Google Checkout Blog

How Google Checkout helps you with chargebacks

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

As Gavin mentioned before, Google Checkout is dedicated to preventing fraud as well as protecting you and your business from financial losses due to fraudulent transactions. We do a lot to protect you before you even charge or ship an order by verifying accounts and reviewing orders to make sure that you have legitimate buyers. You'll even be able to see this information on your orders so that you can be better informed about proceeding with any transaction.

Of course, fighting fraud is a team effort, and we need your help. Following some key best practices can ensure that together we safeguard your business. Specifically:

1. Request signed proof of delivery for high-value orders
Without signed proof validating that a package was indeed delivered, it becomes difficult to counter a buyer’s claim that they "never received the package."

2. Keep shipping records and documentation
Documentation is the name of the game in chargeback cases. Keep shipping and packaging information close at hand. Archive all customer correspondence back and forth about an order. The more information we have, the better able we are to represent your interests.

3. Ship only to the shipping address recorded within your Google Checkout Seller Interface
Fraudulent buyers sometimes try to change the shipping address right before you ship goods. Insist on shipping to only the address on record in your Google Checkout account, as this address is the one our risk systems have analyzed.

4. Respond to Google promptly on chargeback information requests
The card associations' have strict reply windows for contesting chargebacks. Therefore, responding quickly to Google's inquiries for information is critical, as it helps give us the time we need to work with you to build a strong case.

Some merchants have asked, "Am I protected for intangible goods like digital downloads and services?" The short answer is that cases like this are much harder for sellers to win. The card associations have historically made it very difficult for sellers to prove that a digital or intangible good chargeback case is invalid. We will continue to work with you as much as we can including using any methods you have used in the past to win these sorts of cases, but do recognize that it can be difficult to win these cases. As a result of the card associations’ position on digital/intangible goods, these transactions are not covered by the Google Payment Guarantee program. Do note that we are committed to working with the associations to build better ways for all merchants to be protected against invalid claims on digital goods and services.

Doing business always involves some risk, and this especially holds true when serving customers online. However, by keeping these best practices in mind, as well as following Google’s chargeback protection policies, you can significantly minimize your exposure to fraudulent transactions.

Rest assured that maximizing your sales and profits while minimizing your exposure to fraud losses is one of our highest priorities and we're committed to working with you to make online commerce faster, easier, and safe.