Chargeback Reason Code

Visa Chargeback Reason Code 13.8: Original Credit Transaction Not Accepted

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, Mastercard’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 they’ve been grouped under more comprehensive “umbrella” codes.

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Visa Chargeback Reason Code 13.8: Original Credit Transaction Not Accepted

What is Visa Chargeback Reason Code 13.8?

The Visa chargeback reason code 13.8 refers to chargebacks on transactions that were intended as original credit transactions. It falls under consumer disputes, meaning it affects them directly. Their disputes may come before or after the chargeback has occurred.

Situations may arise where you need to process a credit to a cardholder. You can do it the typical way, which must be processed like any regular card transaction. However, original credit transactions are easier, quicker, and more convenient.

Businesses opt for original credit transactions to send cash to cardholders or vendors. This approach doesn’t require the same authorizations as regular credit transactions. However, they are only available in select localities.

The Visa chargeback reason code 13.8 is a reverse chargeback. That means the cash you intended as an original credit transaction returns to you. Visa still counts it as a chargeback, making you liable for overall chargeback fees.

Original credit transactions are immediate and real-time. However, some cards are ineligible for them in the same way some localities don’t support them. You can expect cardholders to complain about not receiving the money from the transaction.

Chargebacks under this reason code are less likely due to merchant errors. The cardholder may have provided an incorrect card detail, causing the issuer to reverse the transaction. Nonetheless, you can still address it and reverse the chargeback.

Ensure the cardholder can receive such transactions before replying to Visa on the chargeback. Of course, the chargeback will occur again if the cardholder is in a locality that prohibits original credit transactions.

An essential step to addressing chargebacks under this code is knowing why the cardholder can’t accept original credit transactions. You can ask Visa for more details if the chargeback message is not elaborate.

Your cardholders may contact you before this chargeback occurs. However, don’t be lax if they don’t contact you even after the chargeback has occurred. Remember, you have a reputation to maintain for your merchant business.


Why Did It Happen?

Payment reversals shouldn’t be new to you. We’ve seen it happen for other reasons. For example, an issuer might reverse a payment if the receiver’s bank account is blocked.

The primary cause of chargebacks with reason code 13.8 is the cardholder’s inability to receive an original credit transaction. This can occur for two reasons:

  • The card is not eligible for original credit transactions
  •  The cardholder or card is in a locality where original credit transactions are prohibited

Things may start with you processing a refund or credit transaction for the cardholder. The latter can be entitled to a refund or credit for any reason. However, you opt for an original credit transaction instead of a regular one.

While cardholder transactions are typical for chargebacks under reason code 13.8, they can occur for vendor transactions. Once the recipient’s issuing bank refuses the transaction, it will process a chargeback to refund you. This is standard procedure.

You still owe the cardholder the credit. Hence, you can accept the chargeback and process a new payment. The other approach is disputing the chargeback to push your initial credit transaction to the cardholder or vendor.

Friendly or actual fraud cannot cause chargebacks under this reason code. However, a cardholder can reject the transaction for an incomplete amount. That can prompt the issuer to process a chargeback.

Finding the underlying reason behind the chargeback might take you beyond the chargeback message. You can message the issuer for clarification. Similarly, you can message the cardholder to determine if they rejected the original credit transaction.

There’s no need to worry about chargebacks under this reason code if you don’t do original credit transactions. Visa will classify rejections for regular credit transactions under a different chargeback reason code.


How to Fight Visa Chargeback Reason Code 13.8: Original Credit Transaction Not Accepted

You have 30 days to respond to chargebacks under this reason code. Often, they are legitimate and the best you can do is accept them and process another transaction.

There is little to do to dispute chargebacks under this reason code, as they boil down to the cardholder’s card eligibility or local laws. Notwithstanding, you can use the following approaches, provided they meet the criteria we outline:

  • A transaction reversal occurred before the chargeback: A reversal can occur, as we discussed above. When that happens, the transaction should not be liable for a chargeback. Submit documents to show that the transaction was reversed before the chargeback occurred.

The transaction amount in the reversal should be the same as the chargeback. That shows the two transactions are related to the original credit.

  • The cardholder has withdrawn the dispute: Submit documents to show the cardholder’s withdrawal from the disputed transaction. Ensure you get an official statement from the clients, preferably an email, to validate your claim.

If none of the above conditions hold, accept the chargeback and process another credit transaction. However, you must find out why the original credit transaction was rejected. That will ensure you don’t process another payment that will suffer the same fate.

How to Prevent Visa Chargeback Reason Code 13.8: Original Credit Transaction Not Accepted

Processing original credit transactions on eligible cards and under favorable country or local laws will prevent chargebacks under this reason code. With that in mind, here are a few tips to help you avoid future chargebacks:

  • Ensure the cardholder’s card is eligible for original credit transactions. Contact the card issuer or the payment processor.
  • Know the laws regulating original credit transactions in the locality of your merchant business.
  • Update your payment systems to prevent errors when using original credit transactions.
  • Ensure the cardholder is aware of the transaction amount to prevent rejections.
  • Ensure the cardholder is aware of your use of original credit transactions.
  • Keep accurate transaction records to respond quickly and adequately to inquiries on original credit transactions.
  • Use alternative payment methods where feasible. For example, you can use cash if the amount is small enough and the cardholder or vendor is close.


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