The Future of Disputes

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By Michael Mallon, Global Director of Product - Accertify, Inc.

As we approach the middle of the year, the holiday season well behind us, it seems an appropriate time to discuss what we are seeing as upcoming changes in the way that disputes are going to be managed.  We are starting to see the first major change in recent history by Visa and we believe the other networks will also move in a similar direction in due time.  Back in 2016, Visa released information on what they termed the, “Visa Claims Resolution” process, an efficient dispute process for merchants.  And so, as we turn the corner to the latter half of 2017, what are we sure of?

The changes seem to point to the movement towards newer technology usage.  What does this mean?  It means we are starting to see requirements from the acquirers that are in the process of implementing these new technologies.  And because of this we wanted to share some high level concepts around what we are seeing so that you are aware of the direction everything appears to be heading.

First, and most importantly, we are seeing a reduction in the total cycle time of a dispute.  We believe this will mean that the distance between the notification of the dispute and the time merchants have to respond will be shortened.  It is already variable across acquirers but we expect as you enter 2018 that everyone will see a shortening of reply by date timeframes.

Second, there will be an increase in the data elements being requested by the networks to facilitate a faster resolution to the dispute.  This means that we are seeing indications that the acquirers will need to pass data points such as IP Address for the purchase, Device ID, Billing Name, Billing eMail, etc.  The full list is not known but this a selection of the ones we are aware of.  This means if you do not collect data around device today, this is something you should be considering based on the changes coming.

Lastly, though it appears that Visa is collapsing disputes into four main categories, this does not mean the amount of reason codes will be smaller.  Each of these categories has a set of sub-categories with varying response requirements so in reality we believe the number of codes may expand slightly when you factor in all of the different sub-categories.  And we can tell you as of right now, we are unsure how this will come through in the notification process as each acquirer seems to be taking their own course of action as to how to expose that information to their merchants.

And so, as we enter summer, we would suggest if you have not heard from your acquirer of the changes coming, you should ask them when they will be communicating how and when the changes will occur.  This way you are aware of when they will be providing the revised requirements to you.  This will allow you to begin preparing for the change, which should be coming early 2018.