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Mastercard chargebacks

Learn about 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 or 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

Code Message
6305 Cardholder does not agree with billed amount
6321 Cardholder does not recognize transaction
6323 Transaction Information Document (TID) needed for cardholder's personal records expense reporting
6341 Fraud investigation
6342 Potential chargeback or compliance documentation

For Requests For Information with the 6341 code (Fraud investigation), 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, always upload information that can help the cardholder to recognize the charge, or that can support your position that the transaction is valid.

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

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 your 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 you have enough information that the second chargeback is invalid, contact the Adyen Disputes Team to challenge the second dispute.

Arbitration case filing

After receiving the Second Chargeback you must decide whether or not to pursue the case. If the decision is made to pursue the case, you must contact the Adyen Chargeback team with supporting information within 40 days of receiving the Second Chargeback. you 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.

Representement 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.

For a list of Mastercard dispute reason codes, see Dispute reason codes.