5 minutes

Visa Compelling Evidence 3.0: Fight Friendly Fraud Head-On

Written by
Don Hamilton
Published on
February 26, 2024


You want to win the chargeback fraud fight you’ve got on your hands.

According to Visa, one in five consumers has committed friendly fraud.

You need compelling evidence to win in these cases.

Visa defines “compelling evidence” and provides guidelines for how to use qualified data to overcome friendly fraud.

Capturing and storing compelling evidence for every transaction is in your best interest as a merchant. This is done with automated chargeback prevention services like ours,

Let’s look at Visa Compelling Evidence 3.0 (CE 3.0) to understand Visa Reason Code 10.4 and the way to guarantee protection against friendly chargeback fraud.

What is Friendly Fraud and Chargeback Fraud?

Friendly fraud and chargeback fraud are related terms.

Both refer to a cardholder disputing a transaction on their credit statement.

Friendly fraud is not intentional. A cardholder may mistakenly fail to recognise a legitimate charge on their statement. Rather than contacting the merchant, the cardholder disputes the charge with the bank or card issuer. This begins the chargeback dispute process.

Chargeback fraud is when the cardholder intentionally tries to reverse a legitimate transaction, hoping to get their money back while keeping the product. This fraud can also apply to disputing received services.

Both types of fraudulent transactions are labelled with Visa reason code 10.4: Other Fraud — Card-Absent Environment.

What is Reason Code 10.4?

Visa Reason Codes are the explanations for why a transaction is being disputed. The reason code is a numeric code with a brief explainer. There are many reason codes, and each card provider has their own reason code system.

As I mentioned above, Visa’s reason code 10.4 explains “Other Fraud—Card-Absent Environment.”

A “card-absent environment” refers primarily to online purchases where a physical card is not present during the transaction. Only the cardholder’s name, card number, expiration date, and security code are required of the purchaser. This is enough for a transaction to begin.

However, much more information is gathered electronically by the purchasing system. Merchants can use some of this information as Compelling Evidence 3.0-compliant data to avoid liability for online fraud.

What is Compelling Evidence According to Visa?

Among the vast amount of personal and system data the purchasing systems gather, there are specific bits which can prove a transaction is valid.

Visa calls this information “Compelling Evidence.”

However, this information must be taken in the context of previous transactions with that cardholder to be legitimate proof.

This is known as “Qualified Transaction Data.”

Qualified Transaction Data

Qualified data, gathered and stored at the time of a transaction, includes:

  • Account ID
  • IP Address
  • Shipping Address
  • Device ID

Any two of these items may be chosen for proof, and one must be the IP address or the Device ID (fingerprint).

Eligible Transactions

The qualified transaction data of the disputed transaction is required to match historical transactions by the same cardholder.

At least two historical transactions are used as context and reference. These transactions’ data must match the current qualified transaction data.

Also, the two historical transactions must contain and match the current card number (PAN) while being older than 120 days but less than or equal to 365 days.

Historical transactions must be void of prior fraud activity or claims. The merchant must also be the same on all three transactions.

How Do I Use Compelling Evidence?

Pre-dispute process

Here’s how the pre-dispute process deflects the fraudulent transaction before a dispute is filed.

  1. Visa pre-selects 2-5 transactions with no fraud activity that occurred within 120-365 days of the disputed transaction.
  2. The merchant must systematically return the qualifying data elements for the selected transactions.
  3. The data will be validated and passed to Visa for the liability decision.
  4. If the decision criteria are met, the pre-dispute will be blocked, and transaction liability will shift to the issuer.

Post-dispute process

After a dispute is lodged but before arbitration begins, a merchant can submit qualifying data points to the acquiring bank. This may allow the merchant to recoup revenue lost to illegitimate fraud disputes labelled Visa reason code 10.4.

  1. In conjunction with the acquirer, merchants locate and package CE 3.0-compatible data elements for the two historical transactions.
  2. The acquirer delivers the response package to Visa’s Resolve Online service (VROL) for validation.
  3. The dispute will be reversed if the data elements from the historical transactions meet the qualification criteria and are accepted by the issuer. Liability will shift to the issuer.

Avoid Fraud and Chargebacks Before They Happen

The good news is that fraud and chargeback prevention is automated now.’s chargeback prevention platform handles all the details for you.

Transactions are monitored, potential problems are identified, and you are given the power to reduce chargebacks by 99%.

Looking Forward

Find the answers to your questions at

Our customer service is free, of course, and we are eager to help you understand more about chargebacks and prevent them before they happen.

Visit for a free demo of our platform and more information.

FAQ: Visa Compelling Evidence 3.0

How does Visa Compelling Evidence 3.0 impact the chargeback process?

Visa Compelling Evidence 3.0 aims to streamline the chargeback process by making it easier for merchants to present their cases with relevant and qualified evidence. This can lead to quicker resolutions, reduce the incidence of unjustified chargebacks, and ultimately lower operational costs related to disputes.

How do merchants submit evidence under Visa Compelling Evidence 3.0?

Merchants can submit evidence through their acquiring bank or payment processor using the platforms and procedures established for dispute resolution. It's essential to follow Visa's guidelines for evidence submission to ensure the information is presented effectively.

Can Visa Compelling Evidence 3.0 guarantee a win in a dispute case?

While Visa Compelling Evidence 3.0 significantly improves a merchant's ability to fight friendly fraud by providing clear guidelines on compelling evidence, it does not guarantee a win in every dispute case. The outcome depends on the completeness and relevance of the evidence provided in the context of the dispute.