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Best Practices for Disputes Handling

As the global impact of the coronavirus evolves, PULSE continues to monitor transaction and dispute activity to support processor, merchant and issuer participants. PULSE remains committed to maintaining service level agreements for Disputes System activities and is available to assist clients with questions.
Dispute actions and timeframes will continue as previously defined with the launch of the PULSE Disputes System (PDS) in August 2018. With the PDS launch, we increased chargeback time frames from 90 days to 120 days and increased representment time frames from 30 days to 45 days.
Issuers, acquirers and merchants are urged to be flexible and act in good faith to resolve disputes. In addition, processors are encouraged to share best practices with their partners to manage dispute activity. PULSE participants should consider the following best practices in handling disputes during this unprecedented time.

Merchants and Acquirers

  • Work directly with cardholders to provide refunds, alternate accommodations, or vouchers for rescheduled events that occurred as a result of services-not-rendered due to coronavirus restrictions.
  • Cease charging no-show fees for cardholders in impacted areas and work with customers to find an amicable resolution.
  • Communicate with customers and work together regarding potential delays, or extensions of goods and services, as applicable.
  • Provide additional comments in PDS for scenarios such as: restricted access to ATM logs or receipt information.

Financial Institutions and Issuers

  • Encourage cardholders to work directly with merchants in resolving issues before acting in PDS.
  • Diligently review cardholder accounts for credits and refunds already applied.
  • Limit ticket-retrieval requests to reduce the demand on merchants and acquirers.
  • Carefully review the disputes lifecycle, especially when dealing with late presentations and time frames set forth in the PULSE Operating Rules and Procedures and/or the PULSE Disputes Rules.
  • Work directly with merchants and acquirers when dispute response comments indicate that ATM logs, or receipt information, were not accessible.
Processors are encouraged to contact the Disputes Help Desk at 866-245-0500, or send an email to if you have questions about this communication.