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A Merchant’s Guide to Dispute Notifications

  • Mike Conway, Communications Director, ChargebackHelp 
  • Dec 21, 2020
  • 5 minute read

ChargebackHelp reduces chargebacks and recovers merchant revenue lost to fraud. The company serves merchants of all sizes, in all aspects of transactions: e-commerce, card-present, subscription, and recurring billing merchants.

Dispute notifications and alerts are a merchant’s best resource for reducing chargebacks and fighting fraud. They alert merchants that a transaction is problematic and may become a chargeback. There are several different types of notifications, from multiple sources. Used properly, they can reduce disputes, lower costs and protect your merchant account. ChargebackHelp Plus integrates them into a single endpoint, where the disputes can be deflected and resolved. Let’s take a look at each of the sources, and how each type is dealt with in CBH+. 

The source of a dispute notification is determined by the payment card network used for the transaction. Visa transactions travel through Visa Resolve Online (VROL) to Verifi, and Mastercard transactions go through Mastercom to Ethoca. 

While Visa and Mastercard provide merchants with similar resolutions, there are some key differences. 


Visa has released a suite of tools to manage disputes arising from their credit card and debit processing. These tools cover disputes post-authorization, from the moment a cardholder contacts their card issuer all the way to when a chargeback is issued. 

1. Order Insight

Before a dispute can be registered, Visa will require issuing banks to make an Order Insight inquiry into the transaction. Order Insight is a service through Verifi that sends transaction data from the merchant as it is gathered, in real time. This data contains delivery confirmations, purchasing device IDs, and even customer support interactions that tie a cardholder to the purchase. Order Insight deflects disputes by aiding cardholder recognition and preventing friendly fraud. 

2. Rapid Dispute Resolution 

If a dispute survives the Order Insight inquiry, Visa has designated a “pre-dispute” phase where the transaction details are submitted to the merchant for an automated review. Here, the merchant configures certain conditions, that if met, can trigger an automated refund through VROL. Merchants can specify certain dollar amounts, products and merchant accounts as criteria to qualify the refund. RDR delivers an immediate refund to the cardholder. 

3. Verifi CDRN

Disputes that do not trigger RDR are delegated to Verifi’s Cardholder Dispute Resolution Network (CDRN). Here, the dispute becomes an alert which the merchant must resolve manually. If the merchant chooses to refund the transaction, they must resolve the dispute in their payment gateway, which sends the funds from their merchant bank account to the acquirer, and ultimately to the issuer and cardholder. CDRN is the last opportunity a merchant has to resolve a dispute before it becomes a chargeback. 

4. Visa Inform: Fraud and Dispute Notices 

In addition to pre-dispute and alert notifications, Visa also tracks disputes and makes the data available to merchants through Visa Inform. When a fraudulent transaction is confirmed, issuers submit a Fraud Notice to Inform known as a TC40 claim. TC40s track stolen card numbers and other transaction identifiers of fraud. Non-fraud disputes are also tracked through Inform as Dispute Notices. These notices cover a wider range of disputes, including non-Visa transaction disputes. Merchants can now access these notices to adjust their card processing based on trends in fraud and disputes that these notices reveal. 


Mastercard provides a similar suite of notifications, but somewhat less-segmented than Visa. While Visa has divided up the dispute process to accommodate their new tools, Mastercard currently is merging their tools into their existing dispute stream. Like Visa, their tools engage disputes from the point of inquiry to the issuing of a chargeback. 

1. Ethoca Eliminator 

Mastercard acquired Ethoca specifically for its dispute resolution tools. Eliminator is the Mastercard solution for feeding information to cardholders and issuers to deflect disputes. Like Order Insight, Eliminator is designed to help your customers recognize transactions and enable issuers to prevent friendly fraud. Additional transaction data displays in real time for cardholders in their online statement. Eliminator also helps issuers to determine if their cardholder made a purchase as well. 

2. Ethoca Alerts 

Disputes that are not deflected from Eliminator inquiries are sent through Ethoca’s alert network, before becoming chargebacks. Merchants must refund these alerts through their payment processor gateway. Refunded alerts do not affect merchant accounts as adversely as chargebacks. 

3. SAFE Data

Mastercard tracks fraud through its System to Avoid Fraud Effectively (SAFE). Issuers must submit SAFE data on confirmed fraud at monthly intervals. Merchants can also access this data. However, SAFE data should not be used to resolve existing disputes. Instead, SAFE data should be used to prevent future fraudulent transactions by detecting fraudulent card numbers. 


Merchants do not get access to any of these notifications through their credit card processing. Each notification requires its own integration and maintenance. ChargebackHelp integrates all of these notifications into one dispute management portal where merchants can resolve alerts and avoid chargebacks. That portal is ChargebackHelp Plus (CBH+)

Pre-emptive notification tools Order Insight and Eliminator are combined into CBH+DEFLECT to preempt disputes; that data can later be compiled into CBH+RECOVER to fight chargebacks. CBH+RESOLVE integrates Visa RDR, Verifi CDRN and Ethoca Alerts. Updates to any of these tools are managed seamlessly by our developers. 

With all these tools merged into a single endpoint, the merchant has the full dispute picture for all their credit card transactions. If you’re receiving disputes from transactions of any kind, whether it’s debit or credit, Visa or Mastercard, get ChargebackHelp Plus.

ChargebackHelp reduces chargebacks and recovers merchant revenue lost to fraud. The company serves merchants of all sizes, in all aspects of transactions: ecommerce, card-present, subscription, and recurring billing merchants.

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