Visa and MasterCard have made important changes to merchant acceptance as part of a proposed settlement for merchants located in the U.S. and U.S. territories. For more information click here.

In the event that you want to dispute a ruling on a chargeback you can go to arbitration. Arbitration is the process of filing a case to the association by either the Issuer (for Visa transactions) or the Acquirer (for MasterCard transactions) for ruling on a dispute that could not be resolved during the chargeback cycle.

If you would like to initiate an arbitration case it must be postmarked within 45 calendar days from the date of the chargeback was final. To file a case you must provide all of the following:

  • Completed Arbitration Documentation form which contains an overview of the dispute along with the sequence of events in chronological order.
  • The form must be signed by the principal contact.

In addition, all documentation provided during the chargeback cycle must be included in the arbitration documentation. Documentation that was not provided in the chargeback cycle(s) will not be considered.

There are filing fees of $150 for initiating an arbitration case and are the responsibility of the party that is ruled against. For example, the Issuer would be responsible for the fee if the case is ruled in the Acquirer's favor. The member filing the arbitration case is responsible for reviewing the arbitration case documents to validate that the case is complete and valid.

Additionally, there is a $250.00 administration fee / review fee assessed against the member found responsible for the transaction. A fee of $100.00 per violation for technical penalties will be assessed against any member found in violation. Therefore, a member could win the case but still be assessed technical penalties. Arbitration cases can be appealed. The dollar amount of the dispute must be $5,000.00 or greater and only new information will be considered for review. The filing fee for an appeal ranges from five percent of the case value to a maximum of $1,000.00.

Effective 9/1/08, Visa is increasing the filing fee on arbitration and compliance cases. The increase amount of $100.00 will bring the filing fee to $250.00. Cases filed prior to 9/1/08 will be processed with the current filing fee of $150.00. The review fee of $250.00 will remain unchanged.