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Can ACH payments be disputed?

Yes, however disputes are far more rare as compared to a credit card sale. 

A customer can take action to dispute an ACH payment, which generally has three main dispute reasons:

 

  • An authorization was not obtained or revoked by a customer

  • The transaction was processed before the authorized date

  • The amount debited was different than the authorized amount

Similar to a credit card chargeback, the dispute process for an ACH transaction involves us (your processor) reaching out to you to request additional information about the sale, including the authorization from your client. ACH disputes are regulated by the NACHA, and they carry much higher penalties for lying in a dispute. Customers filing a dispute will be required to confirm with their bank  under potential penalty of perjury that their version of the transaction is true and accurate. As such - this deters many would-be fraudsters from initiating bogus claims.

In addition, it's very easy for a bank to simply "stop" payments from any given business/entity where the customer had previously (but no longer) authorized regular payments. As such, unlike credit cards, customers will commonly "stop payment" on charges they don't recognize, and leave it at that. This is different than a credit card - a customer can dispute a single payment, while the merchant continues to auto-bill them or bill them for future services, without realizing. Naturally, this can lead to challenging ongoing disputes where the customer continuously disputes legitimate sales, which can be very frustrating. ACH payments don't typically suffer from this issue, because a "problem" customer will have simply stopped payment on a single transaction, and no future transactions would be allowed/authorized.

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