Everything You Need to Know About VMPI
Visa Merchant Purchase Inquiry, or VMPI, is a new feature that offers an incredible option: the chance to stop chargebacks before they are ever submitted. Obviously, that can be a real benefit to you as a merchant…but only if you can leverage the tool properly. With that in mind, let's examine how the process works, and whether you need a Visa facilitator to make the most of this exciting opportunity.
What Is Visa Merchant Purchase Inquiry?
Visa Merchant Purchase Inquiry was introduced as part of the new Visa Claims Resolution (VCR) initiative, an effort by Visa to streamline and automate as much of the chargeback dispute process as possible. Working through the Visa Resolve Online platform, VMPI offers automated, real-time data communication between issuers and participating merchants.
Under the legacy system, if a cardholder called the issuer with a complaint, that complaint simply turned into a chargeback. After that, it was up to you to defend the transaction, and to pay all mandatory chargeback fees, regardless of the outcome.
Now, direct dialogue between banks and merchants may eliminate or invalidate that chargeback in the first place.
By enrolling in the program, you give issuers permission to ping you for additional transaction details whenever necessary--before a chargeback is officially filed. These details, known as a transaction inquiry response, could mark a complaint as illegitimate before it becomes a dispute. VMPI even allows you to issue a credit straight to the cardholder, thereby cancelling the reason for the chargeback!
This technology is already producing impressive results. During VCR’s soft-launch in Hong Kong and New Zealand in 2017, VMPI managed to prevent 14% of all disputes.
“Talk-Off” Chargebacks With VMPI
For every card transaction, there is a certain amount of data available to all or most of the parties involved. Some information, however, may not be transmitted, for a variety of reasons such as length or privacy concerns.
While not readily available, this information—what Visa calls "additional transaction details"—may be the key to stopping a chargeback.
Those additional transaction details are the compelling evidence you would need to justify a transaction. Under the litigation-based legacy system, it would not even be introduced until the chargeback had been filed and you were preparing a second presentment. Now, though, VMPI allows you to present that information as chargeback prevention, rather than a response.
You can preload specific transaction details through VMPI so the issuer can access it at the beginning of the dispute process. Visa is calling this "proactive representment," which can be used to "talk off" complaints before they become disputes, or chargebacks. Here's an example of how that would work:
Visa Merchant Purchase Inquiry is the first phase in the dispute-resolution process. The idea here is that avoiding disputes is a win-win for merchants and cardholders; it’s much more cost-effective than fighting a dispute, and will lead to greater customer satisfaction in the long run.
Steps to Take After a VMPI Response
Whether you submit a credit notice or a transaction inquiry response, there are certain steps to ensure there are no further issues involving this customer:
If Submitting a Credit Notice:
- Refund the transaction, and make note of the refund in your CRM.
- Cancel order fulfillment if still possible.
- Cancel any future rebills if part of a recurring billing program.
- If you suspect friendly fraud, then flag the customer and consider blacklisting.
If Submitting a Transaction Inquiry Response:
- Make note of the VMPI response in your CRM.
- Follow-up to ensure the issue is resolved.
- Be prepared to respond if the inquiry progresses to a dispute.
The Visa Merchant Purchase Inquiry plays an important role beyond your initial response, too. Data generated by VMPI allows for in-depth analysis to better understand your general chargeback situation and how well you manage to respond.
Data points including your resolution versus dispute rate, the issuers which tend to file the most inquiries, and your overall refund rate can provide incredible insight into where you could improve. It should also be noted that merchants enrolled in some type of chargeback alert program will normally only receive those alerts if resolution through VMPI has failed.
Integrating with VMPI
It’s important to emphasise that VMPI is optional; but if you do not participate (or the cardholder’s complaint can't be successfully resolved via VMPI), the case will progress to a dispute automatically.
To implement this solution and enjoy the benefits of VMPI, you first need connectivity with Visa’s systems. Once your system is integrated, issuers will be able to message you directly through Visa Resolve Online and provide you with Visa Merchant Purchase Inquiry information.
There are two distinct methods you can use to integrate with VMPI:
DIRECT INTEGRATION THROUGH VISA
You can directly integrate with Visa's systems, but there are certain requirements. You must first complete and submit a detailed questionnaire. Then, you will need to complete a testing procedure to determine hardware capabilities; to qualify, you must be able to respond to information requests in two seconds or less.
VMPI responses include 141 data fields. The relevant data could be stored in your CRM, gateway, fraud detection platform…or any combination thereof. To participate, you will need to provide VMPI connectivity for each necessary platform.
INDIRECT INTEGRATION USING A VISA FACILITATOR
If you’re not able to—or simply don’t want to—create and maintain this integration, Visa has appointed facilitators who can integrate to VMPI on your behalf. This helps ensure everyone can participate. With indirect integration, you’re only required to provide cardholder acceptance identification (CAID) and the acquirer’s bank identification number (BIN).
Need a VMPI Facilitator?
Securing a Visa facilitator is by far the easier of the two options, both in terms of integration and long-term management.
Chargebacks911®, our U.S branch are Visa facilitators, meaning our clients enjoy the benefits of easy, instant integration with the Visa Merchant Purchase Inquiry plugin and the Visa Resolve Online platform. As your facilitator, Chargebacks911 can offer:
- More revenue recovered
- Reduced costs and better resource allocation
- Increased net income
- Long-term chargeback reduction
If you're in the market for a VMPI facilitator, contact us now to see how Chargebacks911 can help you.