Merchants who receive a chargeback for a transaction placed with a Mastercard card may encounter reason code 4834, which indicates an improperly processed transaction that the cardholder does not believe they should be responsible for paying. The actual underlying cause of this chargeback is usually either friendly fraud or merchant error. Merchants who believe they have received an invalid chargeback under reason code 4834 may be able to represent the transaction and reverse the chargeback with the right compelling evidence.
What is Mastercard Chargeback Reason Code 4834?
Mastercard chargeback reason code 4834 falls under the “Point-of-Interaction Error” category. The shorthand description is “Point-of-Interaction Error.” This reason code is used for various processing errors, but its most frequent application is for duplicate processing of a transaction—that’s when a cardholder claims that the merchant has charged them multiple times for a single transaction.
Duplicate processing can occur when a single transaction is processed more than one time, when the merchant deposits both the merchant and sales copies of the transaction receipt, when a merchant creates multiple sales receipts for a single transaction, when a merchant deposits a receipt with more than one acquiring bank, or when a merchant submits a batch of transactions multiple times.
This chargeback reason code may also be used for late presentments or when the wrong transaction amount is processed.
What Scenarios Might Lead to This Chargeback?
This chargeback is often caused by merchant error, either from careless or improper transaction processing or due to software problems. Sometimes a merchant will submit a batch twice, unsure that it went through the first time, or they may fail to cancel a transaction in progress and accidentally submit it even though a separate transaction was already processed for that customer.
Friendly fraud can also occur when cardholders mistake similar or recurring payments for duplicate transactions.
What are the Important Timeframes?
Mastercard recommends that its cardholders file their dispute within 120 calendar days of placing the transaction. The acquirer and/or merchant have 45 calendar days to respond to this chargeback after it is filed.
How Can Merchants Fight this Chargeback Code?
Merchants can fight this chargeback if the cardholder’s claims are false. This reason code may include transaction modifiers that require specific forms of evidence. Your chargeback response should include the following:
- If the chargeback carries the “Addendum/’No-Show’ Dispute” modifier, include either proof that the error has already been corrected via a credit or transaction reversal, or evidence that proves that the cardholder is in fact responsible for the addendum or “no-show” charge.
- If the chargeback carries the “Incorrect Transaction Amount” modifier, include either documentation that proves that the cardholder was billed the correct amount, or evidence that the chargeback is invalid because the issuer did not provide the original Acquirer Reference Data in the DE 72 data record.
- If the chargeback carries the “Late Presentment” modifier, include one of the following:
- Proof that a credit has already been issued to the cardholder.
- Proof that the transaction was submitted within the allowable timeframe.
- Evidence that the chargeback is invalid because the issuer did not provide the original Acquirer Reference Data in the DE 72 data record.
- If the chargeback carries the “Unreasonable Amount” modifier, include proof that the transaction did not exceed the amount range that the cardholder agreed to pay.
- For duplicate transaction processing chargebacks, include one of the following:
- Documentation that shows that the disputed transaction was not a duplicate, but a separate and appropriate charge for different goods or services.
- Evidence showing that the chargeback does not comply with Mastercard’s rules and is therefore invalid.
- If you have already processed a refund for the transaction in question, provide documentation that proves you have credited the cardholder’s account.
How Can Merchants Prevent this Chargeback Code?
Careful handling of transaction processes and attention to detail can go a long way toward avoiding these chargebacks. The following tips can also help:
- Review your transaction receipts before depositing them.
- Only submit one batch at a time.
- If you notice that you have processed a duplicate transaction, reverse it or issue a credit immediately.
- Only deposit receipts with one acquirer.
- Train your staff on the proper procedures for transaction processing.
About Mastercard Chargeback Reason Codes
Reason codes are alphanumeric codes that provide the justification for granting a chargeback. Pursuant to the Fair Credit Billing Act of 1974, cardholders have the right to dispute unauthorized or erroneous charges and issuing banks must reverse a disputed transaction of the cardholder’s claim is valid.
When a cardholder contacts their issuing bank to dispute a transaction and receive a chargeback, the dispute is assigned a reason code that most closely matches the substance of the cardholder’s claims. The reason code provides the merchant and other stakeholders in the dispute with a concise explanation for why a chargeback has been granted.
Each card network—Visa, Mastercard, American Express, and Discover—defines and maintains their own unique set of reason codes, which are applied to disputes by the banks that issue credit and debit cards under their brands.
Mastercard specifies 21 reason codes under the categories of Fraud, Authorization, Point-of-Interaction Error, and Cardholder Disputes. Mastercard uses a four-digit numbering scheme for its chargeback reason codes.
Understanding chargeback reason codes is one of the most essential parts of effective chargeback management. Identifying the chargeback reason code and the evidence required to fight it is the first step in chargeback representment, and analyzing your chargeback reason codes can provide you with insights into what types of disputes are causing you the most trouble. With this information, you can determine the root causes of your chargebacks and take action to prevent them from reoccurring.