Dear Valued Merchant:

With the number of card transaction disputes rising, and processing time and costs increasing, Heartland is pleased to announce the rollout of Visa’s new Visa Claims Resolution (VCR) dispute process on April 13, 2018. This initiative is geared toward simplifying the dispute process by migrating from a litigation-based model to a liability assignment model. Visa will leverage existing data within its systems and its global dispute platform to simplify the process for disputed transactions. Invalid disputes will be eliminated where possible, liability will be assigned automatically utilizing the available data, and timeframes for dispute resolution will be reduced.

This communication is to provide additional, more detailed information and impacts specific to Heartland merchants around this initiative. Notifications were previously provided on your merchant statements and Heartland’s merchant portal, InfoCentral.

One of the impacts to you is that Visa is shortening the number of days that a merchant has to respond to chargebacks. New dispute notification letters will advise a merchant to respond to disputes within ten days from the date of the notification. This will allow ample time for the Heartland Disputes Team to reach out to you if additional or more legible documents are required to resolve the dispute.

You will need to be aware of the following changes that may impact you and your business:

  • If Heartland pursues pre-arbitration on your behalf for Allocation disputes, the funds are not reimbursed for the dispute unless and until Visa makes a final ruling in your favor
  • New dispute reason codes as outlined in the chart below
  • Dispute letters will be updated and look different than they do today
  • If you utilize InfoCentral, Case Management changes will include the new reason codes, terminology and dispositions, and the Days to Act field will reflect Visa’s shortened timeframe
  • No additional chargeback fees

The process is being streamlined by reducing timelines, touchpoints and processes involved in the resolution of disputes by having disputes follow one of two new processes:

  • Allocation – fraud and authorization disputes where Visa will determine liability and allow responses under certain conditions; compelling evidence, invalid data, and credit issued. Pre-arbitration will be the only recourse for items falling under this umbrella. Funds will not be reimbursed to you unless and until Visa makes a ruling in your favor.
  • Collaboration – disputes requiring interaction between merchants, acquirers and issuers. The ability to represent an item falling under this umbrella is still applicable and will follow the same funding flow as you are accustomed to today for representment scenarios.

The existing 22 chargeback reason codes will be consolidated into 4 dispute categories. The categories will be:

  • 10 – Fraud
  • 11 – Authorization
  • 12 – Processing Error
  • 13 – Consumer Dispute

The following chart reflects the new Reason Codes (Conditions) associated with the new Visa categories:


You will receive the same level of supporting documentation with any disputes and in some cases additional information will be provided to help you understand the reason for the dispute. Issuers will be required to complete an enhanced Dispute Questionnaire that will ensure all the required information is captured before initiating a dispute, allowing for a quicker more efficient process.

Additional benefits of VCR are:

  • Improved timeframes and process improvements.
  • Visa’s system edits will provide an added layer of protection to the dispute ecosystem thereby reducing the number of disputes leveraged against merchants.
  • More information will be provided up front, so less back and forth exchange of documents and information.

Because Visa is performing more strenuous validations up front, invalid disputes will be removed from the system. The new VCR processes will become effective April 13, 2018. Disputes issued prior to that date will be handled as they are today. Any disputes issued on or after April 13 will follow the new VCR process.

Should you have any questions regarding this new process, please contact your local Heartland relationship manager, or call your Heartland disputes team at 866-976-1351. Thank you for partnering with Heartland for your payment processing needs. We appreciate your business.


Jeffrey Windell

Vice President, Operations