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Defense requirements

Learn which documents to provide to defend against different types of disputes.

The requirements for defending against disputes vary depending on the reason for the dispute. For all types of dispute, you must provide documents with details of transactions to help you build a strong case to challenge the dispute.

Meeting the defense requirements does not guarantee that you will win.

Fraud – Card absent transaction

The cardholder claims that they did not authorise or participate in the transaction. You should demonstrate that the cardholder did legitimately purchase the service or merchandise.

Without 3D Secure Liability shift, it is difficult to challenge the dispute. Defense documents should only be supplied if all requirements have been met.

If you have not enabled 3D Secure and you would still like to defend against the dispute, you must provide:

Merchandise:

  • Copy of invoice.
  • Email conversation with cardholder.
  • DHL-signed proof of delivery, and AVS match.
  • Record of previous non-disputed payments.
  • Courier's GPS location proving delivery of the product.

Digital Goods:

  • Confirmation email.
  • Description of the digital goods and the date and time they were purchased and downloaded.
  • Record of previous non-disputed payments.
  • Evidence that the cardholder has accessed and successfully verified the profile or account before the transaction date.
  • Cardholder's IP address and the geographical location of the device at the time of the transaction.
  • Device ID and, if available, the name of the device.
  • Cardholder's name and email address linked to customer profile or account.

Services:

  • Documentation proving you provided the service to the cardholder (confirmation email, copy of invoice).
  • Date the cardholder began use of the service.
  • Evidence that cardholder used the service before.
  • Record of previous non-disputed payments.

Visa is introducing a new standard that will be enforced from mid April 2023. The Visa Compelling Evidence 3.0 standard has specific defense requirements for disputes with Visa reason code 10.4 Other Fraud - Card Absent Environment.

Fraud – Card present transaction

The cardholder claims that they did not authorise or participate in the transaction in a card-present environment.

To defend against this dispute you must provide:

Merchandise / Digital Goods / Services:

  • Copy of a (signed) transaction receipt.

Duplicate processing/Paid by other means

The cardholder claims that a single transaction was processed more than once.

To defend against this dispute you must provide:

Merchandise / Digital Goods / Services:

  • Copy of invoice of two separate orders.
  • Documentation to prove that no other form of payment was used.

Services not provided/Merchandise not received

The cardholder claims that merchandise or services that they ordered were not received or not received on time.

To defend against this dispute you must provide:

Merchandise:

  • Description of the goods.
  • DHL-signed proof of delivery, and AVS match.
  • Communication where the cardholder confirms possession of the goods.
  • Explanation why shipment was delayed.

Digital Goods:

  • Confirmation email.
  • Description of the digital goods and the date and time they were purchased and downloaded.
  • Record of previous non-disputed payments.

Services:

  • Confirmation email.
  • Proof that the cardholder received the service at the agreed date and time.
  • Communication with the cardholder after the payment.

Canceled merchandise/services

The cardholder's bank received a notice from the cardholder stating that they returned merchandise or canceled services, but the credit has not appeared on the cardholder's statement.

To defend against this dispute you must provide:

Merchandise / Digital Goods:

  • Copy of invoice / confirmation email.
  • Proof that the cardholder received your cancellation or return policy and did not cancel according to the disclosed policy.
  • Proof that the cardholder initially received the merchandise, and did not return the merchandise.
  • Proof that cardholder has not contacted you to solve the issue.

Services:

  • Copy of invoice / confirmation email.
  • Demonstrate that the cardholder received your cancellation or return policy and did not cancel according to the disclosed policy.
  • Proof that cardholder has not contacted you to cancel the service.

Canceled recurring transaction

A recurring transaction was processed after it was canceled or that the cardholder's account was closed.

To defend against this dispute you must provide:

Merchandise:

  • Demonstrate that the cardholder received your cancellation or return policy and did not cancel according to the disclosed policy.
  • Proof that the cardholder did not return the merchandise.
  • Proof that notice of upcoming billing was sent to the cardholder 10 days before transaction.

Digital Goods:

  • Demonstrate that the cardholder received your cancellation or return policy and did not cancel according to the disclosed policy.
  • Proof that notice of upcoming billing was sent to the cardholder 10 days before transaction.

Services:

  • Proof that the services were used between the billing date and the cancellation date.
  • The cardholder requested cancellation for a different date and services were provided until this date.
  • Proof that the cardholder is still interested in the service.

Goods not as described/defective

The cardholder claims the goods were not as described or disputes the quality of the merchandise or services.

To defend against this dispute you must provide:

Merchandise:

  • Proof that the cardholder has not contacted you to solve the issue or returned the merchandise.
  • Evidence to prove that the merchandise was as described or was not damaged or defective.
  • If the merchandise was replaced/repaired, provide a DHL-signed proof of delivery.
  • Email communication with the cardholder.

Digital Goods:

  • Proof that the cardholder has not contacted you to solve the issue.
  • Evidence to prove that the merchandise was as described or was not damaged or defective.

Services:

  • Proof that the cardholder has not contacted you to solve the issue.
  • Evidence to prove that the service was as described.

Counterfeit merchandise

The merchandise was identified as counterfeit by the customer or a third party, for example, a customs agency.

To defend against this dispute you must provide:

Merchandise / Digital Goods / Services:

  • Copy of invoice.
  • Neutral third-party opinion.
  • Certificate of authenticity.

Misrepresentation of the purchased good and/or service

The cardholder claims that the terms of sales (Terms and Conditions) were misrepresented.

To defend against this dispute you must provide:

Merchandise / Digital Goods / Services:

  • Proof that your Terms and Conditions were clearly communicated before the transaction was processed.
  • Proof that the cardholder acknowledged your Terms and Conditions (for example, a screenshot of the checkout page of your website showing that the cardholder accepted the Terms and Conditions by selecting a checkbox before proceeding to the payment).

Credit not processed

The cardholder claims that you agreed to refund the cardholder but the refund was not processed, or that you didn't process a credit when the cardholder canceled or returned merchandise, canceled services, or canceled a guaranteed reservation.

To defend against this dispute you must provide:

Merchandise / Digital Goods / Services:

  • Evidence that a credit or reversal that you issued was not addressed by the issuer.
  • Evidence that the cardholder didn't return nor attempted to return the merchandise.
  • Evidence that the cardholder's return does not comply with your written policies.

Mastercard 4853 – Cardholder dispute

The Mastercard dispute reason code 4853 Cardholder dispute is a relatively new reason code which is raised when the cardholder contacted their issuer claiming that one of the following dispute reasons is applicable:

Because Mastercard aggregated the above eight dispute reasons into a single reason code, there is no possibility to get additional information about the underlying reason when a 4853 dispute is raised.

We recommend you try to identify which dispute reason(s) might be applicable and provide as much proof as possible, to make sure that the defense is valid. For the first five dispute reasons mentioned above, you can find the defense requirements under the corresponding headings on this page.

To defend against the remaining dispute reasons:

  • If you suspect that the cardholder is claiming an addendum dispute or “no-show” hotel charge was billed:

    • Provide evidence to prove that the cardholder is responsible for the addendum or “no-show” charge.
  • If you suspect that the cardholder is claiming that the purchase transaction did not complete:

    • Provide evidence to prove that the transaction was completed properly and that confirmation of completion was provided to the cardholder.
  • If you suspect that the cardholder is claiming that the credit was posted as a purchase:

    • Provide evidence to show that the transaction was posted correctly as a credit to the cardholder's account.

Visa Compelling Evidence 3.0

Visa is introducing the Visa Compelling Evidence 3.0 standard that they will enforce from mid April 2023.

This standard only applies to chargebacks with Visa reason code 10.4 Other Fraud - Card Absent Environment. This reason code is used for disputed Card Not Present (CNP) transactions without a 3D Secure liability shift.

In the new standard, to defend against these disputes, Visa requires you to demonstrate a link between the cardholder and the person receiving the merchandise or service.

To prepare to meet the Visa Compelling Evidence 3.0 standard, make sure that you can demonstrate this link, and that you collect and can retrieve the required core data elements.

To demonstrate the link, you must describe the item or service, and provide:

  • A minimum of two prior transactions from the same cardholder using the same payment method that were settled between at least 120 days and at most 365 days prior to the dispute date. Each of these transactions must be non-disputed and non-fraudulent. Each transaction must include:
    • The Acquirer Reference Number (ARN) of the transaction
    • Transaction date
    • Transaction amount
  • At least two of the following core data elements match between the prior transactions and the disputed transaction, and one of the two must be either the IP address or the device ID. You can use the fields from your payment requests, or other data that is available in your company. Core data elements:
    • User ID: an account or login ID such as a customer account ID, the login ID or username, or the shopper's email address if it is stored as part of the user ID.
    • IP address: the shopper's IP address.
    • Shipping address: the delivery address for goods shipped to a physical location.
    • Device ID: for example the device fingerprint.

To further demonstrate the link between the cardholder and the person receiving the merchandise or service, you can optionally provide the following:

  • Any proof of the cardholder's social media that can prove that the cardholder was using the merchandise or services.
  • Any email correspondence with the cardholder that can prove that the merchandise was received.
  • Any other evidence that you might have.

The process to defend against the dispute remains the same. Supplying the information increases the chance of a successful dispute defense, but it does not guarantee that you will win.

See also