Business owners delivered a flurry of responses to My Business’ story, revealing similar experiences to that raised by Dean Piazza and his gym supplies business.
Mr Piazza said that his bank, Westpac, was “simply not interested” in fraudulent transactions and blanketly passed on chargebacks worth around $10,000.
“Banks don’t care at all about the thefts. Customers often think it’s the bank protecting them when it’s the retailers giving the money back,” said one reader.
“This happened to us once, but I hadn’t thought this scam was so simple,” added another.
“What aggravates us the most about this is that the card transaction was processed and approved on the Westpac Card Processor. It’s the banks that should insure themselves against this, using the proceeds of merchant fees and charges to fund it. There is no reasonable way for a business to validate address details for a cardholder provided by the bank that I’m aware of.”
However, when contacted for comment on the issue of chargebacks, a spokesperson for Westpac defended the bank’s actions, and said it is the credit card issuers who are ultimately responsible for investigating and reimbursing fraudulent transactions.
“Chargeback rules are determined and set by the card schemes themselves, not the bank, and these determine who is liable in the event of fraudulent card transaction,” the spokesperson said.
“We continually work with our merchant customers on solutions and strategies to reduce fraud exposure.”
My Business was also directed to the bank’s online guide to chargebacks, which states that “Westpac Group does not determine the rules and regulations regarding Visa, Mastercard or China Union Pay. All other banks/financial institutions are governed by scheme rules and regulations.”
It adds: “We will do everything possible to defend the chargeback on the merchant’s behalf; however the nature of the dispute and the type of chargeback will greatly influence what actions we take.”