Retail Management: "We Have To Check ID Or We Get Screwed By Credit Card Companies"

Scott, a member of management for a retail chain, wants to share the other side of the checking-ID debate:

Your website continually runs stories about how merchants aren’t allowed to ask for ID during a credit transaction. I work on the management team at a nationwide retailer, and credit card fraud occasionally hits our location. Every so often, we are hit with something called a ‘retrieval request’ from one of the big 4 credit authorization companies (Discover, AMEX, MC, Visa). This means we have 48 hours to provide a legible signed receipt, and video evidence of my staff checking a photo ID to verify the cardholder.

If we are unable to verify that my staff checked the ID of the cardholder, we are hit with a 100% chargeback to our account. That’s right, they charge back the entire amount, because WE DIDN’T CHECK ID. Thusly, I have informed my staff to check photo ID on ALL TRANSACTIONS, as I am tired of dealing with bad debt. If a customer will not provide ID, I will not take their payment. I am not sure what merchant agreement your readers keep referencing, but this simply isn’t true. How can I not check ID, per their agreement, and yet still be held liable for passing a stolen credit card? I would rather lose a customer than lose thousands of dollars in chargebacks every month. Just my two cents.

Update: See this rebuttal—with actual documentation instead of just opinion—sent in by another manager.

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(Photo: Brett L.)