Mastercard First-Party Trust ProgramHow to Make the Most of Mastercard’s Newest Initiative

Tracy Cray Tracy Cray | May 29, 2024 | 9 min read

This image was created by artificial intelligence using the following prompts:

A professional business owner is on a laptop using a special secure program by "Mastercard" to defend their business’ profits from cyberattacks and fraud, "Mastercard" logo in background, in the style of red and teal. (icons added)

Mastercard First-Party Trust Program

In a Nutshell

Mastercard just recently dropped its answer to Compelling Evidence 3.0. In this post, we discuss the Mastercard First-Party Trust Program (FPTP) from top to bottom. Do you need it? Yes. Will it solve your friendly fraud issues, though? Let’s take a look at its scope and limitations.

What Mastercard First-Party Trust Program Can Do to Stop Chargeback Abuse

Mastercard has recognized that first-party chargeback misuse — what we generally call “friendly fraud” — claims make up three-quarters of all chargebacks filed under the fraud reason code.

For those unfamiliar, friendly fraud is when a cardholder or issuer makes a claim of fraud, but in fact, they have genuinely participated in the transaction. This can be a deliberate claim, or it could be due to a simple mistake. It could also happen because of how a card issuer has interpreted the cardholder’s claim.

The Mastercard First-Party Trust program is being introduced to help merchants defend themselves more effectively when they suspect a fraud chargeback is actually a case of friendly fraud. The aim of this initiative is to simplify the dispute resolution process in as few hoops to leap as possible.

What is the First-Party Trust Program?

First-Party Trust

[noun]/fərst • pär • dē • trəst/

The First-Party Trust program is an initiative by Mastercard designed to streamline and enhance the dispute resolution process. The program facilitates better data sharing and merchant verification, with the aim of reducing fraudulent chargebacks and improving trust among merchants, cardholders, and issuers.

First-Party Trust is similar to Compelling Evidence 3.0 from Visa in some ways. Using a few key data elements, you can show a card issuer that the cardholder has made the transaction, proving that an invalid “fraud” claim is false.

For example, let’s say a customer files a chargeback, claiming a purchase was fraudulent. If that customer has bought something from a merchant before, and key data elements like shipping, email, or IP address match the transaction, then the claim can be invalidated. Up until now, the merchant could only present this evidence in an ‘advisory’ way, and a cardholder or issuer could generally ignore it. Now, though, a “fraud” chargeback will be disallowed if the merchant can meet the transaction data requirements.

Important!

As of this writing, Mastercard First-Party Trust will go live in October 2024 for US domestic transactions.

First-Party Trust is Mastercard’s answer to the increasing complexity and volume of digital transactions, which have led to a rise in fraudulent chargebacks and disputes. Traditional dispute resolution processes often lack sufficient data, making it difficult for issuers to accurately assess the legitimacy of disputes. This inefficiency results in higher operational costs for merchants and increased frustration for cardholders, highlighting the need for a more transparent system.

First-Party Trust addresses these challenges by enhancing data sharing between merchants and issuers. It provides comprehensive transaction details that help distinguish between legitimate and fraudulent disputes. 

Requirements for Mastercard First-Party Trust

To take advantage of the Mastercard First-Party Trust program, you need to meet a few important requirements.

First, you'll need strong data management and fraud detection systems. These systems should be able to capture and securely store detailed transaction information and share it in real time with issuing banks.

You’ll also need to enroll in Consumer Clarity. This platform acts as a secure channel for sharing enhanced transaction data with issuing banks when a dispute arises. By using Consumer Clarity, you can quickly and accurately provide the necessary details to resolve disputes.

What Data Points Can be Used?

Mastercard has not yet officially confirmed the specific requirements for the transaction data. That said, the process is likely to require submission of records from prior, undisputed transactions with multiple matching data points to confirm the cardholder’s identity.

You’ll need to provide data from at least two historic transactions which were not reported as fraudulent. These transactions must be at least 120 days old, but also cannot be any older than 365 days. Additionally, you must provide one piece of evidence from each of the following three categories:

Device Identity
  • Device Fingerprint
  • IP Address
Delivery Factor
  • Shipping Address
  • Email Address

Additional Factor

  • Login ID
  • Telephone Number
  • Device Location
  • Device Name
  • Shipping / Billing Address
  • IP Address
  • Email Address
Common QuestionIs First-Party Trust the Same as Compelling Evidence 3.0?Not really. Comparing this directly to the Compelling Evidence 3.0 initiative is a common misconception.

The key difference here is in how you can participate. With Visa CE 3.0, you can share the data either pre-chargeback or post-chargeback as part of representment. With the Mastercard First-Party Trust program, you’ll need to register and make the data available to Mastercard to use in this initiative. You can’t use First-Party Trust after the transaction, as you could with CE 3.0.
Is First-Party Trust the same as CE 3.0? Get the details here.REQUEST A DEMO

How Will This Impact Chargeback Management?

Mastercard are amending their rules and standards to ensure that the liability position of the card issuer is reflected where the merchant provides the First Party Trust evidence. I would expect that, over time, both Visa and Mastercard will look to introduce data element matching as part of the chargeback process for other use cases. In addition, the need to prepare and send a representment document will decrease. 

This program, along with the Visa CE 3.0 proposition, represents the first foray into using cardholder and merchant data together to resolve fraud claims. The main constraint of these initiatives is the availability of the data and whether merchants can easily access it and transmit it for processing.  

To date, we have not seen much uptake with the Visa CE 3.0 program, so we’ll be watching the Mastercard First-Party Trust scheme with great interest. It’s definitely a step in the right direction. But, time will tell whether it can stem the massive growth in friendly fraud the industry is currently seeing. 

Advantages of the First-Party Trust Program

Mastercard First-Party Trust offers several advantages similar to those provided by Visa. As I mentioned above, the platform promotes transparency and accountability by ensuring that all parties adhere to stringent guidelines. Ideally, this will create a more level playing field, as both issuers and acquirers are held to the same standards when evaluating chargeback disputes.

To illustrate further, here’s what Mastercard First-Party Trust can do for you:

Reduce Overall Chargebacks

Reduce Overall Chargebacks

First-Party Trust helps reduce the number of chargebacks you face by providing enhanced data sharing and better transaction verification. This transparency decreases the likelihood of friendly fraud, as you can present compelling evidence earlier in the dispute process. This reduces the number of chargebacks you receive from invalid claims.

Lower Fraud Rates

Lower Fraud Rates

Preventing chargebacks related to fraud can lower overall chargeback and fraud rates. This is to make sure your dispute ratio is not artificially elevated due to fraudulent claims, thereby protecting your reputation and financial standing.

Protected Revenue & Faster Resolutions

Protected Revenue & Faster Resolutions

First-Party Trust can help protect revenue by deflecting fraudulent disputes without needing to issue refunds. This helps avoid loss of merchandise and chargeback fees. Moreover, by allowing the submission of comprehensive evidence during the dispute stage, the program helps make sure false claims are addressed in real-time. This leads to faster resolutions and reduces the operational burden on merchants.

Simplified Representments

Simplified Representments

While representment can be complex, Mastercard First-Party Trust gives you a broader array of tools to contest fraud and recover revenue. With enhanced data and verification processes, you can more effectively handle and resolve disputes, making the representment process more manageable.

Overall, the Mastercard First-Party Trust program is a good tool for merchants and financial institutions. It should help to better handle disputes by promoting transparency, reducing fraud, and protecting revenue. That said, it’s important to recognize that it may not be a one-size-fits-all solution for every transaction scenario.

How Should Merchants Adjust for the First-Party Trust Program?

Participating in First-Party Trust will hopefully improve and streamline your ability to manage and prevent chargebacks. With that in mind, here are a few tips to help you maximize the benefits of the program:

#1 Get Your Data Ready

Make sure your transaction data is well-organized, accessible, and can be shared in real time. High-quality, easily accessible data is crucial for effectively contesting chargebacks and proving the legitimacy of your transactions. Invest in reliable data management systems to streamline this process.

#2 Evaluate Your Current Situation

Before registering for First-Party Trust, take stock of how many chargebacks you receive and identify patterns. Knowing the frequency and causes of your chargebacks will help you better prepare and leverage the program’s benefits. This evaluation will also highlight areas where the program can make the most significant impact.

#3 Leverage Chargeback Intelligence

Use chargeback intelligence tools — such as those provided by Chargebacks911® — to boost transaction and fraud monitoring. Integrating this intelligence data into your front-end systems can help you make better decisions and prevent first-party fraud at the source. This proactive approach can drastically reduce the incidence of chargebacks.

Following these tips will help you effectively utilize the Mastercard First-Party Trust Program to reduce chargebacks, protect your revenue, and enhance overall operational efficiency. However, no program, however comprehensive, can fully protect your business from chargebacks on its own.

Your best best is to adopt a multilayered strategy that addresses the root causes of friendly fraud, prioritizes dispute resolution, and takes advantage of chargeback alerts. This will help stop illegitimate chargebacks of every variety— not just those related to cut-and-dry fraud. Click below to learn more.

FAQs

What is the First-Party Trust program?

The First-Party Trust rogram is an initiative by Mastercard designed to streamline and enhance the dispute resolution process, similar to Visa's Compelling Evidence 3.0. Focusing on better data sharing and merchant verification aims to reduce fraudulent chargebacks and improve trust among merchants, cardholders, and issuers.

What are First-Party Trust program requirements?

To be part of First-Party Trust, you must have strong data management systems to capture and share detailed transaction information in real-time and enroll in Consumer Clarity to securely communicate this data during disputes. You’ll also need to make sure your transaction data includes specific details such as billing and shipping addresses, device information, and customer credentials.

Will the First-Party Trust program stop chargebacks?

Yes.. and no. First-Party Trust can help reduce chargebacks by providing enhanced transaction data and improving dispute resolution. But, it won't stop all chargebacks. Friendly fraud involves intentional misuse of the chargeback process by cardholders, making it challenging to completely eliminate.

Tracy Cray

Author

Tracy Cray

Director of Card Scheme Compliance

Tracy Cray has over 35 years of experience in the credit, prepaid, and debit card payments industry. She specialised in chargebacks and Section 75 of the Consumer Credit Act 1974 at the Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) before joining Chargebacks911 as Director of Card Scheme Compliance. Using her in-depth understanding of card schemes and influential relationships within the industry, Tracy leads the team to provide expert advice and assistance to issuers, acquirers and merchants in their chargeback handling. She is also involved in a number of chargeback and scheme forums, and serves as the Founder and Chair of the UK experts Chargeback and Compliance Group.

Like What You're Reading? Join our newsletter and stay up to date on the latest in payments and eCommerce trends.
Newsletter Signup
We’ll run the numbers; You’ll see the savings.
Please share a few details and we'll connect with you!
Over 18,000 companies recovered revenue with products from Chargebacks911
Close Form
Embed code has been copied to clipboard