Chargeback Reason Code

Visa Chargeback Reason Code 14.1: Fraudulent Multiple Transactions

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 14.1: Fraudulent Multiple Transactions

What is Visa Chargeback Reason Code 14.1?

The Visa chargeback reason code 14.1 indicates fraudulent multiple transactions where a cardholder claims multiple unauthorized transactions. Chargebacks for one unauthorized transaction fall under a different code but are still in the fraud category. For this one, the first transaction is often authorized, while the rest will be disputed.

Chargebacks in this category may also be represented by reason code 57. They mean the same thing and involve fraudulent multiple transactions.

Merchant errors are often the cause of these chargebacks. It can occur for offline and online purchases where the cardholder entered their card details. Telephone orders can also encounter cardholder disputes that result in chargebacks under this reason code.

We are also aware of merchants who try to process multiple transactions fraudulently. Once the cardholder proves to the issuer that the payment should’ve been made once, the issuer will process the chargeback. Another often-required proof is that the card was with the cardholder during the multiple transactions.

Multiple transactions when the card is absent mean authorization is given for each transaction. That makes chargebacks under this reason code unique, as it beckons the question, “Who provided the authorization?” The case is that the cardholder only authorized the first transaction.

We’ve identified several reasons why one transaction could result in multiple transactions. You can also fight chargebacks under this reason code if you believe they were wrongfully assigned. Whether the error is from you or the cardholder, you don’t want these chargebacks to occur.

Too many chargebacks under this reason code, and you’ll be enrolled in the Visa fraud monitoring program. That could lead to a loss of credibility and possible business closure. Hence, you should do everything necessary to prevent chargebacks in the fraud category.

Why Did It Happen?

The primary reason for chargebacks under reason code 14.1 is processing multiple transactions from one authorized transaction. It could be due to intent to defraud or a processing error from the merchant. The intention to defraud can come from the merchant or the cardholder.

For clarity, these are the likely causes of chargebacks under this code:

  • You failed to void multiple transactions on the card after processing a single authorized transaction.
  • A merchant tried to defraud the cardholder by processing multiple transactions based on the authorization previously provided
  • The cardholder authorized all the transactions but disputed them either unknowingly or with intent to commit fraud.

We’ve mentioned multiple transactions several times, but we’d like to point something out. These transactions involve the same amount multiple times. Furthermore, the multiple nature excludes the chargebacks under “duplicate transaction.”

Voiding a transaction covers only a part. You must also cancel it with your acquirer. Failing to do that opens up the payment for a chargeback under this reason code.

Another thing that causes chargebacks under this reason code is forcing failed transactions. There could be network errors now and then. However, forcing a payment or entering the authorization multiple times can cause multiple debits to the cardholder’s account.

What if you can’t find any errors on your end? Some cardholders may initiate disputes, claiming fraudulent multiple transactions to defraud you.

Others can also file disputes unknowingly. They might not remember giving authorization to multiple transactions or the nature of the purchase. Hence, they filed a dispute to challenge the multiple debits.

Friendly fraud, actual fraud, and merchant error are the things you should look out for. With that in mind, let’s jump to the steps to fight chargebacks under this reason code.


How to Fight Visa Chargeback Reason Code 14.1: Fraudulent Multiple Transactions

Our recommendation is to be quick with your response. Staying beyond 30 days after incurring the chargeback will void any counter arguments and evidence you have. With that in mind, here are our suggested ways to fight chargebacks under reason code 14.1:

  • If the multiple transactions are legitimate purchases: Contact your acquirer with proof that each transaction was adequately authorized. This can include a sales invoice or receipt for each payment, evidence that the goods were delivered and received by the cardholder, etc. For services, you can show that the cardholder used the service as paid for in multiple transactions.

This approach means that you should keep evidence of all cardholder authorizations. You’ll need those to prove that you did not fraudulently authorize the payments.

  • If the payment is part of recurring billing: Although less common, disputed transactions under this chargeback could be part of recurring billing. Provide documents to show that the cardholder agreed to the terms and amount and authorized the payment.
  • If you have processed a refund: Provide evidence that you’ve refunded the buyer. This should show the amount and date of the refund. If you did it multiple times, provide the amount and date for each refund.
  • If the buyer withdraws the claims: Send the buyer’s statement of withdrawal to your acquirer. That also includes when you reach a different agreement with the cardholder.

Take your time to find out which approach applies. Then, provide the necessary documents.

How to Prevent Visa Chargeback Reason Code 14.1: Fraudulent Multiple Transactions

Eliminating all errors from your end does not guarantee that chargebacks under this reason code will not occur. Cardholder oversights or those with intent to defraud can still cause these chargebacks. Cyber Shoplifters are also on the prowl.

Notwithstanding, you shouldn’t relent in protecting your business. The following are ways to prevent chargebacks under reason code 14.1:

  • Avoid forcing declined transactions. Request an alternative payment method if the previous one keeps failing.
  • Process a reversal for any erroneous or unauthorized transaction.
  • Cancel voided transactions to prevent them from settling on the cardholder’s account.
  • If there is a need to break down one payment into multiple payments, ensure the cardholder is fully aware. Provide an option for buyers to accept these terms before processing payment.
  • If multiple transactions for different items but the same amount exist, ensure your debit description is clear. Cardholders should be able to tell the difference.


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