Chapter 1 General Information

This chapter provides a high-level overview of the single and dual message system chargeback cycles as well as arbitration and compliance.

Network Processing

The Single Message System (formerly known as the Mastercard® Debit Switch [MDS]) processes authorization, clearing, and settlement in a single message. Refer to the Single Message System Specifications and the Single Message Transaction Manager User Guide for detailed information.

The Dual Message System processes authorization messages through the Authorization Platform and clearing/settlement messages through the Global Clearing Management System (GCMS). GCMS uses messages in the Integrated Product Messages (IPM) format. Refer to the Global Clearing Management System Reference Manual for detailed information on how to process messages, currency conversion, and edits. Refer to the IPM Clearing Formats for message formats and data requirements.

The China Switch (CSW) processes authorization, clearing and settlement in a single message. CSW is only responsible for switching Mainland China domestic transactions. Refer to China Switch Specifications for detailed information.


The terms “Customer” and “Standards” as used in this guide have the meaning set forth in the Definitions chapter of Mastercard Rules.

An On-Us transaction is a domestic transaction for which the issuer and acquirer is the same Customer.

Chargeback Cycles and Arbitration Case Filing

The following table provides an overview of the chargeback cycles, pre-arbitration, and arbitration case filing.

Detailed information can be found in each chapter of this manual.

In Mainland China, the rules in the Dual Message System Chargebacks chapter apply.

n the European Economic Area (EEA), the chargeback rules apply to all disputed transactions regardless of the processor. Please refer to your chosen processor’s documentation for processing instructions and for equivalent data elements to those referenced in this guide.

Disputes of a Third Party Processed Transaction

In the European Economic Area (EEA), Gibraltar, and the United Kingdom, the chargeback rules apply to all disputed transactions regardless of the processor.

Mastercard facilitates submission of the chargeback cycles, pre-arbitration and arbitration case filing for third-party processed transactions when both Customers are in the EEA, Gibraltar or the United Kingdom and have not agreed to any other dispute resolution procedure as part of their third-party processing arrangement. A third-party processed transaction is a transaction that is not processed through Mastercard Switching Services.

An acquirer has the right to reject a chargeback when the acquirer can provide evidence that another dispute resolution procedure was agreed to between the parties. This must be done within the second presentment cycle.

These dispute procedures are only available when transactions were processed by a registered third-party processor and properly reported as collection-only through the Global Clearing Management System, and the issuer has opted into having its third-party processed transaction data loaded into Mastercom Claims Manager.

In addition to fulfilling the applicable requirements found within this guide, the Customers must provide support documentation with sufficient detail to enable all parties, including Mastercard’s Dispute Resolution Management staff, to understand the dispute. This includes, but is not limited to, processing logs, relevant data elements and explanations. Lack of sufficient detail may result in an unfavorable ruling decision. New or updated information will not be accepted in any appeal.

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