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Chargebacks and Disputes

Disputes and Chargebacks

When an Account Holder believes they did not receive the goods and services they paid for or there was unauthorized activity on their account, they may dispute the amount of a posted transaction. Card networks, such as Visa and Mastercard, have strict rules and timelines for responding to and investigating disputes. It can be difficult to keep track of these rules and monitor activity on a Payment Card or Financial Account for potential fraud.

Highnote provides you with a Disputes Intake team that can assist with the following:

  • Handling dispute intakes from Account Holders
  • Managing the requesting and receiving of dispute-related documentation from Account Holders
  • Investigating claims from Account Holders
  • Filing Chargebacks for disputed CLEARING Transaction Events
  • Providing direct support to Account Holders on the status of Chargebacks
  • Issuing Provisional Credits while Chargebacks are being investigated
  • Settling Provisional Credits when Chargebacks are resolved
  • Monitoring and maintaining regulatory requirements and timelines

If a dispute case is won by an Account Holder, a chargeback is issued and the disputed transaction is reversed. As a part of the overall Disputes process, Highnote also provides monitoring and reporting to the Sponsor Bank on your behalf.

Submitting a Dispute Case

When submitting a dispute case, your account holder can call Highnote directly via your Interactive Voice Response (IVR) system, or you can set up email forwarding to Highnote. The following information must be collected from the account holder when submitting a dispute case:

  • Account holder's full name (must match the full name on the payment card)
  • Last four digits of the payment card used
  • Transaction ID (provided by you)
  • Transaction post date
  • Posted transaction amount
  • Disputed amount
  • Merchant ID
  • Summary of dispute reason and any supporting documents

If multiple transactions are disputed, a separate dispute case must be submitted for each transaction. To file a dispute, the transaction must be cleared, can only be associated with a single dispute case, and must be disputed within 180 days of the clearing event. The disputed amount cannot exceed the transaction amount in the clearing event.

If a dispute is unrelated to fraud, your customer support representative or the account holder should contact the merchant to see if the dispute can be resolved before involving the card network. If the dispute is related to fraudulent activity, you must close any compromised payment cards associated with the account holder's financial account.

Dispute Timeframes

To comply with Regulation E (Reg E) for Consumer Programs, adhere to the following dispute resolution timeframes:

Dispute process stepTimeframe
Initial response to account holderWithin 10 business days of first contact from the account holder. Confirm with the account holder whether an error occurred.
Extended investigation periodUp to 45 days are permitted to investigate inquiries, complaints, or questions for extended investigation periods.
Credit provision during extended investigationIf an investigation exceeds 10 business days, credit the disputed amount to the account holder's financial account. This provision allows for continued investigation without undue financial impact on the account holder.
Special cases with new payment cards, POS transaction, or foreign-initiated transactionsInvestigations for special cases may extend up to 90 days.
Post-investigation communicationInform the account holder of the investigation results within three business days of completion.
No-error decisionsIf the investigation concludes that no error occurred, provide a written explanation to the account holder. Retain records of the decision in case of future account holder requests.

Note the following additional Consumer Reg E timeframes to receive maximum protection:

  • The account holder is responsible for notifying your organization within two business days upon discovering a lost or stolen payment card or unauthorized access to a device.
  • For unauthorized charges (excluding lost or stolen payment cards), the account holder should report the incident within 120 days of the transaction and within 60 days of receiving the billing statement the reflects the charge.

Provisional Credits

During the investigation of a dispute case, provisional credits are issued to the account holder's financial account. Regulation E mandates the issuance of these credits for consumer products. For commercial products, the issuance of provisional credits is optional. The funding for provisional credits originates from the program's product funding account.

For credit card products, any transactions under dispute are not included in the computation of the financial account’s total outstanding balance or in any due statement balances. It is important to note that the available credit linked to disputed transactions remains inaccessible in the financial account until the resolution of the dispute case.

Simulate Creating a Dispute

Highnote creates and manages dispute and chargeback cases for your card product in the Live Environment. In the Test Environment, however, you can simulate the creation and resolution of dispute and chargeback cases. This simulation triggers financial account activity related to provisional credits, disputes, or chargebacks, and the associated notification events for case creation and resolution. You can find events related to dispute case status changes and provisional credits in the Events Reference.

Once an Account Holder has provided the necessary information to file a dispute, an agent can create the dispute case(s) for the cleared transaction event(s). If multiple transactions are disputed, each dispute case must be created individually. A transaction must be disputed within 180 days of the clearing event.

Use the following mutation to simulate a Card Transaction dispute. You must provide the disputed cardTransactionEventId, the dispute category, and the amount as input variables to create the case:

Simulate Creating a Chargeback Case

Based on the outcome of Highnote's dispute investigation and the amount of the disputed transaction, a chargeback case may be created if the dispute qualifies for filing with the card network. The newly created chargeback case will be linked to the parent dispute case.

Depending on the card product's minimum chargeback amount feature setting, the disputed transaction might fall below the threshold required for a chargeback with the card network. In the Test Environment, the minimum chargeback amount is $25. A chargeback case will not be initiated if a dispute is valid but the transaction amount is below the minimum chargeback threshold. Instead, a dispute credit will be issued to the financial account to resolve the case. For more information, refer to the 'Simulate Issuing a Dispute Credit' mutation.

To simulate a chargeback, use the following mutation, providing the disputeId and amount as input variables:

Simulate Issuing Provisional Credits

Depending on the card product, provisional credits may be issued to a financial account for disputed transactions while the case is under investigation. In the Test Environment, all consumer card products can issue provisional credits. Provisional credits can only be issued after a chargeback case has been created and initiated with the card network.

For credit card products, disputed transactions will be removed from the financial account's outstanding balance payable and any statement balance due amounts. However, available credit may not be released to the financial account for a disputed transaction until the dispute case is resolved in favor of the account holder.

Provisional, dispute, and chargeback credits can be identified in a financial account from the InterFinancialAccountTransfer.

The original provisional credit will remain in the financial account if the chargeback case is won. If the chargeback case is lost, the provisional credit will be revoked from the financial account.

Use the following mutation to simulate issuing a provisional credit for a dispute case:

Simulating Issuing a Dispute Credit

If the disputed transaction amount is less than the card product's minimum chargeback threshold with the card network, a dispute credit can be issued to the financial account instead of issuing a provisional credit. The minimum amount for submitting a chargeback to the card network may vary across card products and can be found in the card product's feature settings.

If the disputed amount qualifies for a chargeback to the network, a dispute credit cannot be issued. In the test environment, the disputed amount must be less than $25 to issue a dispute credit.

Use the following mutation to simulate issuing a dispute credit:

Simulate Updating a Dispute Case

Updating dispute case elements will not impact an associated chargeback case.

You can update the dispute case status to trigger additional notification events such as REJECTED and CANCELLED.

Use the following mutation to simulate updating a dispute case, providing the desired status as an input variable:

Simulate Resolving a Chargeback Case

Resolving a chargeback case will automatically resolve the associated dispute case. The status of the dispute case, once updated, will also affect the status of any provisional credits issued. The outcome and amount of the case will determine the systematic execution of ledger entries and money movement. If no provisional credit was issued on the commercial card product, a credit will be issued to the financial account when the chargeback case is successfully resolved.

To simulate resolving a chargeback case, use the following mutation:

Find a Financial Account’s Dispute Cases

You can search for dispute cases and their associated transactions on a financial account using the following query:

Find a Transaction Event’s Dispute Case

You can find a related dispute case from the AUTHANDCLEAR or CLEAR transaction event using the following query:

List Dispute Cases By Card Product

You can also view a paginated list of dispute cases associated with a card product with the following query:

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