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Details on Disputes

From time to time, “disputes” or “chargebacks” may arise on a credit card account. A credit card cardholder dispute is a claim submitted by a cardholder to challenge the legitimacy of a transaction which is charged and posted to his credit card account.

Whilst a cardholder can request that his account be blocked via telephone if he suspects that his account was compromised by unauthorised transactions, the official first step of the dispute process is the submission of a “dispute” form.

Some helpful information on the dispute form and the dispute process is outlined below: 

  • The dispute form(s) must be completed and signed by the cardholder on whose credit card the disputed transaction was observed. However the primary cardholder (or account owner) is ultimately responsible for making queries. 
  • A dispute form must be completed for each transaction, even though there may be several transactions conducted at the same merchant. The dispute forms are necessary as they are sent electronically to the relevant Acquirers so that they may attend and respond to each query. 

(Acquirers - the Bank which provided the point of sale machine, ATM or ecommerce facility where the unfamiliar credit card transaction took place).

  • Any documents that can support the claim such as email, credit notes or sales receipts should be submitted with the signed dispute form. 
  • The First Citizens Credit Card Centre acknowledges the dispute by mailing out correspondence advising of the Bank’s process for pursuing the dispute(s) to the primary cardholder. According to both Visa and MasterCard Regulations, the dispute process can be completed and the dispute resolved within a minimum of ten (10) weeks to a maximum of six (6) months. 
  • Generally, cardholders are not required to change the card number upon submitting a cardholder dispute for certain reasons e.g. duplicate transactions, charging for incorrect amounts. However it is necessary to change the card number when the disputed transactions are unauthorized; as this is a requirement of both Visa and MasterCard International. 
  • Cardholders should lodge a dispute via the dispute form as soon as they are aware of the unfamiliar transaction. The dispute process is very time sensitive.

    Queries on any unfamiliar posted credit card transaction must be made by the cardholder within twenty one (21) calendar days after the end of the statement cycle within which the unfamiliar transaction was done, after which time the Bank will not be obliged to consider any such query.
Credit Card
Start of Statement Cycle
End of Statement Cycle
Dispute Form Submission Date
VISA Tertiary 11th of month
e.g. 11th August
10th of next month
e.g. 10th of September
Latest submission date: October 1st
VISA Classic, Vacation Lifestyle MasterCard 14th of month
e.g. 14th August
13th of next month
e.g. 13th of September
Latest submission date: October 4th
VISA Gold, Platinum, Signature 17th of month
e.g. 17th August
16th of next month
e.g. 16th of September
Latest submission date: October 7th

* Dispute Form must be submitted by no later than 21 calendar days after end of statement cycle.

  • Cardholders are encouraged not to depend wholly on the hardcopy credit card statement mailed to them monthly for review of their credit card transactions.

    In fact, cardholders are strongly encouraged to utilise free services such as the First Citizens Online Banking Service, Self Service Telebanking and Mobile Banking Services to regularly view posted credit card transactions.

    Once an unfamiliar transaction is reported then the dispute process can begin and end earlier. Inherent in this action is the prevention of any further unatuhorised transactions on the account.

Alternatively, credit card statements and transaction history can be sourced at any First Citizens branch or the Credit Card Centre during normal banking hours.

  • paper order
  • efirst
  • Point of Sale Terminal
  • Classic Credit Card “Shopping”