The purpose of a dispute is to recover funds for captured transactions. Disputes are often used to correct fraudulent transactions or problems with the quality or delivery of the product.
Stripe offers a guided Dashboard process and an API to submit disputes and monitor them through to resolution. This process typically takes between 30 and 90 days. For users managing occasional disputes, we recommend using the Dashboard. Users that handle a high volume of disputes may find it easier to programmatically manage disputes using the API.
If you think a card has been compromised, cancel and replace it using the dashboard or the API before continuing with the dispute process.
Considerations before initiating a dispute
Check the transaction’s dispute eligibility.
- The transaction must be a capture and not a refund.
- Fewer than 110 days have passed since the business captured the transaction.
- However, if you plan to file a no-authorization dispute (categorized as Other), the transaction must be captured fewer than 65 days ago.
- The transaction isn’t a mobile push payment transaction.
- If you plan to file a card-absent fraud dispute, make sure that fewer than 35 fraud disputes were filed on the credit card within the last 120 days.
In the Dashboard, the Dispute transaction button is only enabled for eligible transactions. Similarly, in the API, attempting to dispute an ineligible transaction results in an error.
Next, ensure that the cardholder has exhausted other means of resolving the issue. They must attempt to return any products they received, cancel any ongoing services, and seek a refund directly from the business. Collect documentation of these attempts to use as evidence when filing the dispute.
In the above diagram, merchant refers to the acquiring merchant, the business receiving the payment.
Newly-created disputes begin in an
unsubmitted status. At this point, you can update their evidence and metadata. After you’ve added all the required evidence, you can then submit the dispute. If you don’t submit a dispute within 110 days of the transaction clearing, its status becomes
Stripe and card networks process disputes that have a status of
submitted. As such, you can’t update dispute evidence, but you can still update their
metadata. Submitted disputes enter into a multi-step process defined by card networks and participating banks. After a dispute is resolved, Stripe transitions it to either the terminal
Fill out the Dispute Amount field to indicate the disputed amount (full or partial). The field’s initial value is the transaction amount. Submissions that have empty Dispute Amount fields create disputes with the full transaction amount.
|Funds transferred to your Issuing balance (usually associated with |
|Dispute transitioned into a |
Dispute reasons and evidence
The strongest disputes have clear explanations and descriptive responses to required fields. This information is what is used to weigh whether the dispute leans in favor of the cardholder or merchant. Users should aim to provide as much documentation and information as possible. In addition, it’s imperative to review and select the correct dispute reason when filing as these directly impact the supportive information needed to win or lose the dispute.
Disputes can be submitted with one of these reasons:
- Canceled: Cardholder canceled or returned merchandise or canceled services, and the merchant didn’t process a credit or void a transaction receipt.
- Duplicate: Covers processing error dispute types, including duplicate transaction, incorrect amount, paid by other means, and more.
- Fraudulent: The cardholder’s details were compromised and the transaction wasn’t authorized by the cardholder.
- Merchandise not as described: Cardholder received the merchandise, but it didn’t match what was presented at time of purchase, or it was damaged or defective.
- Service not as described: Cardholder received the service, but it didn’t match what was presented at time of purchase.
- Not received: Cardholder participated in the transaction but didn’t receive the merchandise or service.
- Other: A dispute scenario that doesn’t clearly qualify as any other dispute reason.
In the Dashboard, “Merchandise not as described” and “Service not as described” are consolidated under “Not as described”.
Each reason requires a different set of evidence:
A transaction might be disputed as fraud if the cardholder believes their card details are compromised and they didn’t authorize the transaction. If a fraudulent transaction occurs on a card, that card should be canceled before filing a dispute.
Before filing a dispute, users should confirm with the cardholder that the transaction wasn’t made in error by the cardholder, or made by someone known to the cardholder. Transactions made by a friend or family member, for example, don’t constitute fraud for dispute purposes.
A card network might automatically reject a fraud dispute if it was a card-present transaction, because liability defaults to the issuer.
In a Card-Not-Present transaction, the dispute could automatically be rejected by the card network if the merchant attempted 3DS.
Once a dispute has been submitted, we can only attempt to withdraw the dispute within one day of its submission. If you want to attempt to withdraw the dispute, please contact Stripe support as soon as possible.
Liability for fraud (platforms in the USA)
Most aspects of Regulation Z don’t apply to business-purpose cards, but Regulation Z does protect users of business-purpose cards from fraud and other types of “unauthorized card use," which means the use of a charge card by a person who doesn’t have the authority to use it. In most cases, an accountholder can’t be held responsible for unauthorized use of cards linked to their account unless a reasonable investigation into the fraud is conducted. However, if the account holder has 10 or more employee authorized users, they might not qualify for this protection.
When one of your users disputes a transaction because the user believes it was unauthorized, Stripe sends the dispute to the card network for adjudication (as with any other type of disputed transaction). Stripe or the card network determines who must pay for the fraud: you or the merchant.
If Stripe or the card network determines the merchant is liable for the fraud, then neither you nor your user are responsible for the disputed transactions.
If Stripe or the card network determines that you’re liable for the fraud, then you might be required to pay for the disputed transaction. Stripe performs a reasonable investigation into the dispute to determine whether fraud actually occurred or whether the user doesn’t qualify for protection under Regulation Z. If the investigation uncovers that unauthorized card use actually occurred and that the user qualifies for protection, then you remain liable for the unauthorized transactions. Alternatively, if the investigation uncovers that unauthorized card use didn’t occur or that the user doesn’t qualify for protection, then we hold the accountholder responsible for the disputed charges.
Emailing connect accounts
Issuing platforms must send regulated notice emails to connected accounts when a dispute is submitted, and again when a dispute is won or lost. Learn more about regulated notices.
Use with Stripe Treasury
FinancialAccounts have a corresponding DebitReversal once the dispute is submitted.