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How to reduce credit and debit card fraud this holiday season

Christmas is a time for giving – but unfortunately many people also see it as a great opportunity for taking. Fraudsters like to operate in busy periods when staff have less time to scrutinise transactions.

A favourite scam at busy times is requesting cash refunds on fraudulent credit/debit card transactions. Remember, merchants with ‘Card Not Present’ facilities are liable for fraudulent payments that occur through their facilities. So, to help ensure you don’t get caught out, now might be a good time to remind your staff of the steps to take when processing refunds.

Here’s a refresher of the process to follow:

  1. If a customer is returning goods which have been paid for using either a Credit or Debit Card, do not give the customer a cash refund or credit to a bank account.
  2. Process the refund back to the same card that was used for the original purchase. 
  3. Your staff will be able to match the transaction receipt to the card using the last 4 digits of the card used to make the purchase (see below example).


Following this process helps to avoid issues with chargebacks from customers. It also ensures you receive a credit to your Merchant Service Fees for refunds to Visa, Mastercard or UnionPay transactions.

Other ways to protect your business from card fraud

Our Merchant Operating Guide and Fraud Minimisation Guide have practical information and steps you can take to help you protect yourself against fraud.

Now is also a good time to revisit the internal processes within your stores for approving and processing of refunds, to minimise the risk of staff fraud.

Taking some time now to get the right processes in place can help you enjoy a happy and safe holiday period.

See our other helpful tips on ways to keep you and your money safe from online fraud this holiday season.

If you have any questions about this or any aspect of your ANZ merchant facilities, contact our Merchant Services team on 0800 473 453 (Monday – Friday 8:30am – 5pm).