Visa Chargeback Time Limit: A Complete Guide for Merchants and Cardholders

ChargePay Team
March 10, 2024
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Understanding the time limits of the Visa chargeback process is crucial for effectively managing disputes and safeguarding revenue.

In this guide, we get into the Visa chargeback time limits for both cardholders and merchants, exploring exceptions and best practices for navigating the process with expertise and confidence. 

From initiating disputes to responding within specified time frames, merchants and cardholders alike benefit from a comprehensive understanding of Visa chargeback regulations.

Visa Chargeback Time Limit for Cardholders

Visa's chargeback time limit for cardholders is succinctly defined as 120 days after the transaction date. 

This timeframe serves as the primary window for cardholders to dispute transactions and seek resolution for any discrepancies or issues encountered during their purchases.

During these 120 days, cardholders have the opportunity to file a chargeback with their issuing bank if they encounter unauthorized transactions, fraudulent activity, or if the goods or services received do not meet the agreed-upon terms or quality standards. 

Cardholders must be aware of this timeframe and take prompt action if they suspect any irregularities in their transactions.

To ensure the effectiveness of the chargeback process, cardholders must adhere to Visa's specified time limit of 120 days diligently. 

Filing a chargeback within the designated timeframe enhances the chances of a successful resolution and the retrieval of funds or appropriate remedies for the disputed transaction.

Visa's chargeback time limit of 120 days empowers cardholders to exercise their rights and seek recourse in situations where transactions deviate from expectations or are deemed unauthorized, reflecting the standard credit card chargeback time.

Visa Fraud Reason Code Time Limit

In Visa chargebacks, response time hinges on the reason code assigned to the dispute. Here's a breakdown of fraud-related codes:

Reason Codes 10.2, 10.3, and 10.4, which are essential aspects of the chargeback reason code system: Merchants or acquirers have 120 calendar days to respond post-transaction processing.

Reason Code 10.5: The 120-day window starts upon fraud identification by the Merchant Fraud Performance Program, adhering to the credit card chargeback time limit.

Understanding these codes and their time limits is key for merchants and acquirers. Adhering to these limits ensures compliance and swift resolution, safeguarding the payment ecosystem.

For validation or clarification, review Visa's specific reason codes and associated time limits.

Visa Chargeback Time Limit for Merchants

Merchants operating within the Visa payment network are subject to specific time constraints when responding to chargebacks initiated by cardholders. 

Understanding and adhering to these time limits is essential for merchants to effectively manage chargeback disputes and maintain compliance with Visa regulations.

Visa's chargeback time limit for merchants dictates that they must respond within 20 days of each dispute process. 

This time frame encompasses the entire dispute process, from the initiation of the chargeback by the cardholder to the resolution of the dispute.

The dispute process typically begins when a cardholder contacts their issuing bank to dispute a transaction. 

The issuing bank or card issuer then investigates the claim and, if deemed valid, initiates a chargeback on behalf of the cardholder within the specified time limit. 

Upon receiving the chargeback notification, the merchant is required to respond within the specified time limit.

During these 20 days, merchants must thoroughly review the details of the disputed transaction, gather relevant evidence, and provide a compelling response to Visa. 

Failure to respond within the stipulated time frame may result in the automatic acceptance of the chargeback, leading to the loss of funds and potential damage to the merchant's reputation.

To ensure compliance and mitigate the impact of chargebacks on their business operations, merchants must prioritize timely and thorough responses to disputes. 

By promptly addressing chargeback notifications and providing compelling evidence to support their case, merchants can increase the likelihood of a favorable outcome and protect their interests within the Visa chargeback ecosystem.

Merchants need to have robust internal processes in place to manage chargebacks efficiently and effectively. 

This includes regular monitoring of chargeback activity, timely communication with payment processors and acquiring banks, and continuous efforts to prevent fraud and disputes proactively.

How to Representment a Visa Chargeback Dispute within in Time Limit?

To ensure compliance and protect their interests, merchants must take specific actions within the allocated time limit when responding to Visa chargeback disputes. 

Here are the essential steps to follow within the time limit:

1. Prompt Notification

Upon receipt of a chargeback notification, promptly review the details and acknowledge receipt.

Gather Evidence: Collect all relevant documentation and evidence related to the disputed transaction to effectively dispute a charge within the credit card chargeback time limit.

2. Assess Validity

Evaluate the validity of the chargeback dispute based on available evidence.

3. Prepare Response

Begin preparing a comprehensive response, including clear explanations and supporting documentation.

4. Adhere to Time Limit

Ensure that the response is prepared and submitted within the specified time limit, typically 20 days from notification.

By adhering to these steps within the time limit, merchants can effectively respond to Visa chargeback disputes and protect their interests.

4 Phases of Visa Chargeback Process

Navigating the Visa chargeback process requires a clear understanding of its distinct phases and how to dispute a charge effectively. 

By comprehending each phase, merchants can effectively manage chargeback disputes and uphold compliance with Visa regulations. 

Here are the four key phases of the Visa chargeback process:


  • The chargeback process begins when a cardholder disputes a transaction with their issuing bank.
  • The issuing bank investigates the claim and, if deemed valid, initiates a chargeback on behalf of the cardholder.
  • Merchants receive a chargeback notification from their acquiring bank, alerting them to the disputed transaction.


  • Upon receiving the chargeback notification, merchants must respond promptly within the specified time limit, typically 20 days.
  • Merchants gather relevant evidence and documentation to support their response, refuting the cardholder's claim and demonstrating the legitimacy of the transaction.


  • After receiving the merchant's response, the acquiring bank forwards the documentation to Visa for adjudication.
  • Visa reviews the evidence provided by both parties and makes a decision on the validity of the chargeback.
  • If the chargeback is deemed valid, funds are debited from the merchant's account and credited back to the cardholder.


  • Once Visa reaches a decision, the acquiring bank communicates the outcome to the merchant.
  • Depending on the resolution, the merchant may accept the chargeback and refund the cardholder within 120 days, or they may choose to dispute the decision further.
  • Merchants should closely monitor chargeback activity and implement preventive measures to reduce future disputes, keeping within the credit card chargeback time limit to enhance dispute resolution success.

Understanding each phase of the Visa chargeback process empowers merchants to navigate disputes effectively and minimize the impact on their business operations. 

By adhering to Visa's guidelines and timelines, merchants can protect their interests and maintain positive relationships within the payment ecosystem.

Time Limit Exceptions Under Specific Circumstances

In certain circumstances, Visa allows for exceptions to the standard chargeback time limits outlined in its regulations. 

These exceptions are typically associated with specific reason codes, each addressing distinct circumstances that warrant deviations from the standard time frames. 

Let's explore these exceptions in detail:

Reason Code 10.5

The 120-day time limit for responding to a chargeback under Reason Code 10.5 (Visa Fraud Monitoring Program) starts from the day the fraud is identified by the Merchant Fraud Performance Program, rather than the transaction date itself.

Visa recognizes the importance of timely fraud detection and prevention. 

By aligning the time limit with the identification of fraudulent activity, this exception ensures that merchants can take swift action to mitigate losses and uphold the integrity of the payment ecosystem.

Reason Code 13.1

Reason Code 13.1 allows for a longer time frame for resolving chargebacks related to goods or services not received. 

The time limit for responding to these disputes is extended beyond the standard 120 days.

This exception acknowledges the unique challenges faced by cardholders in cases where goods or services are not received as expected. 

Allowing for a longer time frame enables cardholders to pursue resolution for such disputes effectively.

Reason Code 13.3

Reason Code 13.3 provides an extended time limit for responding to chargebacks initiated by cardholders who have been hospitalized or incarcerated or are victims of a natural disaster or other extraordinary circumstances.

Visa recognizes that cardholders facing extreme circumstances may encounter challenges in initiating chargeback disputes within the standard time frame. 

This exception provides them with additional time to seek resolution for disputed transactions despite their circumstances.

Reason Code 13.6

Reason Code 13.6 allows for an extended time frame for responding to chargebacks related to recurring billing transactions or memberships.

Recurring billing transactions often involve ongoing commitments and billing cycles, which may necessitate additional time for cardholders to identify and dispute unauthorized charges.

This exception ensures that cardholders have sufficient time to address disputes related to recurring transactions effectively.

Understanding these time limit exceptions under specific reason codes is essential for merchants and other stakeholders involved in the chargeback process. 

By recognizing and adhering to these exceptions, merchants can effectively manage chargeback disputes and uphold compliance with Visa regulations.

Win and Manage Visa Chargebacks with Time Limit

ChargePay offers a comprehensive solution for merchants to effectively win and manage Visa chargebacks within the specified time limits. 

Leveraging the most advanced AI technology, ChargePay automates the chargeback management process for major card networks, enabling merchants to reclaim lost revenue and eliminate fraud effortlessly. 

With ChargePay's AI-powered representments, merchants respond to real-time chargebacks, boosting their win rate and recovering up to 3.5 times more disputed transactions. 

By seamlessly integrating with leading payment processors like Shopify, PayPal, and Stripe, ChargePay streamlines the chargeback resolution process, allowing merchants to focus on growing their business with confidence.

Experience the ChargePay difference today and unlock the power of AI automation in chargeback management. 

With ChargePay's hands-free approach, merchants reclaim lost revenue while they sleep, with over 80% of previously lost revenue recovered. 

ChargePay's automated process ensures swift resolution of chargebacks, boosting merchants' reputation with acquirers and issuers and delivering unparalleled results. 

Say goodbye to manual chargeback management and hello to effortless win-streaks with ChargePay's AI-powered chargeback automation software.

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