What are VMPI Issuer Notifications and How Should Merchants Respond?

Sydney VaccaroFraud PreventionLeave a Comment

What are VMPI Issuer Notification and How Should Merchants Respond

VMPI notifications give merchants the opportunity to avoid disputes and take meaningful actions to retain customer relationships and prevent revenue loss. Here are the VMPI issuer notification types and how merchants should take action when they receive each one.

What is VMPI?

Visa Merchant Purchase Inquiry (VMPI) gives merchants the ability to respond to customers' inquiries in real-time to prevent invalid disputes from being filed. By providing this information to the issuing bank, the dispute analyst can use transaction details to decide if the dispute is invalid and prevent it from being filed. In cases of friendly fraud, the additional data helps jog the cardholder's memory about the purchase. And in cases where the cardholder is trying to intentionally misuse their chargeback rights, the extra layer of confirmation acts as a critical deterrent from proceeding with the dispute.

What are Issuer Notifications?

Issuer notifications (through VMPI) allow merchants to receive a request for more information, as well as notifications when a transaction has been reported as fraud, disputes are finalized, and when the cards have been blocked from further purchases with a stop payment request. These notifications allow the merchant to resolve a problem or refund a transaction and take other preventative steps.

Visa Issuer Notification Types

This enhanced level of order details and customer account information is typically not made available until well into the dispute process. This is why merchants must take proactive steps when they receive different types of VMPI notifications. Each business is different, so you should make decisions like final refunds according to your business processes.

Visa Inquiry Notification

An inquiry notification is a request for more information about the transaction. The response from the merchant should contain an enhanced level of company information, transaction, and order details.


  • In general, do not refund inquiries.
  • If your company is at or above the dispute rate limits, consider proactively refunding inquiries.
  • If proactively refunding, you can change the enhanced descriptor to state, "this transaction will be refunded.”

Visa Dispute Initiated Notification

This notification is when the customer disputes a transaction and the issuer finalizes it. A dispute initiated notification contains the same information you would receive from your payment processor for your merchant account, but will often be received days in advance. These funds will be deducted from an upcoming settlement, and you should take whatever action you normally would when a customer files a dispute.

You may see dispute notifications without inquiry notifications because not all banks have adopted inquiry notifications.


  • Until chargebacks can be blocked on previously refunded transactions, do not refund disputes.
  • If the customer's goods or services have not been delivered or can quickly be canceled, notify the customer and let them know their initiation of a dispute resulted in a cancellation of their order/service.

Visa Fraud Notification

Fraud notifications come when a transaction is confirmed as fraudulent by the customer. However, this does not mean a dispute will always follow. If the card has had fraudulent transactions before and the issuer did not reissue a new account number, then the issuer is liable and cannot dispute. Additionally, the issuer may feel that a low transaction amount or other reasons unique to the issuer do not warrant a dispute.


  • Stop accepting this card for payment and reach out to the customer to confirm they wish to maintain their account or relationship with you.
  • Do not refund fraud notifications when a dispute directly follows.
  • If you don't see a dispute shortly after the fraud notification refund at your discretion, internal best practices vary from merchant to merchant.

Visa Stop Payment Notification

You will receive this notification when issuers block future transactions by your company for a specific customer account. Customers can ask their issuer to prevent recurring transactions or subscription payments from continuing. This effectively stops your ability to process a payment on that card account.


  • If directly followed by a dispute, do not refund and stop all future payments.
  • This request can happen by accident, use this as an opportunity to reach out to the customer and ask if they wish to terminate their account or simply update billing information.
  • If delivery or access to the goods or services can be canceled, any shipments can be rerouted or fulfillment can be stopped, you may want to do so immediately.

Exception File Listing Notification

When you receive an exception file, it means at some point the customer's card was used fraudulently. This notification does not say the transaction was fraudulent, but the card has been compromised.


  • Merchants should not refund.
  • Cancel all upcoming and future payments.
  • Reach out to the customer and ask if they'd like to update their billing information.

Merchants can often receive more than one notification at a time. For example, it is quite common to receive a fraud notification and a dispute notification in the same message. This means that a transaction has been reported as fraudulent, but a dispute has been filed as well.

How Can Merchants be Set Up with VMPI?

To gain access, merchants have to integrate to VMPI. Some merchants find this process of integrating on their own overwhelming or too time-consuming, which is why Visa has authorized VMPI facilitators. Chargeback is a VMPI facilitator that can connect merchant to VMPI with no hassle on their end. By using Chargeback's integration, merchants can start preventing disputes and protecting revenue. To learn more about our VMPI integration and how you can get started, click here.

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