Early Fraud Notifications (TC40/SAFE Alerts)

Overview

Visa and Mastercard have fraud reporting systems in place that allow the issuing bank to notify the card networks and acquiring banks when the issuer receives information from a cardholder that a transaction was made without their authorization. These notifications consist of Visa’s TC40 data and Mastercard’s SAFE (System to Avoid Fraud Effectively) data. When Circle receives a TC40 or SAFE record for a transaction from one of your customers, this information can be passed on to you via an automated email alert from our system. The purpose of these alerts is to notify you of potential fraud ASAP so that your team may investigate and take the appropriate action to mitigate fraud. These email alerts also give you the opportunity to refund the payment before the issuing bank files a chargeback on behalf of the customer.

Note: TC40 and SAFE alerts are received directly from the issuing bank when a cardholder reports fraud. Because of this, the likelihood of the transaction resulting in a chargeback is very high. It is your responsibility as a merchant to prioritize these notifications and refund the transactions as soon as possible to avoid potential chargebacks.

Subscribing to Circle's TC40/SAFE Email Alerts

During onboarding, the Circle Risk team will request that an email address is provided for your own Risk/Compliance team. This email address should be one that is checked regularly on a daily basis to ensure the notifications are not missed. The email alerts can be sent to a distribution list or multiple individual emails as well if needed.

Information Included in the TC40/SAFE Email Alerts

The automated email alerts sent from our system will include the following information:

  • Customer (Your business name).
  • Transaction Date (The date the payment was made).
  • PaymentID (The payment ID for the transaction that has been reported as fraudulent by the cardholder's issuing bank).
  • Billing Email (The email address associated with the user's payment).
  • Issuing Country (The cardholder's issuing country for the card used to make the payment).
  • Amount USD (The amount of the payment in USD).
  • Refund/Chargeback Status (The refund/chargeback status of the payment at the time the alert is sent. This field will indicate whether or not the payment has already been refunded or charged back. Note: in the event a refund or chargeback has occurred already on the payment, this field will state: "Transaction has been refunded - Please do not refund")
Example of the CSV file sent in the automated Early Fraud Notifications.Example of the CSV file sent in the automated Early Fraud Notifications.

Example of the CSV file sent in the automated Early Fraud Notifications.

Note: In some instances, our system may be unable to match an early fraud notification to a payment. When this occurs, our Risk team will manually send the transaction information to your own provided email contact and the same process should be followed.

Best Practices

In addition to prioritizing the review of these automated alerts sent via email, we recommend the following:

  • Download the CSV file from the automated email alert and review each transaction included in the days alerts.
  • Refund the transactions that have a Refund/Chargeback Status (Column H) stating "Please refund." Note: if a chargeback or refund has occurred on any transactions prior to the alert sent time, this will be reflected in the Refund/Chargeback column.
  • Review the customer(s) within your system to block any potentially fraudulent users or users who you may wish to ban from your platform (i.e. in the instance of friendly fraud). Blocking users can be done through the Circle Watchlists.

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