How do I dispute a card transaction?

Navigating disputes can be challenging, so this article provides a comprehensive guide on dispute definitions, considerations, necessary information, procedural steps, submission, and withdrawal to help you effectively manage the process.

  1. Dispute Definition and Categories
  2. Considerations before initiating a dispute
  3. Important information and supporting evidence required for each dispute reason
  4. Dispute Steps and Timeline
  5. Submission
  6. Withdrawal
  7. References

Dispute Definition and Categories

A transaction dispute occurs when a cardholder questions the validity of a transaction in order to get a refund. Disputes can occur for a variety of reasons, such as the cardholder did not receive merchandise or services, was charged incorrectly, or did not authorise the transaction.

Here are the four dispute categories in the VISA network:

  1. Fraud Disputes:
    Transactions that the cardholder claims they did not authorise fall into this category. This includes any transaction that the cardholder states was made without their knowledge or consent, which is often the result of theft, card loss, or compromised card details.
  2. Authorization Disputes:
    These disputes arise when the cardholder claims that the merchant failed to obtain proper authorization for the transaction. This could be due to an expired authorization, a declined authorization, or an incorrect transaction amount.
  3. Processing Errors:
    This category deals with disputes related to mistakes made during the transaction process. Examples include duplicate processing, incorrect transaction amounts, transactions with invalid account numbers, or transactions posted with incorrect currency codes.
  4. Consumer Disputes:
    Consumer disputes happen when cardholders report issues with the goods or services provided. Types of consumer disputes include not receiving the goods or services, goods or services not being as described or standardised, merchandise returns, or cancellations, as well as disputes involving a merchant’s failure to issue a credit.

It is crucial to recognize that the dispute process is governed by specific network policies and relies heavily on clear evidence. (Visa Core Rules and Visa Product and Service Rules)
During the dispute, all parties involved must present evidence to support their claim—whether it's documentation of the transaction, proof of delivery or service, or evidence of communication between the merchant and the customer.

As your issuing bank, we are here to guide and represent you through this process, helping to compile the necessary documentation and communicating with the merchant's bank on your behalf. However, it's important to set realistic expectations. The outcome of a dispute cannot be guaranteed, as it is ultimately subject to the network's rules and an evaluation of the evidence provided.

Considerations before initiating a dispute

  • Fraud Chargeback rights
    According to the "Types of Transaction Fraud and Understanding Your Liability" article, the network can only process fraud disputes if the liability is assigned to the merchant/acquirer.
  • Transaction type
    Disputed transactions in question must be captured and processed before we can proceed with raising a dispute. This means that any transactions that are still in a pending status cannot be disputed at this time.
  • Time limit
    • Fewer than 110 calendar days have passed since the business captured the transaction.
    • However, if you plan to file Authorization Disputes, this deadline is shorter, which is within 65 calendar days after the transaction is captured.
  • Disputed transaction number restriction
    In the case of VISA card-absent Fraud Disputes, the number of disputed transactions permitted per card is capped at 35 in the last 120 days.
  • Unsupported dispute scenarios
    • Friendly fraud, also referred to as "chargeback fraud", is a type of fraud that occurs when a customer disputes a legitimate charge that they made on their credit card, debit card, or another payment method.
    • Disputes for non-fraudulent reasons where the required evidence or information is missing.
    • Cases that don’t fit into any network dispute reasons.

All rights are reserved by Airwallex on the interpretation and definition of unsupported dispute scenarios.

Important information and supporting evidence required for each dispute reason

Dispute resolution is a process guided by specific network policies. These policies outline the reasons for disputes and the corresponding requirements. Participants must strictly adhere to these policies when raising disputes. Insufficient information or evidence may hinder the ability to raise a dispute.

Dispute Reason

Necessary information required Supporting evidence required
Suspected fraud / unauthorised / unrecognised transaction - Not mandatory, better to provide the description of this dispute
Merchandise/Services Not Received

Detailed description of what was purchased -
Provide an explanation of the dispute -
What was the last expected receipt date? Proof of the last expected receipt date, such as the conversation with the merchant or terms and conditions from the merchant.
Not as Described

Provide details of what was ordered and not as described A transaction receipt or alternative proof from the time of purchase where the merchant precisely described the merchandise
Date merchandise or service was received -
If services:
1. Cancellation date
2. Cancellation reason
Screenshot of the cancellation

If merchandise:
1. Returned date
2. Date the merchant received the returned merchandise
3. Returned method, such as:

  • Face to face
  • FedEx
  • DHL
  • UPS
  • Postal Service
  • Other
Tracking number of the returned method.
Damaged/Defective Merchandise

What was ordered and how was it damaged or defective? -
Date merchandise was received -

1. Returned date
2. Date the merchant received the returned merchandise
3. Returned method, such as:

  • Face to face
  • FedEx
  • DHL
  • UPS
  • Postal Service
  • Other
Tracking number of the returned method.
Cancelled Merchandise/Services

What's the cancellation date and reason -

If you already received the merchandise, you must return the merchandise before raising the dispute and provide the following information:
1. Date merchandise was received
2. Returned date
3. Date the merchant received the returned merchandise
4. Returned method, such as:

  • Face to face
  • FedEx
  • DHL
  • UPS
  • Postal Service
  • Other
Tracking number of the returned method.
If services, type of service:
1. Timeshare
2. Guaranteed Reservation
3. Other
Cancelled Recurring Transaction What's the Date when the cardholder withdrew permission to charge the Payment Credential or The date the Merchant was notified that the account was closed Details used to contact the Merchant, such as an email address, telephone number, or physical address
Credit Not Processed Date of credit voucher, transaction receipt or refund acknowledgement. The voucher/receipt/acknowledgement
Duplicate Processing - -
Paid by Other Means If both transactions are not for the same merchant or on the same card, describe what kind of payment was used Proof of payment by other means
Other Please describe the background information and why you would like to file a dispute -

Dispute Steps and Timeline

The network typically takes 45 to 90 days to resolve a dispute.

After a chargeback is filed on behalf of a client, the merchant/acquirer has the right to decline it. Several exchanges will occur before the outcome is released.

In rare cases, a dispute may go to arbitration, where VISA will intervene and make the final decision. The losing party will be charged an additional 500 US dollars. Airwallex, as the Issuer Bank, will deduct 500 US dollars from the client's account as a reserve. Regrettably, if we are unable to deduct the necessary funds due to insufficient balance, we will not be able to proceed with the arbitration. If the case is won, the 500 US dollars will be credited back to the client's account.

Fraud and Authorization
When the issuer submits the dispute, VISA will verify the chargeback rights for these two dispute categories. Consequently, VISA will automatically reject any fraud disputes without chargeback rights after submission.

Fraud and Authorization Process (Quoted from Visa Claims Resolution-Efficient Dispute Processing for Merchants)

Consumer and Processing Errors

Consumer and Processing Errors Process (Quoted from Visa Claims Resolution-Efficient Dispute Processing for Merchants)


For all our customers, disputes can be submitted through this portal.

For our platform clients, disputes can be submitted through the Airwallex for Platform portal via ‘Operational Support’--->’Issuing’--->’I want to dispute a transaction’.

It is strongly advised that cardholders provide the transaction information, reason for dispute and any supporting evidence in as much detail as possible.

Our dispute team will start processing the dispute request upon receiving the submission. We will reach out if additional information is required.


Before a dispute is submitted to the network, it can be easily withdrawn upon notification.
However, once the dispute has been submitted, we are unable to withdraw it.

  • In case the merchant declines our chargeback, we can facilitate its acceptance, which is equivalent to withdrawing the dispute.
  • On the other hand, if the merchant simply accepts our chargeback, you have the option to contact them directly and provide a credit.


Visa Core Rules and Visa Product and Service Rules
Visa Claims Resolution-Efficient Dispute Processing for Merchants