Visa Merchant Purchase Inquiry vs. Real-time Resolution

Alex ForbessMerchant ServicesLeave a Comment

People want immediate resolution. And Visa Merchant Purchase Inquiry (VMPI) gives merchants the ability to prevent disputes from becoming, well, disputes. We recognize this desire among SMBs and Enterprises alike, and that is why our App offers Real-time Resolution.

Like Visa, we want internal teams to stop chargebacks before they become disputes since that is the key to improve the overall health of their business. But with two (very) similar objectives, some people reading this post may be thinking…what’s the difference?

What is the difference between VMPI and Real-time Res? We will answer this question by comparing both of its features, benefits and where there is some commonalities in-between. Let us first give an overview of both subjects.

Visa Merchant Purchase Inquiry

VMPI is a plug-in tool that allows merchants to have a system-to-system interface with issuers who are reviewing a cardholder’s claim. This interface is operated and moderated by Visa’s automated dispute platform, Visa Resolve Online (VROL).

Basically, issuers will request transaction details from merchants through VROL, and VMPI will automatically pull and provide said details to the issuer. The cardholder’s claim is deemed invalid if the details verify that a valid transaction took place. That not only prevent a dispute from being filed, but it also prevents a chargeback altogether.

One Phase in Visa’s Dispute Process

Visa Merchant Purchase Inquiry is one piece of the Visa Claims Resolution initiative. In fact, VMPI is one of two pieces within the first phase of Visa’s dispute process, which is called ‘Pre-Dispute.’ While VMPI relies on pulled data via API to prevent disputes, Associated Transactions enables VROL to clarify what action is associated to the disputed transaction. There are three actions that merchants can take in order to prevent a (potential) dispute. They can initiate the following actions with this feature:

  • Issue Credit
  • Transaction Reversal
  • Adjustment

Issuers are then asked by VROL to verify if any of the actions above took place. If so, the dispute will not be filed as a dispute, and it will not proceed further in Visa’s dispute process.

Keep in mind that Associated Transactions allow merchants to keep track of what action they plan to take in order to resolve the dispute. Merchants still have to initiate the action in order for the issuer to verify that resolution has taken place.

The (Slight) Down Side to VMPI

Visa Merchant Purchase Inquiry brings a tremendous benefit. There is no doubt about that. It brings opportunity to resolve cardholders’ claims in close-to-real-time. That being said, Visa requires merchants to put their tech to the test…for integration.

These tests involve the merchants’ development teams, or self-taught coders, to create test projects and observe how the company’s API capabilities hold up in the sandbox. Once merchants have successfully tested their capabilities, that is when they can officially request their test projects to be moved from the sandbox to the production environment.

Why are merchants being tested? It is because Visa wants VMPI to be the preventer of invalid disputes. And the fastest (and most efficient) way to do that is to provide all the transaction details upfront, so that no time or resources are wasted on these disputes.

The Alternative to VMPI?

It is optional to integrate with VMPI, but that excludes you from its benefit. You are free to manually aggregate the transaction details needed to fulfill inquiries. The problem is that you will need to have the transaction details aggregated, formatted and ready to be sent in order for VROL to prevent disputes from being filed.

That will require merchants to have highly proficient spreadsheet skills and a robust template on standby. Keep in mind that each dispute demands different compelling evidence. It will all depend on the reason code tied to the dispute. You will need to obtain an eBook of some kind that informs you on which evidence is requested by which reason code.

You will also need to have different reason templates that adhere to the card network and issuing banks’ guidelines. Otherwise, your response may not even be accepted.

Real-time Resolution

Real-time Res is a benefit our clients earn after embracing automated dispute management. It is not the result from a service-based or a third-party facilitator. Instead, it is the result of a SaaS platform that improves an internal team’s dispute workflow.

The process in Real-time Resolution is similar to Visa Merchant Purchase Inquiry. The visual below gives a decent overview of Real-time Res in action.

  1. Cardholder contacts their card issuer and is connected to the Issuing Bank’s Dispute Analyst.
  2. The Dispute Analyst conducts a VROL-Transaction Inquiry.
  3. VROL recognizes the merchant as a Chargeback client and generates a Real-time Resolution Inquiry.
  4. The Chargeback App renders a response* containing customer, order, product and related detail within seconds.
  5. Response detail is provided to the cardholder by the Dispute Analyst.

*Optionally, the response can include a customer credit notification. This is great when merchants want to credit the cardholder prior to receiving a chargeback.

In short, the process within VMPI and Real-time Res flow the same process in order to reach the same goal. But here is where our benefit differs from Visa’s plug-in.

No Test or Changes Required

Merchants and their developers do not need to run any tests on any sandbox. The Chargeback App is designed to adapt to your data sources and proceedings—not the other way around. And there continues to be (re)iteration on our end to not only help merchants prevent disputes, but to also improve their workflow in dispute management.

All that we ask from you is to specify what data sources you currently use to store transaction data. There is a good chance your sources are already suited to integrate with our App, and that will allow VROL to receive this data in real-time. You will be able to request an integration, and we will enter the API sandbox on your behalf (it won’t take long).

Additional Benefits

Like VMPI, the App pulls and aggregates all transaction details in real-time. But our software does this with disputes across the four major card networks, not just Visa. No matter what dispute you receive, the App will pull and aggregate the transaction details needed to challenge its merit.

This gives you a more holistic approach in internal dispute management that is not in a ‘silo’ of one card network. Here is how automated dispute management streamlines the workflow:

DataSync

This is where the aggregation takes place. You can integrate your data sources via API, and the App will pull the data associated to the dispute.

For example, let us say a dispute was received by your processor. That is one piece of data needed to include in your response. Now you need to include data from your ecommerce platform and gateway. The Chargeback App aggregates this data into one form and is prepped for a response.

Moreover, your internal team will be able to provide additional compelling evidence based on the dispute’s reason code. Each reason code will modify the form in order for your team to fulfill the exact requirements as listed by the card network. That requires no adjustments on your end since the App automatically adjusts your workflow for you.

DocGen

Our automation does not stop at aggregation. The App will auto-generate a response document based on the evidence provided on the form. Additionally, the document will be automatically formatted in accordance to the card networks’ rules and regulation. There will be no need to stress over which format is needed and which template should be utilized.

Everything will be assembled automatically. A transaction invoice will also be generated and included into the document.

DocSend

Think we have exhaustive ways to automated dispute management? You’d be surprise. After the document is auto-generated, it will be auto-sent to your processor. They can then send the response to the issuer for review. Here is a GIF that gives a snapshot of the whole workflow in action:

Response GIF w/ Button

Bottom Line

There are similarities between Visa Merchant Purchase Inquiry and Real-time Resolution. Both enable Visa and Chargeback to automatically extract data needed to disprove a dispute. But there is some much more to earn from Real-time Res since it is only one of several benefits in automated dispute management. This makes the Chargeback App not a facilitator, but an internal SaaS solution for your dispute team.

Merchants are the most knowledgeable when it comes to their products and customers. It is really a matter of giving them the right software to execute that knowledge. If that is something you are looking for, feel free to contact us and view our prices. You can also request a demo if you would like to see more than was provided by the GIF (see above). And lastly, feel free to state any questions you may have within the comment section. I will be honored to explain VMPI, Real-time Res and other topics you would like to discuss.

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