What If I Receive a Dispute Notification?

You just received a dispute notification. What does it mean?

A dispute occurs when one of your customers questions your charge with their bank or credit card company. Banks usually ask customers for a reason for the dispute.

Following the customer’s complaint, most banks tend to immediately side with the customer without additional investigation, and initiate a formal dispute. This can be pretty frustrating (and is a case of somewhat misaligned incentives), but there is a dispute resolution process, and in many cases you can prove that the charge was valid. We will provide you with the dispute details, and we’ll then work with you to file any disputes that you feel are justified.

DisputeUpdated2-1.jpgYou incur around a $15 fee (plus processing) when there is a dispute on one of your transactions. (Please note, this is a bank processing fee and the $15 amount is typical of what we see. However, the actual fee is determined by the amount of the transaction, so it may vary slightly from case to case.) If the dispute is resolved in your favor, however, the bank will refund your fee.

Chargebacks occur when a patient does not agree to pay a charge made to their credit card. Most of the time this is because they simply don’t recognize the charge description. When the patient opts to dispute the charge on their statement, a conversation will commence between the patient’s bank, and Atlas.md EMR’s payment processor.

Responding to the Chargeback Dispute Notification

Initially, you’ll be notified of the chargeback via email. At that point you can choose to let the chargeback go by doing nothing (in doing so, you’ll consent to the money being put back in the patient’s bank account) or you can fight the chargeback in an attempt to ultimately retain the money in your bank account. The moment a dispute is received, however, the funds will be deducted from your account; if you win the dispute they’ll be returned to you.

If you choose to fight the chargeback, you will need to submit evidence that supports your case via the link in your dispute notification email. Evidence needs to be submitted within two weeks, can be provided in PDF format, and recommended items include the following: Receipts, signed contracts/patient agreements, patient correspondence. We will keep you updated with any information the patient’s bank responds with, which will likely happen anywhere from 60-75 days.

What if My Patient Drops the Dispute?

It’s possible that once your patient realizes what the charges are for, they’ll drop the dispute and agree to pay the fees. Unfortunately, that doesn’t mean the chargeback dispute process will be dropped. Once it’s in motion, it will need to be resolved one way or another. That being said, if your patient drops the dispute, they’ll need to let their credit card company know. You may need to inform your patient of the action they need to take; the credit card company won’t know the dispute has been dropped otherwise.

Once that’s been done, please notify us via support@atlas.md; we will contact our payment processor so they can submit a dispute review request to have the bank take another look at the case. It’s still important to include any and all evidence you have that the patient has agreed to drop the dispute.

Then it’s back to waiting 60-75 days for a response on who won the dispute.


Some card issuers choose to investigate the payment before creating a formal dispute; this is called an inquiry. If this happens, no funds will immediately be withdrawn and you still have the opportunity to refund the payment in order to avoid paying a dispute fee. To prevent the inquiry from becoming a chargeback, it’s advised to submit any and all required evidence relating to the payment or to refund the payment entirely.

Regardless of which option you choose, the best course of action is always to reach out to the customer directly to find out more about why an inquiry was opened initially. If you don’t respond to an inquiry or submit insufficient evidence, there’s a chance that the inquiry will escalate into a full chargeback that can’t be resolved.

Preventing Chargebacks

The best way to prevent a chargeback is by making sure your patients recognize the charge description on their credit card statement. Read more about customizing the way your fees display over here.

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