Chargeback Reason Codes by Network - 2023 Guide
Table of Contents
- What Is a Chargeback Reason Code?
- How Do Reason Codes Help Fight Chargebacks?
- Chargeback Reason Code Quick Reference Guide
- 2022 Visa Chargeback Reason Codes
- 2022 Mastercard Chargeback Reason Codes
- 2022 American Express Chargeback Reason Codes
- 2022 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?
Chargeback reason codes might be the single most important thing when it comes to fighting and preventing chargebacks. Without the reason code, merchants wouldn't know what evidence they need to submit to get a chargeback reversed. Reason codes also help merchants determine which chargebacks they should fight and provide valuable data to inform a merchant's chargeback prevention efforts.
Reason codes aren't perfect, of course. They tell you the reason the cardholder gave the bank for disputing the charge, but those claims are often untrue. That's why much of the best data for your chargeback prevention efforts will come from fighting chargebacks and uncovering their real root causes. In order to fight a chargeback effectively, however, you'll need to know the reason code.
That's why we've created this guide, which goes over what reason codes are and how they help fight chargebacks and includes up-to-date lists of the reason codes for all the major US card networks.
If you're looking for the meaning of a specific reason code, you can enter it into our handy reason code lookup tool to find detailed information about what that code means, what might have caused it, and how you might be able to reverse that chargeback.
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.
Banks have traditionally been quite willing to grant their customers a chargeback without much investigation, but recent changes to rules of major card networks have attempted to mitigate this issue by requiring banks to obtain more information before approving a chargeback for certain frequently-abused claims.
Unfortunately, most banks are still going to stick to the bare minimum required by the card network, and will tend to err on the side of the customer whenever their claims fall into a gray area. That means there will still be plenty of illegitimate chargebacks that merchants will have to deal with.
The chargeback notification sent by the issuing bank will include the reason code for the chargeback. This code is chosen by examining the list of reason codes established by the card network for the payment card in question and selecting the one that best matches the reason the cardholder gave for the dispute.
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.
2022 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|
|12.6.2||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|
2022 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)|
2022 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|
2022 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.