Retrieval Request

Simple definition
When the bank asks for details about a sale.
Expanded definition
A request made by an issuer to a merchant for documentation concerning a transaction, often preceding a chargeback.


Merchants dread receiving retrieval requests. These inquiries from banks require providing documentation to justify a transaction under review. While retrievals add work, cooperating fully is key to minimizing disputes. Let's break down what causes retrievals and how merchants should respond.

What Triggers Retrieval Requests?

Common scenarios that prompt retrieval requests include:

  • Suspicious activity - Sudden transaction spikes or unusual purchases.
  • Customer complaint - Claims of unauthorized charges or billing errors.
  • Routine review - Random audits to verify transaction validity.
  • Missing documentation - Illegible receipts or unclear product descriptions.
  • Erroneous declines - Clarification needed on false fraud denials.
  • Policy violations - Confirming adherence to card network rules.

Retrievals flag transactions needing verification with concrete evidence.

Responding to Retrieval Requests

When managing retrievals:

  • Act immediately before deadlines since delays automatically validate disputes.
  • Submit requested documentation like receipts, contracts, and correspondence.
  • Highlight relevant information and policies adhered to.
  • Obscure unnecessary sensitive data like CVV numbers.
  • Reformat documentation clearly if received poorly.
  • Confirm compliance with all standards if questioned.
  • Follow up with banks on any erroneous dispute outcomes.

With diligent responses, merchants demonstrate legitimacy and minimize losses.

The Bottom Line

Retrieval requests add overhead but are an opportunity to prove transactions were proper. Handling requests promptly and completely reconciles issues and upholds revenues. Retrievals managed well close the book on doubts.