriptor if you have a long business name.
- Ensure you always have an up-to-date and accurate engagement letter signed by your client. Avoid "accepting on behalf" unless you have confirmation in writing from your client of agreement to charges.
- Avoid entering payment "on behalf of" your client unless you have written consent to charge their account/card.
- Send payment receipts to clients emails following payment collection. Practice Ignition can send these automatically for you.
Receiving a Payment Dispute Notification From Us
We will inform you (the practice principal) about the client payment dispute via email.
The BACS network allows consumers to contest a debit on their account for an unlimited time on a "no questions asked" basis, and these disputes cannot be contested. You should reach out to your client to resolve the reason for the direct debit dispute.
Should you receive a credit card dispute notification, please respond immediately to our email. Failure to do so may result to a legitimate charge back against your account.
You can respond to a credit card dispute notification in two ways:
- Accept the dispute
- Challenge the dispute by submitting evidence
Please reply back to our notification in either case as to which you would like to do.
If you choose to challenge a credit card dispute, we will ask you to:
- Contact your client to try to resolve the dispute. It is possible that the client did not recognise the transaction and can contact their bank to withdraw the dispute
- Submit evidence (as requested by our payment partner) as to the validity of the charge. We will send you a follow-up email in case of non-submission if you have
You will need to provide evidence for every credit card dispute you wish to challenge, even if the client has advised you that they will be withdrawing the dispute.
While we always encourage you to contact your client to withdraw the dispute, some clients might not be able to or might simply forget to withdraw a dispute. This is where evidence submission will be important to challenging the dispute.
Below are the different dispute types and the suggested documents you can submit as evidence as recommended by our payment partner.
Key to us being able to provide this information is having an up-to-date and accurate engagement letter signed by your client. Engagement letters signed internally by the practice cannot be submitted as evidence and other evidence will need to be provided by you (e.g., email correspondences to the client, proof of provision of services etc).
Dispute Categories and Recommended Actions:
If you win the credit card dispute, we will inform you that the dispute was resolved in your favour, and process a re-disbursal to your account and inform you of this.
If you lose the dispute, then we will inform you as such and no further action can be taken by us - you must resolve the issue with your client.
For direct debit (BACS) disputes, these will automatically be resolved in favour of your client and you will need to reach out directly to your client to resolve the reason for the dispute.
A direct debit (BACS) dispute will also automatically cancel the current direct debit mandate on the payment method - if the client wishes to continue payment via direct debit, they will have to re-enter their payment details to generate a new direct debit mandate.
When do we process the reversal of payments from your account?
We will process a reversal as soon as a dispute is raised by your client.
If you should subsequently win a credit card dispute due to submitted evidence, we will be informed by our payment partner. We will process a re-disbursal to your account and inform you of this.
Please note, it may take our payment partner 60-75 days to review evidence and decide a dispute in your favour.