Mastercard chargebacks

This topic explains the Mastercard chargeback process and provides you with guidelines to dispute a chargeback.


The Mastercard chargeback flow consists of the following steps:

  1. Retrieval Request
    Merchant upload is possible.
  2. First chargeback
    Merchant upload is possible.
  3. Second chargeback 
    No merchant upload available.
  4. Arbitration case filing

Request For Information (RFI)

A Request For Information is initiated when the cardholder does not recognize/does not agree to a charge and requests more information from their bank. It can also be exercised as a Fraud investigation where the real cardholder does not acknowledge the transaction.

At this point, funds are not yet deducted from your account.

Mastercard transaction receipt RFI reasons




Cardholder does not agree with billed amount


Cardholder does not recognize transaction


Transaction Information Document (TID) needed for cardholder's personal records expense reporting


Fraud investigation


Potential chargeback or compliance documentation

For Requests For Information with the 6341 code (Fraud investigation), we recommend to block the delivery of the goods (if still possible) and block the shopper from performing any future payments for fraudulent cases.

For Requests For Information with other reason codes, we recommend to always upload information that can help the cardholder to recognize the charge or that can support the merchants position that the transaction is valid.

You can upload information within 18 days of the Retrieval Request's date for Mastercard.

Recommendations on Retrieval Request documents are:

For physical goods

  • Order confirmation/copy invoice.
  • Proof that goods are delivered (DHL/UPS signed proof of delivery).

For digital goods

  • Order confirmation/copy invoice.
  • Proof that services are downloaded/used (date and time of download, IP address, and email address that was used for the download).

First chargeback process

The issuing bank initiates the first chargeback on behalf of the cardholder by sending a chargeback notification to Adyen stating the dispute reason.

We will assign it to you for review in the Disputes tab of the Customer Area, or inform you via Adyen's notifications. At the same time, your account is debited for the chargeback amount, and the NotificationOfChargeback and Chargeback journals are booked.

After your review, you can decide to either accept the chargeback or dispute it:

  • If you accept the dispute, we recommend to do this by accepting it in the Adyen Customer Area, the case will then be closed for defense.
  • If you decide to defend the chargeback, upload the relevant defense documents (see Reason codes and guidelines) via the Customer Area or Adyen's Dispute API within 40 days for Mastercard.

There is no opportunity later in the process to provide information (unless this information was not available before). Therefore, please address the reason code and upload information that can support your position. Only uploading an overview of the order details is not enough.

After you have submitted the defense material, it is irreversible and automatically sent (through the credit card network) back to the issuing bank. 

At this stage the journal Chargeback reversed is booked and funds are transferred back into your account.

Second chargeback process

The issuing bank can initiate a second chargeback (on behalf of the cardholder) within 45-47 days from the merchant upload date (Information Supplied date).

With the second chargeback, funds are taken from a merchant's account (after previously being reversed) and there is no opportunity to upload documents.

Mastercard does not allow document upload for second chargebacks. If a merchant has enough information that the second chargeback is invalid, they can contact the Adyen Disputes Team to challenge the second dispute.

Arbitration case filing

After receiving the Second Chargeback the Merchant must decide whether or not to pursue the case. If the decision is made to pursue the case, the Merchant must contact the Adyen Chargeback team with supporting information within 40 days of receiving the Second Chargeback. The Merchant can provide supporting information at this stage only if this information was not available before. Mastercard allows only one possibility to provide supporting documents to defend a chargeback. This is at the first chargeback stage. Therefore, the necessary documents should be provided at the first chargeback stage and not later.

If the Merchant’s claim is valid, Adyen will file the case for Arbitration. However, doing so is potentially expensive. For Mastercard, there is an initial Filing Fee of EUR 150 and an additional Administrative Fee of EUR 250. The party that loses the Arbitration case filing is liable for both fees (on top of the chargeback amount). It is also possible that Mastercard charges EUR 100 fee for each Technical Error associated with the case. A technical error can be for example if the issuing bank changes the reason code for the Second Chargeback or when the bank processed a chargeback after the required timeframe. Mastercard can assess Technical Error Fees against either party, win or lose.

Adyen is not responsible if the card scheme rules in favour of the cardholder.

Representment guidelines

Mastercard has combined all of the conditions and requirements of the below reason codes into one code, called 4853 Cardholder Dispute Chargeback:

4841 – Cancelled recurring transaction
4853 – Cardholder Dispute- Defective/ Not as described merchandise or services
4855 – Goods or Services not provided
4859 – Addendum and No show
4860 – Credit nor processed

The reason behind this decision is to simplify the chargeback flow. The above reason codes can be still used, however Mastercard will eventually eliminate them.

Reason code Reason Description
Code 4834 Duplicate Processing

You should demonstrate that two separate transactions were processed.

  • Provide a proof that there were two separate orders from the cardholder or that recurring billing is properly disclosed (i.e. all invoices, terms & conditions, cardholder agreement, etc).
  • Provide invoices and documents for all transactions referenced in this dispute.
Code 4837 No cardholder authorisation

You should demonstrate that the service or merchandise was a legitimate purchase by the cardholder. The only valid remedy for this chargeback is a proof that the merchant was 3D Secure - enabled.

Adyen recommends representing CB RC 4837 only if 3D Secure transaction.

Code 4841 Cancelled recurring transaction

You should demonstrate that the cardholder did not cancel or canceled after the transaction date; that the you sent a notice of the upcoming charge at least 10 days prior to transaction without a response from the cardholder. Proof that the cardholder used services after the alleged cancellation date or that merchandise was shipped before the cancellation date. Proof that this is instalment billing and not a recurring charge. 

Provide the following:

  • For services: Proof that the cardholder is still interested in using the service; for example: You may have received email(s) or any other communication about the service. It is a good practice for many merchants to engage their customers or email them prior to charging a membership fee, recurring payment, or subscription. As this would allow the customer to cancel the payment before being charged and avoid a possible dispute.
  • For merchandise: Proof that merchandise was shipped prior to cancellation date and no returns have been received (i.e. shipping information/proof of delivery). Proof that notice of upcoming billing was sent to Cardholder at least 10 days prior to transaction (i.e. e‐mail notifications, etc).

Adyen recommends accepting most CB RC 4841 as it is very difficult to prove the Cardholder did not cancel.

Code 4853 Not as described

You should demonstrate that the service or merchandise was as described or that any defects were fixed and/or defected items were replaced. 

Provide the following:

  • For services: Proof that services promised were those that were received by the cardholder (i.e. invoice, terms & conditions, log‐in information, etc).
  • For merchandise: Proof that the cardholder was sent a replacement item (i.e. shipping information, terms & conditions, return information, and invoice, etc). Proof that shipped items were as described, and were delivered to the cardholder's shipping address (i.e. invoice, terms & conditions, proof of delivery, etc).

Code 4855 Services not provided/ merchandise not received

You should demonstrate that services were rendered or that merchandise was delivered. 

Provide the following:

  • For services: Proof that the cardholder utilised the services (i.e. invoice, log‐in information, post-sale service, i.e. communication with the Cardholder after the payment, etc).
  • For merchandise: The invoice that shows cardholder's shipping address and a signed proof of delivery to that shipping address (i.e. tracking number and a screen shot or a print out of shipper's proof of delivery).

Addendum and No Show

An addendum dispute is related to a separate transaction that is processed after a valid transaction involving the same merchant and cardholder. For example, a cardholder engaged in a valid transaction but a separate transaction was charged to his account without his knowledge and consent.

A no show dispute is related to a cardholder claiming that he cancelled a hotel reservation but nevertheless was charged for a no show.

Provide the following:

  • For addendum dispute: relevant transaction information in response to the cardholders claim (i.e. transaction receipts).
  • For no show dispute: evidence that the no show charge is valid since the cardholder did not cancel within the allowable timeframe (i.e. terms & conditions properly disclosed on the merchant website with cardholders acknowledgement, copy invoice, email communication etc.).
Code 4860 Credit not processed

You should demonstrate that returned goods were not received and terms and conditions, refund policy were properly disclosed prior to transaction, and that merchandise was delivered/services were provided or that a credit was processed. 

Provide the following:

  • For services: Statement that a cancellation of services request was not received, and proof that terms & conditions, cancellation policies are properly disclosed prior to purchase, or proof that a credit was processed. (i.e. proof of refund, cancellation policy, terms and conditions, invoices, etc).
  • For merchandise: Statement that returned goods were not received, and proof that terms and conditions/refund policies are properly disclosed prior to purchase or that a credit was processed (i.e. proof of refund, return policy, terms and conditions, proof of delivery, invoices, etc).

Adyen has an inbuilt automatic defense for "Credit previously issued." 

Code 4863 Cardholder does not recognise- potential fraud

You should demonstrate that this is a valid transaction by providing supporting documents.

Provide all available documents pertaining to the cardholder and what was purchased (i.e. invoices, description of service, terms & conditions, log in information, account info, etc)