Making purchases with your debit or credit card has never been easier with contactless payments and digital wallets. However, the easier it is to purchase and spend, the more likely refunds are to take place.

Refunds are a very normal part of business, especially in retail, so it's useful to understand what happens when a customer returns an item and requests a refund to the card they purchased with. We'll explain how long refunds typically take to process for debit and credit cards work, so you can better answer any customer queries. 

What does a refund mean?

The meaning of a refund is quite simply to be paid back. This usually refers to the return of goods or services that were unsatisfactory, damaged or when the customer isn’t satisfied. A refund is the reimbursement of the price paid, typically back to the original payment method. For example, if a customer purchases via cash, their refund will be in cash, unless otherwise specified or agreed.

In some cases a customer may receive a partial refund. This can often happen when a customer has used a service to some extent but is dissatisfied.

How long does a credit card refund take?

A refund on a credit card in the UK usually takes between three and seven business days, but this can be longer depending on the merchant and credit card company. Credit card refunds often take slightly longer than debit due to the merchant having to send back the funds to the credit card issuer who then credits your account.

At Dojo we help businesses across the UK with card payments, so you can focus on giving your customers the best experience. To learn more about how issuing a refund can affect your business, read more about credit card chargebacks here.