While it is not common to see chargebacks, or payment disputes, it does happen. When it does, it can be a cumbersome process. To handle disputes with a third-party payment processor like PayPal, your organization typically has to work with representative(s) of that processor, which is far from ideal. One of the benefits of using Payments as your processor is the ability to manage those disputes directly without having to go through a third party, which means the process is smoother.
What Happens When There is a Dispute?
Once a donor initiates a dispute, a few things will happen. First, Virtuous Payments will receive a notification that a dispute has been initiated. Then, your organization will need to review the dispute and provide documentation to support that the donation should not be returned to the donor. Only the user that sets up Virtuous Payments will have access to disputes. We recommend you check for disputes on a regular basis so that you're able to contest disputes within the given time period.
Where to Manage Disputes
Login to Virtuous CRM then navigate to the Online Giving Dashboard. From the dashboard, select Settings then Disputes.
Once you click disputes it will take you over to Virtuous Payments. From this screen, you'll see a list of disputed payments and information about those disputes. Usually, disputes happen when a cardholder requests from their bank to have their funds from a transaction returned and the bank has responded by inquiring from the merchant (you). This means that your organization must respond with supporting documentation if you have determined that the dispute is invalid.
If you click on the dispute, you'll see the details about the transaction.
To challenge the dispute
Click the icon in the Upload Docs column on the Disputes screen to contribute any supporting documentation - this can include materials like receipts, invoices, etc.
- Upload the donation receipt.
- Upload any support documentation you have
- We recommend a simple cover letter explaining the campaign the donor gave to and it's impact the donation is making in your organization
- If this is a recurring donor or a donor who has given in the past, we recommend providing historical giving records in the cover letter.
Be sure to respond by the date listed.
Once a donation has gone through the dispute, the status in RD will update as needed (dispute_won vs dispute_lost). If the dispute is lost, the CRM integration for Virtuous will create a reversing transaction in the CRM (virtuous). If the dispute is won, we don’t send anything more to the CRM, because we already sent the original donation earlier.
Want to learn more about disputes? Check out this article!