Visa Chargeback Reason Code 12.6: Processing Errors

chargeback reason code 12.6Merchants who receive a chargeback for a transaction placed with a Visa card may encounter reason code 12.6, 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 12.6 may be able to represent the transaction and reverse the chargeback with the right compelling evidence.

What is Visa Chargeback Reason Code 12.6?

Visa chargeback reason code 12.6 falls under the “Processing Errors” category. The shorthand description is “Duplicate Processing/Paid by Other Means.” This reason code indicates that the cardholder is disputing the transaction as a duplicate charge.

This might mean that merchant submitted a batch of identical transactions more than once, that more than one transaction receipt exists for a single sale, or that a card transaction was processed despite the fact that the cardholder paid for the purchase with cash, check, or a different payment card.

What Scenarios Might Lead to This Chargeback?

Duplicate processing can occur when a merchant keys in a transaction more than once, or when they submit a batch multiple times—which can happen when network errors make it look like a batch submission hasn’t gone through.

Sometimes, a merchant may start a transaction on a payment card, but the cardholder changes their mind about their payment method midway through. If the merchant doesn’t completely void the transaction in progress, it’s possible to submit it as a duplicate. This can also happen when a cardholder makes a one-time payment on a recurring billing that is set up for automatic payments, and the merchant doesn’t stop the automatic payment from being processed.

It’s also possible for cardholders to erroneously dispute separate but similar transactions, such as recurring billings or multiple purchases from the same merchant in a single day.

This reason code may also see use in intentional friendly fraud chargebacks, where the cardholder makes false claims about providing an alternative form of payment that the merchant didn’t record.

Get the guide, Chargebacks 101: Understanding Chargebacks & Their Root Causes

What are the Important Timeframes?

For this dispute, Visa requires that its cardholders file their claim within 120 calendar days of placing the transaction. The acquirer and/or merchant have 20 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. Your chargeback response should include the following:

  • Individual and separate transaction receipts, or other documents, that prove that each transaction was different and separately processed.
  • Proof that you did not receive any other form of payment for the goods or services purchased in the disputed transaction.
  • If you have already processed a refund for the transaction in question, provide documentation that proves you have credited the cardholder’s account.
  • If you have resolved the issue directly with the cardholder, provide proof, such as written correspondence, that proves they no longer wish to dispute the charge.

How Can Merchants Prevent this Chargeback Code?

If you are receiving duplicate processing chargebacks, there may be operation errors or bad procedures that are causing you to reenter or resubmit a single transaction more than once. A careful review of your processes, followed by a training refresher, should prevent these errors from reoccurring.

Take care when processing transactions and be sure to completely void out in-progress transactions when the customer decides to make a significant change, like switching to a different payment method. You can also protect yourself in the event of later friendly fraud disputes by keeping detailed transaction records, such as legible receipt copies.

The following tips can help you avoid this kind of chargeback:

  • Review your transaction receipts before depositing.
  • Submit batches one at a time. If you’re not sure whether a batch needs to be resubmitted, ask your payment processor.
  • Double check all price calculations, transaction amounts, and payment types before finalizing a transaction.
  • If a customer wants to change to a different form of payment after initially offering a payment card, be sure to void the card transaction immediately.
  • If you notice a duplicate payment, issue a credit or process a transaction reversal immediately.

About Visa 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.

Visa specifies 46 reason codes under the categories of Fraud, Authorization, Point-of-Interaction Error, Consumer Disputes, and Processing Errors. Visa uses a numeric 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.