Bankwest Not Honouring Reverse Chargeback of transaction

After purchasing flights from AirAsia a few months ago , the airline Cancelled my ticket the very next day due to Covid 19. After submitting a refund request they have refused and delayed this.

I decided to use the protection I have on my Debit MasterCard which allows me to get the bank to reverse the charge

I got the below response back from Bankwest that they could not do this

Unfortunately, as the Australian Government has imposed travel restrictions and social distancing laws that has seen the cancellation of events, the Bank is unable to initiate a chargeback against the merchant at this time under MasterCard/Visa rules as Government regulation and/or law supersedes our dispute rights. Both schemes have advised that a cardholder with a disputed transaction relating to the above situation contact the merchant directly to resolve their claim. The majority of merchants are providing refunds or the ability to utilise their services at a later date. Given the fact that most organisations have limited resources or are experiencing higher than normal call volumes due to COVID-19 we recommend you submit your request to them in writing if possible. The merchant’s terms and conditions in relation to COV1D-19 aftected transactions and their contact details are usually located on their website.

I raised a case with the Australian Financial Complaints Authority as I felt the bank wasn’t fulfilling its promise of protecting fraudulent transactions. They were saying it was not their problem that their supplier could not initiate the chargeback, however my contract was with BankWest and Not Mastercard or Via

Bank west offered which I accepted 80% of the costs of the flights to close dispute with the Australian Financial Complaints Authority


  1. Thanks for this educative information.
    I’m having a similar but non Covid related issue.
    I’m new to Bankwest so I don’t know how they will manage my request, but there is no information on their web site, they only talk about fraudulent transactions.
    Fingers crossed…….

    1. Any issue with Bank West , I would log a call with the Australian Financial Complaints Authority ( Bank wests complaints would not progress anything )

      1. On the phone I had the impression that the representative was not clear regarding the process, she kept on calling it “fraudulent transaction”!
        Luckily I know what is a chargeback, the problem is that banks keep this information like secret.
        I had similar issues with Commbank and 28 Degrees, they all try to scam you, if you don’t know your rights.
        I had to give Bankwest a try so next step will be AFCA!

  2. Interesting to note that payments done by online bank transfers are not covered by chargebacks.
    So there is no buyer protection when paying directly by a bank transfer and the goods are not received?

    1. Bank transfers are not covered with chargebacks , I’m surprised debits card were , however some debit cards are no protected by Visa\Mastercards

      1. Even Bpay doesn’t offer any protection and actually they redirect users to their banks’ policy documents.
        When payments are done via direct bank transfer or Bpay, they only offer support when the payment was made in error.
        But all cards have chargeback protection as long as they show Visa or Matercard logo.

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