Managing a Payment Dispute

If you receive a credit card dispute, reply to the dispute email and either accept the dispute or submit evidence.

If You Wish to Accept the Dispute:

Please reply to the email stating “I accept the dispute and do not wish to contest it.”

  • You can accept a dispute, effectively agreeing with the cardholder that the dispute was valid for the reason given. Accepting a dispute is not considered an admission of wrongdoing and is sometimes the most appropriate response. The customer has already received their refund via the dispute process—if you agree they should have been refunded, it’s best to accept the dispute. You should always perform this action if you do not intend to respond and submit evidence. Although accepting disputes does not negatively affect your business any further, it should not be seen as an alternative to an effective refund or returns policy. Dispute activity is calculated based upon the disputes received, not won or lost, so dispute prevention is critical.

If You Wish to Submit Evidence:

Always provide evidence for every dispute you hope to have resolved in your favor, even if your customer has told you they are withdrawing the dispute. Card brands require that sellers respond to all disputes with evidence appropriate for the reason code.

  • You may want to first get in touch with the customer and discuss it before you respond. It’s possible that they simply did not recognize or remember the transaction when they viewed their statement. If this is the case, ask them to contact their card issuer and let them know they no longer dispute the transaction. Even if your customer agrees to withdraw the dispute, you must still submit appropriate evidence. Simply saying that your customer is going to withdraw the dispute is not sufficient evidence.
  • If you believe the payment was actually made using a stolen credit card, you will need to accept the dispute. The credit card networks place liability for accepting fraudulent payments with you, the business. However, if you believe the dispute is not valid, you can attempt to prove this by submitting the appropriate evidence.
  • Provide as much evidence as you can of communications in which the customer acknowledged receipt of the product or service in acceptable condition or evidence that you provided the product or service to the customer as originally described. If your customer made no attempt to return the product or cancel the service, or if you provided a replacement product or service, make sure to note that as well.
  • Visa has specific requirements on the type of evidence required to overturn this type of dispute, known as compelling evidence. You must provide at least one piece of compelling evidence in your dispute response or the dispute cannot be overturned.
  • Evidence you can submit for: Physical product. Evidence such as photographs or emails to prove a link between the person receiving products and the cardholder, or proving that the cardholder disputing the transaction is in possession of the products.
  • Evidence that the person who signed for the products was authorized to sign for—or is known by—the cardholder. If the products are collected from a physical location, you should provide:
    • Cardholder signature on the pickup form
    • Details or a copy of identification presented by the cardholder
  • The address to which a physical product was shipped. The shipping address must match a billing address verified with AVS. (A signature is not required as evidence of delivery). You must also provide documentation as proof that a product was shipped to the cardholder at the same address the cardholder provided to you. This could include a copy of the shipment receipt or label, and show the full shipping address of the cardholder, if possible.
If you have additional questions about fraudulent payments, including how to identify and prevent them, we recommend taking a look at