Exactly. This means that approving chargebacks automatically is the easiest and cheapest course of action for the banks/credit cards. The merchant pays, regardless.
But the banks and the credit cards are effectively one and the same thing. The credit cards were originally set up by banks and are still owned and run by banks. It's a great big private club. So actually the banks do make up the rules. Visit the official Visa site for Europe to find this, for example:
Visa International is a membership association owned by 21,000 financial institutions worldwide. We provide products, systems and services for banks and other organisations that are members of Visa. We also help to create standards for global interoperability, security and new technologies, so you can pay with Visa anywhere, any time and any way you choose.
Banks, credit cards, it's all the same. If they wanted to change the rules they would and could. But they don't. They just charge the merchant, regardless. No wonder credit card fraud is on the up and up. It doesn't cost the banks a penny to process malicious or unjustified chargebacks.
Sad to say, but in the UK at least my experience of bank staff is that they are often 'soulless robots', and not particularly helpful or efficient ones either. That's probably because jobs in consumer banking here are some of the lowest paid jobs around, and attract unambitious, mediocre people. Plus a lot of back office stuff is outsourced across the world to people earning even less, who I'm sure can process many, many automatic chargebacks for the cost of one $15 penalty.
It may well be different in your part of the world, of course.
My own opinion is that the banks/cards are quite happy to condone even fraud and criminal activity, because they can automatically recover the costs from the merchant. This doesn't seem to me a very moral course of action. But it's something we have to live with, apparently! :mad:
The recent scandal over here of the credit card companies cashing in with a full 3% commission on tens of millions of dollars of Tsunami Relief Donations to major charities - until there was a big outcry and they were shamed into refunding their windfall - shows the kind of mentality of the people who run these companies.