Chargebacks & Disputes FAQ

What should I know about Visa’s recent compelling evidence process?

To provide a successful chargeback representment case, Visa and other credit card companies allow (indeed, they urge) merchants to provide compelling evidence to support their case. The details on the allowed compelling evidence are included with the reason code description and details. Remember that each credit card company has its own distinct list of reason codes: make sure you’re referring to the correct list of reason codes when working on your representment case.

In its guide titled Chargeback Management Guidelines for Visa Merchants, Visa describes compelling evidence as “…the act of providing proof the cardholder participated in the transaction, received the goods or services, or benefitted from the transaction. It allows merchants or acquirers to provide additional types of evidence to try to support that the cardholder participated in the transaction, received goods or services, or otherwise benefitted from the transaction. For airline and digital goods merchants, the merchant may be able to provide a remedy.”

As of October 17, 2015, Visa updated its compelling evidence process to reflect the changes in the business marketplace. Citing specifically the changes to business processes introduced by e-commerce, Visa has noted that as the number of sales have increased so have the number of chargeback disputes related to these disputes. In its October 2015 guide titled Visa Optimizes Dispute Rules New Avenues for Card Not Present Merchants, Visa states “The eCommerce industry needs a way to help differentiate legitimate spend from fraudulent transactions, so as to reduce unnecessary friction and disputes.

For all representment cases after October 17, 2015, Visa introduced two new types of compelling evidence, two new representment rights for disputes involving airline and digital goods merchants, and now requires additional pre-arbitration certification requirements.

Updated Visa Reason Codes

As part of its move to support card-not-present merchants and airlines, Visa made changes to the compelling evidence requirements for four key reason codes:

  • Reason Code 30: Services Not Provided or Merchandise Not Received
  • Reason Code 53: Not as Described or Defective Merchandise
  • Reason Code 81: Fraud – Card Present Environment
  • Reason Code 83: Fraud – Card Not Present Environment

For full details on the compelling evidence requirements for these reason codes, we urge you to read Visa Optimizes Dispute Rules New Avenues for Card Not Present Merchants. We do want to highlight some key evidence points:

  • Reason codes 30, 53, 81, 83: Evidence such as photographs or emails, to prove a link between the person receiving the merchandise or services and the cardholder, or to prove that the cardholder disputing the transaction is in possession of the merchandise and/or is using the services.
  • Reason codes 30, 81, 83: For an e-commerce transaction, two or more of the following types of evidence including: purchaser’s IP address, device ID number and name, purchaser’s name and email address linked to the customer profile on record. (See the reason codes for a full description.)
  • Reason codes 30, 81, 83: For merchandise delivered to a business address, evidence that the merchandise was delivered and that at the time of the delivery the cardholder was employed or is working for the company at the address. A signature is not required as evidence of delivery.

When looking at these compelling evidence requirements, it’s vital that you understand that you do need to take measures to ensure you can easily provide this compelling evidence. Remember that you need to respect and adhere to the time requirements stipulated in the reason code.

Read and review all the documentation provided to you by Visa, including the Visa Core Rules and Visa Product and Service Rules guide, for full details on the Visa reason codes. As well, make sure you’re up-to-date with the reason codes and representment requirements for any other credit cards that you accept.

Maintaining Compelling Evidence

As we mentioned above, the it’s up to you to provide the compelling evidence in a timely manner. Your representment case depends on capable response. Collecting compelling evidence cannot be done last-minute. To make it easier for you to fight chargebacks and to win your representment cases, learn about Verifi solutions such as CDRN or our Premier Chargeback Revenue Recovery Service.

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