Chargeback Reason Code

Mastercard Chargeback Reason Code 4847: Requested/Required Authorization Not Obtained

General Information about Reason Codes

In 2016, Mastercard chargeback reason codes were condensed and consolidated, in a restructuring that resembled Visa Claims Resolution. Prior to this, Mastercardā€™s list of reason codes was long, convoluted, and confusing; now there are fewer than ten different reason codes relevant to most merchants. All the old reasons are still there, but theyā€™ve been grouped under more comprehensive ā€œumbrellaā€ codes.

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Mastercard Chargeback Reason Code 4847: Requested/Required Authorization Not Obtained

What is the Mastercard Chargeback Reason code 4847?

Cardholders or buyers can step up to deny authorizing an online (card-not-present) transaction. Mastercard uses the chargeback reason code 4847 to represent chargebacks where merchants did not obtain transaction authorizations. That could be true, but experience has taught us there could be more to the story.

An authorization request occurs for all transactions, online or offline. Issuers will reply with authorization codes to process payments. When done correctly (with the cardholderā€™s full participation), everybody goes home happy with no chargeback stress.

We expect you to always request buyer authorization before processing payments on their cards. Neglecting this essential process leaves you open to chargebacks. Of course, you can resolve the dispute (process a refund) before it escalates to a chargeback.

Several processes occur before Mastercard rules on a chargeback dispute; these range from the first chargeback to your acquirerā€™s arbitration response. Even so, you can always request Mastercard to reconsider its ruling within 45 days of passage.

You donā€™t know who is on the other end of online transactions. Hence, you rely on the card security features to ensure only the cardholder authorizes the payment. Fraudsters with stolen card details can still perform seemingly legitimate transactions with the appropriate authorizations.

Some purchases can require a bypass of the standard authorization approval process. You can opt for voice authorizations. Cardholders often persuade merchants to use this approach when their cards fail.

Forced authorizations can result in chargebacks under this reason code. Hence, we recommend avoiding it unless it is necessary and the cardholder is trusted.

Adhering to standard authorization protocols bolsters your standing to challenge chargebacks under this reason code. Notwithstanding, you must address all points in the chargeback message. This guide will show you how to approach these chargebacks and how to prevent them.

Why Did It Happen?

Chargebacks under reason code 4847 occur primarily when cardholders deny authorizing transactions. Issuers will escalate their claims to chargebacks if sufficient evidence is available. Sometimes, they may be incorrect in the escalation due to oversights or errors.

That does not mean that you failed to request authorization. Instead, it means you did not obtain the transaction but proceeded with the payment.

This reason code is closely related to the 4808 code for authorizations. Other reasons chargebacks may occur under it include the following:

  • The POS failed to strip-read the card. This can occur due to firewalls blocking the protocols.
  • The card displayed an X2X service code, which means positive online authorization only, even when it was not approved.
  • The transaction amount exceeded Mastercardā€™s installed floor limit, and authorization was denied.
  • The card is invalid or expired.
  • The merchant processed payment on a fictitious account number where authorization was unavailable

Actual fraud can cause authorization issues, resulting in chargebacks under this code. Fraudsters often use non-EMV-enabled payment terminals to process payments on stolen cards. Alternatively, they can swipe or key the card without the chip.

This approach allows them to bypass authorization. When that happens, cardholders can dispute the payment. Of course, that is understandable, seeing that they never authorized the transactions.

Customers might falsely deny providing authorization for transactions. They might have their way, resulting in chargebacks. Fortunately, you can easily challenge these chargebacks and win the ruling.

Some cardholders are genuinely unaware that they authorized these transactions. For example, a family member may make purchases with the card. Still, we categorize it under friendly fraud.

Besides the above points, errors on your end can cause these chargebacks. Forcing authorizations and using non-EMV-enabled payment terminals leave you wanting.



How to Fight Mastercard Chargeback Reason Code 4847: Requested/Required Authorization Not Obtained

Your first line of defense is proving the cardholder authorized the transaction. Do this within 45 days, and you might reverse the chargeback quickly. Also, youā€™ll need a few documents to validate your claims.

Hereā€™s how to challenge chargebacks under reason code 4847:

  • Prove that you received authorization: Submit a document containing the transaction date and authorization code. The DE 72 data record contains this information. This approach applies to early and late authorization approvals.
  • Submit a document to show that the transaction was below Mastercardā€™s floor limit for such a transaction.
  • Submit signed delivery receipts to show that the cardholder received the goods purchased.
  • Provide a document to show the card imprint and cardholder signature. This approach applies to card-present transactions with order receipts.
  • Prove that the transaction did not require authorization. For example, recurring billing already has authorization from the first transaction. Also, some issuers do not require authorizations for purchases below ā‚¬50.
  • Submit document to prove address verification

Using non-EMV-enabled payment terminals shifts the liability to you if actual fraud occurs. In that case, you will be responsible for the refund, and the chargeback will stand.

Thereā€™s no need to receive double charges if youā€™ve processed a refund. Submit documents to show your credit transaction to the cardholderā€™s account.

How to Prevent Mastercard Chargeback Reason Code 4847: Requested/Required Authorization Not Obtained

We recommend preventive measures. Challenging chargebacks can be exhausting. Some drag into pre-arbitrations and arbitrations.

You might even have to appeal Mastercardā€™s ruling, leading to more stressful scenarios. Avoiding chargebacks under this reason code is best.

With that in mind, here are a few preventive measures thatā€™ll help you avoid chargebacks under reason code 4847:

  • Include CVV and CVC checks (card verification value/code) in your payment protocols. Process only payments that pass these checks.
  • Add address verifications to telephone and mail orders. The ZIP and the cardholderā€™s address should match before you process the payment.
  • Include anti-fraud tools in your operations. Monitor their scores and implement their recommendations.
  • Update your payment terminals to EMV-enabled platforms.
  • Donā€™t process transactions without adequate and satisfactory authorization.
  • Request alternative payment methods if the issuer persistently denies authorization requests.
  • Avoid forcing authorization on transactions.
  • Use secondary checks like PINs, signatures, email codes, mobile codes, SSNs, etc., to verify the cardholderā€™s identity.
  • Do not accept or process payments on expired cards.
  • Respond to cardholder complaints promptly.


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