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What is the Visa Dispute Monitoring Program? (VDMP)

Explore the Visa Dispute Monitoring Program (VDMP) and its role in reducing chargebacks, maintaining network integrity, and ensuring merchan

Do you accept Visa cards? If so, then Visa monitors your transactions.

As a merchant, you must comply with Visa’s requirements. If you hit a rough patch and begin having excessive chargebacks, then Visa will notice.

After a warning period, you may be auto-enrolled into the Visa Dispute Monitoring Program (VDMP). A formula calculates whether your business belongs in the remedial program. Potential fines provide an incentive to reduce your chargeback rate.

In the worst-case scenario, you will be assessed heavy fines and possibly lose the ability to accept Visa cards. This can kill your business.

If you find yourself in the VDMP, there is still hope for remediation and successfully exiting the program. But you must reduce your chargebacks to do so.

Let’s go over how the VDMP works.

BONUS: How to avoid the VDMP in the first place.

What is the Visa Dispute Monitoring Program? (VDMP)

Simply put, the Visa Dispute Monitoring Program is a compliance program. Your business must comply with Visa’s security and fraud management policies.

Billed as an incentive to merchants, the VDMP aims to keep your disputes and chargebacks under control. As you shall see, it is clearly in your best interest to do so.

An overview of the VDMP looks like this:

Chargeback monitoring

Visa keeps track of the monthly number of chargebacks you incur compared to the number of transactions completed. This calculation results in a chargeback rate.

The formula is straightforward.

The current month’s chargeback count divided by the current month’s transaction count. This result is multiplied by 100, giving you the Chargeback Rate (also known as the Dispute Ratio).

The chargeback rate is compared to a minimum threshold to determine if your chargebacks are beginning to become excessively risky.

Your dispute ratio may tag you as a high-risk merchant and put you into one of three risk categories.

Early Warning

A notification comes if you are approaching the limits of acceptable chargebacks before you enter the VDMP.

An early warning is triggered by a monthly dispute count of 75 or more, with a dispute ratio of 0.65%.

Standard

Upon entry to the Standard classification, you enter a sequence of steps spread over a year.

A Standard entry into the VDMP is triggered by a monthly dispute count of 100, with a dispute ratio of 0.9%.

Entry into the Standard risk category involves four remedial periods.

  1. Beginning in the first month, you have four months to reduce your chargeback rate.
  2. If you don’t reduce your chargeback rate during this time, you begin an eight-month enforcement period in which you incur fines of US $50 per dispute.
  3. Beginning in month nine, you may incur a US $25,000 review fee. You will also face an audit (except in the EU).
  4. After the year is almost up, in month 12, you continue to incur all previous fees. Your business may also be banned from accepting Visa card payments.

Things start getting expensive in step two. Step three is a whole new level of fines and fees. Of course, if you progress to step four, your business is at serious risk.

Visa views this progression of consequences as an incentive for merchants to fix their dispute management. Some merchants have a differing opinion. Either way, merchants must follow the Visa demands for low dispute rates or risk banning.

Excessive

An Excessive rating is harsh. You do not get four months to fix your business. All fines and fees are charged immediately. You’d do well to avoid this.

Exiting the VDMP

To exit the VDMP, the merchant must demonstrate consistent compliance with the dispute ratio thresholds over a period of time.

Take these steps

  • Reduce your chargeback levels below the VDMP threshold.
  • Maintain compliance over time.
  • Implement chargeback prevention best practices.
  • Monitor and report regularly to Visa or acquiring bank.
  • Complete required Visa programs or training.

What happens next

  • Verification review by Visa (or acquiring bank).
  • Official notification of Exit (if you are compliant).

Avoiding the VDMP

The best way to avoid being caught up in the VDMP is to prevent chargebacks before they happen.

An automated chargeback prevention service like ours,  ChargebackStop.com, offers a way to avoid chargebacks and increase revenues.

How ChargebackStop works

ChargebackStop detects chargebacks before they happen.

We use an automated system of intelligent signals to predict the likelihood of a transaction turning into a chargeback. Then, we turn control back over to you to determine what happens next.

Our clean dashboard shows each flagged transaction's creation date, customer name, and overall urgency priority.

Each warning description contains a low, medium, or high-risk priority rating.

Finally, we recommend how to handle the situation. Click on the recommendations, and you can select which to perform automatically.

It’s as simple as that. And quite effective.

Looking forward

ChargebackStop will help reduce your chargebacks if you are currently in the Visa Dispute Monitoring Program.

Even better, ChargebackStop helps you avoid the VDMP altogether.

Visit ChargebackStop.com for more information and a free demo.

FAQ: Visa Dispute Monitoring Program

What is the Visa Dispute Monitoring Program (VDMP)?

The VDMP is a program initiated by Visa to monitor and reduce the incidence of disputes or chargebacks in transactions involving Visa cards. It aims to maintain the integrity and security of the Visa network by ensuring merchants adhere to best practices in handling transactions.

How does Visa determine if a merchant should be in the VDMP?

Merchants are enrolled in the VDMP if they exceed specific thresholds of chargeback activity set by Visa. Enrollment depends on the ratio of chargebacks to transactions or the total dollar amount of chargebacks within a specific period.

What are the consequences of non-compliance with the VDMP?

Non-compliance can lead to increased fees, additional penalties, and, in severe cases, termination of the merchant’s ability to process Visa payments.

About the author

Don is an expert technical content writer and researcher. He works with ChargebackStop to write informative and digestible content on the topic of chargebacks, payments and more. His writing is crafted, not computed.

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