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Table of Contents

The dispute process

In the extreme scenario where a dispute continues throughout the entire adjudication process, several dispute-related actions occur.

Smart Dispute for Issuers checks to see which action should be performed based on the association and where the dispute is in relation to the chargeback lifecycle. For legacy Visa, MasterCard and American Express, the following table lists the flows and their function, based on the Dispute Stage property value.

Dispute stage

Name of flow

What the flow does



Creates an assignment to be worked for a representment that has been received. Also creates an accounting suspense entry.



Creates an assignment to record a response to a prearbitration request, produces correspondence, updates the dispute status, does accounting, and so on, depending on the details of the dispute.



Creates an assignment to record a response to a precompliance request, produces correspondence, updates the dispute status, does accounting, and so on, depending on the details of the dispute.

Good Faith


Creates an assignment to record a response received from an acquirer, indicates whether the acquirer granted or declined the request, and determines how any remaining balance is to be treated.

If the Dispute Stage property value is something other than one of the values listed in the preceding table, then Smart Dispute for Issuers continues to the OnUsProcessing flow. This flow lets you process disputes differently if your bank is both the issuer and the acquirer for the transaction. This step is part of the OnUsProcessing invoke flow shape. If your organization processes On-Us and non-On-Us disputes the same way, you can remove the On-Us Flow from DisputeMainFlow.

The PreArbitrationInbound, PreComplianceInbound, GoodFaithInbound, and OnUsProcessing flows handle disputes that do not have chargeback rights.

If the disputed amount is below a predetermined value, Smart Dispute for Issuers calls the SmallDollarWriteOff flow. This flow evaluates the details of the transaction to determine if it should be written off. This step is part of the SmallDollarWriteOff invoke flow shape. There is a separate write-off decision table for debit transactions, IsWriteOff.

After the SmallDollarWriteOff flow, Smart Dispute for Issuers continues to the RegulationZCredit flow. This flow is used only if the communication from the cardholder satisfies the requirements of the United States Fair Credit Billing Act (FCBA). If the FCBA applies, this flow manages the timeframes to ensure that all the steps of the dispute process that have time limits specified by the FCBA, or by Regulation Z, are completed within those time limits. This step is part of the RegulationZCredit invoke flow shape.

For debit transactions, Smart Dispute for Issuers determines if the transaction or dispute is subject to Regulation E (Reg E is a US consumer rights law that covers electronic transactions posted to customers’ deposit accounts), and if so, by which dates certain processing steps must be completed.

Next, the ProvisionalCreditEvaluate utility automatically evaluates the details of the dispute and the customer account. It determines if the circumstances of the current dispute fall within the established guidelines to grant a provisional credit immediately. If so, it sets the value of the ProvisionalCredit property to “Y” and calls the SuspenseOpen flow. This flow handles the accounting for a provisional credit to the cardholders account. This step is part of the SuspenseOpen invoke flow shape.

After the SuspenseOpen flow, Smart Dispute for Issuers continues to the ProcessDispute flow. Smart Dispute for Issuers also calls this flow if the transaction is a credit or if the cardholder has not been granted a provisional credit.

The ProcessDispute flow helps you to choose a reason code for the dispute and manages timeframes to ensure that the dispute processing happens within established time guidelines. This step is part of the ProcessDispute invoke flow shape. DisputeMainFlow also includes other utilities and tickets that manage internal details for the Smart Dispute for Issuers program.

As previously mentioned, if the transaction being disputed is a Visa transaction, Smart Dispute for Issuers reviews the transaction details to determine if the dispute should be processed using Visa’s legacy chargeback process or their new Visa Claims Resolution process. This check insures proper processing of Visa disputes, and is determined based on the migration status of the issuer’s region and the region in which the transaction was conducted.

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