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Refund a payment

Learn how to issue a point of sale refund.

Not refunding point-of-sale payments often?

To return funds to a shopper after a payment is Approved, you need to refund the payment. We offer two refund types:

  • Referenced refund: a ReversalRequest. Referenced refunds are connected to the original payment using the unique identifier of that payment. This unique identifier includes the tender reference and/or the PSP reference

  • Unreferenced refund: a PaymentRequest with PaymentType Refund. Unreferenced refunds let you return any amount to any card presented to the terminal. For example, you can issue a refund to someone who did not make the original payment, such as a gift recipient.

The following table compares some aspects of the two refund types.

Feature Referenced refund Unreferenced refund
Reconciliation Simple: match the refund against a payment using the PSP reference Manual process
Return fraud risk Low: a payment can't be refunded multiple times, or for more than 100% of the original amount Risk of refunding the same payment multiple times, and of human error (for example, wrong amount )
Refund to QR code wallet Supported Not supported
Omnichannel refunds Supported, using the PSP reference Not supported
Processing Asynchronous Asynchronous or synchronous, depending on card scheme and country

You can implement one or both refund types.

Processing refunds

Referenced refunds are always processed asynchronously. The Terminal API response only confirms we received the request. After the refund is processed, we inform you of the result through refund webhooks.

Unreferenced refunds can be processed synchronously. This is automatic and depends on the card scheme and the country where the card is used. If processed synchronously, you get the acquirerResponseCode field in the response which indicates whether the refund is approved.

When you initiate a refund, the amount is deducted from your in-process funds. It can take up to 40 business days for the funds to be returned to the shopper's account, depending on the payment method.

Allowed refund method

In general, you can use any refund method you like—referenced or unreferenced. There are some limitations though, depending on the payment method and the transaction routing.

Payment method

  • Refunding BankAxept payments requires an additional contract with the BankAxept scheme and is only possible in stores where the shopper has made a purchase.

  • The following card schemes only support unreferenced refunds:

    • Dankort
    • Interac

Transaction routing

Your payment terminals support both credit and debit cards. Depending on the transaction routing, a debit card is processed either through a debit network like Maestro, Interac, and Pulse, or through a credit network like MasterCard and Visa.

  • All credit networks are dual-messaging, meaning that you can issue a referenced refund against an existing transaction.
  • Some debit networks are single-messaging, meaning that a referenced refund is not possible and you must use an unreferenced refund instead.

To determine the allowed refund method, keep track of the paymentMethodVariant in the payment response. This field returns the network through which the transaction was routed. Keep in mind that the routing is independent of the funding source of the card. To determine whether the card itself is a credit, debit, or prepaid card, check the fundingSource. By keeping track of the fundingSource along with the paymentMethodVariant you can determine both the type of card and the routing, and use the correct refund method.

Next steps