Visa Compelling Evidence 3.0What's Changing with the Adoption of New Visa Dispute Evidence Rules?

March 30, 2023 | 12 min read

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Visa Compelling Evidence 3.0

In a Nutshell

Known as Visa Compelling Evidence 3.0 (or “CE 3.0” for short), the initiative will make it easier for merchants to lower chargeback rates and avoid revenue loss. The benefits may vary, however, based on the type of chargebacks you typically receive. In this article, we’ll take a close look at Visa CE 3.0, including timelines, time limits, and other crucial information.

Is Your Business Ready for Visa Compelling Evidence 3.0?

Good news: Visa is working to improve the chargeback process by altering some of its rules regarding intentional cardholder misuse.

The latest edition of Visa’s core rules (effective April 2023) introduced Visa Compelling Evidence 3.0. This new ruleset expands the list of compelling evidence you can use to help undo an invalid customer dispute.

As a merchant, you’ll have more opportunities to present documents that can help you win a dispute reversal. But, what evidence will qualify? How will this work alongside Order Insight? We’ll get into all that and more below.

What is Visa Compelling Evidence 3.0?

Compelling Evidence 3.0

[noun]/kəm • pel • iNG • ev • ə • d • ns/

Visa Compelling Evidence 3.0 is a set of guidelines and evidence requirements that merchants and acquirers can use to strengthen their cases during a dispute. CE 3.0 provides a standardized framework for all parties involved in the chargeback process to share information and substantiate their claims.

You have the right to fight back against invalid disputes through chargeback representment. The process involves demonstrating that the transaction was valid and the customer’s claim is false. Doing so eats up time and resources, though, and you have no guarantee of success.

Compelling Evidence 3.0 lets you submit historical purchase evidence to show a legitimate cardholder was behind an order. If you can decisively prove certain elements (device fingerprint, IP address, etc.) used in the current dispute were also associated with two previously undisputed transactions, the fraud claim will be denied.

The aim of CE 3.0 is to make the chargeback process more efficient, transparent, and fair. It should ultimately help prevent fraud and unwarranted chargebacks, specifically applying to disputes marked with a Visa reason code 10.4: Other Fraud–Card-Absent Environment. This reason code is often associated with first-party (or “friendly”) fraud due to its generic, open-ended nature. 


Visa Compelling Evidence 3.0 takes effect on April 15, 2023.

Why is Visa Compelling Evidence 3.0 Necessary?

You must supply compelling evidence to successfully contest a dispute. According to Visa guidelines, this means “proof the cardholder participated in the transaction, received the goods or services, or benefitted from the transaction.” The documents that constitute compelling evidence are predetermined based on the type of chargeback in question.Under previous regulations, merchants could only challenge a 10.4 chargeback using a single previous transaction for which all of the following match the dispute in question:

  • IP Address
  • Email Address
  • Physical Address
  • Telephone Number
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Note that this information was only a prerequisite to challenge the chargeback. It didn’t guarantee a reversal, and if that was your only proof, you shouldn’t have necessarily expected to win the case. 

This all changed with the announcement of Visa Compelling Evidence 3.0. 

What are the Visa Compelling Evidence 3.0 Qualification Criteria?

With Visa Compelling Evidence 3.0, the card network has expanded the definition of compelling evidence (at least regarding reason code 10.4). Once implemented, Visa CE 3.0 rules will require you to produce two transactions, both of which must have been made more than 120 (but fewer than 365) days before the dispute in question. Neither of these transactions may have been previously reported as fraud.

Obviously, these must also be associated with the disputed transaction, but only two of the four points listed above need to match. You may also use device ID, fingerprint, or account login ID to validate a purchase. Keep in mind, though: In addition to account credentials, at least one of the submitted data points must be the IP address or device ID. 

We understand that this can be a little confusing. To help, here’s a side-by-side look at the old and new requirements:


  Current Requirements CE 3.0 Requirements
Number of prior purchases (undisputed) 1 2 or more
Items required to match between prior undisputed purchases and transaction in question All of the following: IP address, Email address, Physical (shipping) address, Telephone number At least two of the following: Customer account/login ID, Delivery address, Device ID/device fingerprint, IP address
Time frame for undisputed transactions used as evidence None Processing date must be more than 120 days, but fewer than 365 days, before the transaction in question
Submission In dispute response Either pre-dispute or in dispute response

There are a couple of other crucial points about Compelling Evidence 3.0 that you need to keep in mind, too, regarding which transactions you can use as evidence:

  • The same data elements must match across both undisputed transactions and the disputed transaction. The transaction must use the same payment method and be settled at least 120 days (but fewer than 365 days) prior to the dispute.
  • Either the IP address or the device ID/fingerprint must be one of the two data items in question for items required to match between prior undisputed purchases.
  • Visa will automatically identify two transactions involving the same payment method. They will transmit the transaction information with a request for you to provide the matching core data elements.
  • For subscription merchants who don't have a matching IP Address or Device ID on recurring transactions, you may use an initial subscription billing transaction that's not disputed as fraud for evidence.

If you’re enrolled in Order Insight, Visa will assist you by identifying up to five potentially qualifying, undisputed transactions that also occurred within the allowed timeframe. Obviously, this only applies in pre-dispute situations, which we’ll dive into in more detail below.


Remember: you’re only able to submit prior transactions that are at least 120 days old, but which are also fewer than 365 days old.

How Visa CE 3.0 & Order Insight Work Together to Resolve Disputes

Visa Compelling Evidence 3.0 widens the scope of admissible evidence, and also enables you to submit evidence at the inquiry stage. Through Order Insight, you can submit evidence before a chargeback is even filed.

Submitted Pre-Dispute Submitted in Dispute Response
Prevents dispute Dispute response (representment) still required
Claim cannot escalate to dispute Dispute cannot escalate to arbitration
No monetary loss, no fees Chargeback fees still apply
No impact to fraud ratios No impact to fraud ratio
No impact to chargeback ratio Chargeback ratio is impacted.

To fully illustrate how CE 3.0 and Order Insight work together to help you navigate and streamline disputes, let’s take a look at the pre- and post-dispute processes:


Through Order Insight, you can provide purchase details to issuers in an attempt to prevent a transaction in question (pre-dispute) from becoming a chargeback.

Visa will then pre-select up to five transactions with no active fraud reports or fraud disputes that occurred between 120 and 365 days before the attempted dispute date. This means qualified historical transactions will be identified systematically by Visa and submitted as Order Insight inquiries for participating merchants. You would then need to return the data elements outlined in the above qualification criteria for those transactions that were pre-selected.

Next, Order Insight will validate the data and then pass it along to Visa to make the liability decision based on qualification criteria. If criteria are met, the pre-dispute will be blocked, and liability for the transaction will remain with the issuer.


Aligning with the existing process, you will still have the opportunity to work with your acquirer to submit transaction data elements that meet CE3.0 qualification criteria. This is where you work with your acquirer to locate and package data elements for two historical transactions that occurred more than 120 (but fewer than 365) days prior to the dispute date for the same cardholder.

Your acquirer will then deliver the response package via Visa Resolve Online (VROL), where the CE3.0 data elements will be validated. If the data elements from the historical transactions meet the qualification criteria, the seller/acquirer response will be deemed successful.

If a chargeback does get filed, you can still submit prior transactions as part of your compelling evidence. You’ll still have to pay the chargeback fee, and the dispute will still be reflected in your Visa chargeback rate. However, you’ll significantly increase your chances of winning a reversal.

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Advantages of Visa CE 3.0

By requiring that all parties adhere to these guidelines, CE 3.0 helps to promote transparency and accountability. Likewise, issuers and acquirers must adhere to the same standards when evaluating a chargeback dispute, ensuring a more level playing field for all parties involved.

Under Visa Compelling Evidence 3.0, you will enjoy:

A Wider Range of Admissible Evidence

Increasing the options for admissible evidence under reason code 10.4 allows you to provide historical evidence for suspected acts of friendly fraud before a chargeback is filed. This is a big deal, considering that this evidence was formerly only an option during the representment process… after you’d already been hit with fees.

Faster Evidence Submission

Visa CE 3.0 gets the job done faster. By allowing the submission of evidence during the dispute stage, you may fully avoid a chargeback (and the resulting fees) altogether. Of course, this is still presuming that your evidence is both sound and compelling.

Fewer Overall Chargebacks

More options for evidence — and the opportunity to present evidence earlier — will almost certainly decrease the number of friendly fraud chargebacks you receive. Considering that these represent roughly six in ten disputes, we’re looking at a substantial drop in chargeback filings.

Lower Chargeback Rate

Preventing chargebacks will help keep your chargeback rate lower. And, since you’re blocking fraud, your fraud-to-transaction ratio should also drop.

Simplified Representments

To be fair, representment is never easy. But, with Visa CE 3.0 rules in place, you have a broader range of ways to fight back and recover revenue.

CE 3.0 can help merchants and financial institutions better handle and resolve disputes. However, it's essential to recognize that CE 3.0 can’t be a “one-size-fits-all” solution.

Are There Any Disadvantages to Visa CE 3.0?

While Visa Compelling Evidence 3.0 is a significant step forward in the fight against fraud and chargebacks, it's important to recognize that it can’t solve every problem. One of the most obvious potential drawbacks is the more stringent requirements.

We’re talking about finding two factors from two previous orders, then matching them to the same factors for the dispute in question. According to Visa, that’s enough to show that the purchase “would be qualified for protection,” thereby shifting liability to the issuer for that claim. That can mean extra work on top of your existing responsibilities regarding disputes.

Because response timelines will not be increased, the extra work will need to be done in the same amount of time. Having a way to easily store and quickly access transaction records will be crucial.

Also, while not exactly a downside, it’s important to note that some types of merchants will benefit from the new regulations more than others. For example, CE 3.0 could be a huge help for merchants using a subscription business model. If you’ve been billing the same card the same amount every single month, finding matching transactions should be a snap. It will be less useful for merchants that tend to conduct “one-off” purchases, though.

Ultimately, CE3.0 serves as a solid foundation for improving the chargeback process. It's only one piece of a broader solution to effectively prevent and manage chargebacks, though.

What Should I Do Now?

So, what should you do to get ready for Compelling Evidence 3.0? Here are a few suggestions:

Get Your Data Ready

We can’t emphasize this enough. CE 3.0 options will be of no use to you without data. Visa has laid out the type of evidence you’ll need in order to leverage the new rules. Now is the time to figure out where the information resides and where — and how — it can be stored for easy retrieval.

Implement Order Insight

If you’re not already using Verify Order Insight, you should consider enrolling. Order Insight is the Visa-recommended way of sharing evidence for a dispute response. It will let you streamline and simplify the process for faster, more collaborative resolution.

Get Professional Help

Working with the right chargeback professional is the fastest, easiest, and most effective way to make sure you’re reaping all the benefits of the new ruleset. A Visa-authorized facilitator — like Chargebacks911® — can help integrate Order Insight and handle all the other complex details of your integration process for you.


What is Visa Compelling Evidence 3.0?

Visa's Compelling Evidence 3.0 is a set of guidelines and evidence requirements that merchants, acquirers, and issuers can use to strengthen their cases when disputing chargebacks. CE3.0 provides a standardized framework for all parties involved in the chargeback process to share information and substantiate their claims. 

What is compelling evidence for chargeback?

Visa describes compelling evidence as “…the act of providing proof the cardholder participated in the transaction, received the goods or services, or benefitted from the transaction.” Basically, any evidence that can provide proof of your claim, is considered compelling. Click here for a more detailed rundown on compelling evidence, along with examples.

How long does a merchant have to respond to a Visa chargeback?

Generally speaking, merchants will have 30 days to respond to each phase when dealing with Visa chargebacks.

How can Visa CE 3.0 apply to first-time buyers?

Visa Compelling Evidence 3.0 relies on historical transactions made within a given timeframe to deliberate dispute data. Therefore, first-time buyer-related transactions are not eligible for Visa CE 3.0. 

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