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Feature Spotlight: Automated Payment Dispute Handling

By Matt / April 26th, 2017

One of the most frustrating and costly challenges for any business that accepts payments online is the process of dealing with chargebacks and disputes.

However, WHMCS 7.2 is here to help. One of the many new features in WHMCS 7.2 is automated payment dispute handling, enabling you to automate some of the actions you may wish to take when payment reversals occur, reducing the amount of manual time you have to spend dealing with them and reducing the impact on your business.

What are chargebacks and disputes?

Every once in a while, something goes wrong with an order. Buyers may take action by opening a dispute via the payment gateway through which they paid, or by asking their credit card issuer to reverse the charge. Credit card companies call this a "chargeback".

The most common reasons for payment disputes and chargebacks are when a customer does not receive the product they paid for, does not recognise the transaction on their statements or isn't satisfied with the product or service.

However they are initiated, disputes and chargebacks have the same net effect – a hold is placed on the sale's funds – and ultimately the funds may be returned to the customer.

Dealing with chargebacks and disputes

In most cases, the easiest way to settle a dispute is for buyers and sellers to connect, work together to figure out what happened, and come to an agreeable solution.

Making sure you promptly respond to any complaint is important, but sometimes, it's not enough. Banks and payment gateways will often side in favour of the buyer resulting in the merchant losing the funds.

How can WHMCS 7.2 help?

WHMCS 7.2 introduces new functionality that enables WHMCS to automatically recognise when a payment is disputed via supported gateways, and take actions based on your desired handling. These actions can include:

  • Reverting Next Due Date Increments - The action of paying an invoice will increment a products next due date by 1 billing cycle term. When that payment is reversed, the period that payment covered becomes due again. WHMCS can now automatically update clients products and services to reflect that, and, in cases where that reversal results in the product being overdue, it can suspend the product until repayment has been made.
  • Set Invoice to Collections - When an invoice is paid, the status within WHMCS will change to Paid. Upon the initiation of a payment dispute, the status can be automatically changed to Collections. Collections is the status used by invoices in WHMCS for any invoices where a payment turns out to be fraudulent or disputed, and enables you to easily filter and identify invoices which have payment collection issues.
  • Email Notification - In addition to the above, WHMCS will also send an admin email notification to you listing the transaction ID for which a dispute has been initiated, along with the invoice number to which it related and a direct link to that invoice, giving you quick and easy access to review the transaction and take any follow up actions.

What payment gateways are supported?

At launch, we have added support for Automated Payment Reversal handling to both the PayPal and SlimPay payment gateways. The list of gateways supported will expand over time, if you wish to see it added for your gateway, please submit a request for it.

The new functionality has also been made available to module developers to add to their custom payment gateway modules.

Top Tip: Provided you agree with the customer and they do deserve their money back, offer them a refund. By returning the money as a refund if a customer withdraws the chargeback request, this often means you can avoid paying the chargeback fee.

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