Chargeback Reason Codes by Network - 2021 Guide
Table of Contents
- What is a chargeback reason code?
- How do reason codes help fight chargebacks?
- Chargeback reason code quick reference guide
- 2021 Visa chargeback reason codes
- 2021 Mastercard chargeback reason codes
- 2021 American Express chargeback reason codes
- 2021 Discover chargeback reason codes
- Know the reasons behind your chargebacks
- What are the reasons for chargebacks?
- Can you always win chargebacks?
- Is there a time limit for chargebacks?
One of the most important things to do when working to prevent and fight chargebacks is to know why they're happening. If you don't know why you're getting chargebacks, you can't find and target the aspects of your business operations that need improvement. Without knowing the reason behind it, you can't make an informed decision on whether to fight a chargeback, nor can you put together an effective evidence package.
That's where chargeback reason codes come in. While they don't tell you everything you need to know about the reasons behind a chargeback, they're still a key tool in the fight against chargebacks, and all merchants should make an effort to familiarize themselves with these codes.
Let's go over what these reason codes are, how they differ by credit card network, and how you can use them to prevent and fight chargebacks.
What is a chargeback reason code?
When a cardholder initiates a dispute with their issuing bank, a representative will ask them questions about the transaction and their reason for disputing it, and ask for any evidence they have that might support their claim. If they decide the dispute is legitimate, they provide a provisional credit to the cardholder while sending a chargeback to the acquiring bank via the credit card network.
As part of the chargeback notification, the bank will list the reason code that matches the reason the cardholder gave for the dispute. The reason code is chosen from the list maintained by whichever card network the card in question operates on.
How do reason codes help fight chargebacks?
Whenever you receive a chargeback notification, the first thing you should do is check the reason code against your records of the transaction.
If you have evidence proving that the reason the customer gave for the chargeback isn't true, you can fight the chargeback in representment, where you submit a rebuttal letter and supporting evidence to the issuing bank for consideration.
The bank will examine the evidence and decide to either reverse or uphold the chargeback. The evidence you provide should always be tailored to the reason code for the chargeback, as adding irrelevant documentation will only muddle your case.
If the reason code is plausible given your records of the transaction, you can use that information to figure out where things went wrong and try to prevent similar issues from happening in the future. For example, if you're getting a lot of chargebacks with reason codes indicating that the product wasn't delivered, you might want to implement delivery confirmation or switch to a more reliable shipping service.
Reason codes also signal to the network different aspects of the chargeback that might place the merchant as the liable party, particularly for incidents related to EMV technology or authorization errors.
Chargeback reason code quick reference guide
What follows is a quick reference guide for all the current reason codes for each of the four major credit card networks: Visa, Mastercard, American Express, and Discover. If you want a more thorough explanation of a given reason code, you can find it in our reason code lookup tool.
2021 Visa chargeback reason codes
Here's a list of all the current Visa reason codes:
|10.1||EMV Liability Shift Counterfeit Fraud|
|10.2||EMV Liability Shift Non-Counterfeit Fraud|
|10.3||Other Fraud — Card Present Environment|
|10.4||Other Fraud — Card Absent Environment|
|10.5||Visa Fraud Monitoring Program|
|11.1||Card Recovery Bulletin|
|12.2||Incorrect Transaction Code|
|12.4||Incorrect Account Number|
|12.6||Duplicate Processing/Paid by Other Means|
|13.1||Merchandise/Services Not Received|
|13.3||Not as Described or Defective Merchandise/Services|
|13.6||Credit Not Processed|
|13.8||Original Credit Transaction Not Accepted|
|13.9||Non-Receipt of Cash or Load Transaction Value|
2021 Mastercard chargeback reason codes
Here's a list of all the current Mastercard reason codes:
|4808||Warning Bulletin File|
|4808||Account Number Not on File|
|4808||Required Authorization Not Obtained|
|4808||Expired Chargeback Protection Period|
|4808||Multiple Authorization Requests|
|4808||Cardholder-Activated Terminal (CAT) 3 Device|
|Point of Interaction Error|
|4834||Point of Interaction Error|
|4834||Transaction Amount Differs|
|4834||Point-of-Interaction Currency Conversion|
|4834||Duplication/Paid by Other Means|
|4834||Loss, Theft, or Damages|
|4837||No Cardholder Authorization|
|4849||Questionable Merchant Activity|
|4870||EMV Chip Liability Shift|
|4871||EMV Chip/PIN Liability Shift|
|4853||Cardholder Dispute of a Recurring Transaction|
|4853||Goods or Services Not Provided|
|4853||No-Show Hotel Charge|
|4853||Credit Not Processed|
|4853||Goods/Services not as Described or Defective|
|4853||Digital Goods $25 or less|
|4853||Transaction Did Not Complete|
|4853||Credit Posted as a Purchase|
|4854||Cardholder Dispute Not Classified Elsewhere|
|4850||Installment Billing Dispute (Participating Countries Only)|
|4999||Domestic Chargeback Dispute (Europe Region Only)|
2021 American Express chargeback reason codes
Here's a list of all the current American Express reason codes:
|A01||Charge Amount Exceeds Authorization Amount|
|A02||No Valid Authorization|
|A08||Authorization Approval Expired|
|F24||No Card Member Authorization|
|F29||Card Not Present|
|Card Member Dispute|
|C02||Credit Not Processed|
|C04||Goods/Services Returned or Refused|
|C08||Goods/Services Not Received|
|C14||Paid by Other Means|
|C18||“No Show” or CARDeposit Cancelled|
|C28||Cancelled Recurring Billing|
|C31||Goods/Services Not as Described|
|C32||Goods/Services Damaged or Defective|
|P01||Unassigned Card Number|
|P03||Credit Processed as Charge|
|P04||Charge Processed as Credit|
|P05||Incorrect Charge Amount|
|P22||Non-Matching Card Number|
|M10||Vehicle Rental - Capital Damages|
|M49||Vehicle Rental - Theft or Loss of Use|
|FR2||Fraud Full Recourse Program|
|FR4||Immediate Chargeback Program|
|FR6||Partial Immediate Chargeback Program|
2021 Discover chargeback reason codes
Here's a list of all the current Discover reason codes:
|UA01||Fraud – Card Present Transaction|
|UA02||Fraud – Card Not Present Transaction|
|UA05||Fraud – Chip Counterfeit Transaction|
|UA06||Fraud – Chip and PIN Transaction|
|UA10||Request Transaction Receipt (swiped card transactions)|
|UA11||Cardholder Claims Fraud (swiped transaction, no signature)|
|IN||Invalid Card Number|
|5||Good Faith Investigation|
|AA||Does Not Recognize|
|CD||Credit/Debit Posted Incorrectly|
|IC||Illegible Sales Data|
|NF||Non-Receipt of Cash from ATM|
|PM||Paid by Other Means|
|RG||Non-Receipt of Goods, Services, or Cash|
|RM||Cardholder Disputes Quality of Goods or Services|
|RN2||Credit Not Processed|
Know the reasons behind your chargebacks
Identifying your chargeback reason codes, understanding them, and taking steps to remedy the root causes of your chargebacks is key to keeping your merchant accounts intact.
Getting down to the root cause of your chargebacks is also the first step to fixing internal issues and preventing future chargeback disputes.