How to Dispute a Visa Debit Card Transaction

Updated March 23, 2017

Most people use debit cards to make everyday purchases, from gas to their daily latté. However, if you notice an unauthorised transaction on your Visa account, it's important to act quickly. Debit cards do provide some protection against fraudulent activity, but the protection is not as good as that provided by credit cards. Contacting your merchant and attempting to resolve the issue with the merchant is important when dealing with Visa debit card disputes.

Contact the merchant. Most financial institutions require you to attempt to resolve the issue with the merchant first, before disputing the transaction. If your attempts are unsuccessful, financial institutions are willing to step in.

Determine your liability. According to MSN Money, your liability for unauthorised purchases varies based on your bank's terms of agreement. For example, there might be two different liability amounts, one amount for PIN transactions and one for signature transactions.

Make a claim with your financial institution. Explain the situation, such as unauthorised use of your Visa debit card. Don't wait too long; if you wait longer than 60 days (depending on your financial institution's terms of agreement), you could get stuck paying the entire disputed amount.

Wait for a decision. When filing a dispute for a Visa debit card transaction, the financial institution usually requires that you fill out formal documentation, which they mail you after you report the dispute over the phone. Some financial institutions will put money back in your account while the dispute is being investigated, but some will not.


Even if your bank doesn't cover 100 per cent of PIN-based transactions, your liability is still minimal. Liability on a Visa debit card is capped at £32, as long as you report the issue promptly, according to MSN Money.


If the financial institution determines that you've acted negligently, such as throwing a Visa debit card into a trash bin on purpose, they have the right to deny your dispute.

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About the Author

Nicki Howell started her professional writing career in 2002, specializing in areas such as health, fitness and personal finance. She has been published at health care websites, such as HealthTree, and is a ghostwriter for a variety of small health care organizations. She earned a Bachelor of Science in business administration from Portland State University.