Major card brands play a pivotal role in dispute resolution. Mastercard has shifted the way they handle claims against merchants. Their goal was to create a way to settle disputes faster.

Resolving disputes can be a long process, which is why a faster cycle can save businesses and banks time. However, this updated format has its downsides. Merchants can easily miss incoming disputes and don’t get a chance to respond.

The odds are automatically stacked against the merchant once a client files a dispute. This makes it essential for businesses to be updated on card brands’ resolution systems.

The Mastercard Dispute Resolution Initiative (MDRI) is much like the Visa Claims Resolution (VCR). They are both new versions of dispute cycles. Mastercard modeled MDRI after the VCR, but there are slight differences. Knowing both processes can help your business handle disputes better.

Two Different Processes

Just like Visa, Mastercard has two different dispute processes. One is the updated cycle which is becoming the more common path.

Mastercard differentiates disputes by how initial transactions occurred or the reason behind the dispute.

Single message transactions are those that don’t require merchants to settle with issuing banks. This is because cardholders use an identifier like a PIN before authorization happens.

Dual message transactions are what businesses submit to banks. These purchases use authorization holds and lock in funds until issuing banks receive transaction settlements.

Mastercard uses separate processes for these two types of transactions.

Single Message Transaction Disputes

Single message transaction disputes follow a few simple steps.

  1. Dispute Filed The dispute process begins when a cardholder disputes a transaction. They do this through their bank. The issuing bank is then responsible for submitting the dispute information forward to Mastercard. This would include one of Mastercard’s reason codes.The acquiring bank is notified as well.
  2. Chargeback Acceptance or Rebuttal The merchant and acquiring bank can either accept the dispute or challenge it. Accepting the dispute will turn it into a chargeback against the merchant. Businesses that want to fight against the dispute will send their rebuttal with evidence through their bank. This is also known as the business and acquirer initiating second presentment.
  3. Pre-Arbitration The customer’s bank can agree that the merchant’s evidence is compelling enough to cancel the dispute. Or, they can enter pre-arbitration, which they then would be responding to the acquiring bank with their own evidence. The acquirer can either accept the chargeback or respond once more.
  4. ArbitrationDisagreement beyond pre-arbitration will require the issuing bank to take the dispute up with Mastercard. Mastercard will then evaluate the situation and decide whether the dispute is valid.

Dual Message Transaction Disputes

Dual message dispute processes give businesses less time to respond as well as refund customers before chargebacks hit.

  1. Dispute FiledThe dispute process begins when a cardholder disputes a transaction. They do this through their bank. The issuing bank is then responsible for submitting the dispute information forward to Mastercard. This would include one of Mastercard’s reason codes.The acquiring bank is notified as well.
  2. First Chargeback Mastercard gives merchants a certain amount of time, depending on the reason code, to respond to the dispute before a first chargeback hits. Businesses and acquirers can respond with evidence. However, merchants cannot submit refunds beyond this point. This makes an official chargeback inevitable for the merchant.
  3. Second Presentment This is where the merchant and acquirer can send in their rebuttal.
  4. ArbitrationDisagreement beyond pre-arbitration will require the issuing bank to take the dispute up with Mastercard. Mastercard will then evaluate the situation and decide whether the dispute is valid.

How Can I Respond to Mastercard Disputes in Time?

Chargeback alerts notify businesses of incoming disputes. This gives merchants the time to send in a refund, talk to the customer, or whatever they can to prevent a chargeback from happening.

Especially with dual message processes, a chargeback hits fast. A lot of the time, merchants aren’t aware of them until it’s too late.

Contact us today to learn how chargeback alerts can help your business.