Creating a Dispute

This guide explains how to use the Dispute API endpoints to initiate and submit a dispute. You might want to read these guides along with this one:

With Galileo's Dispute API endpoints, you can integrate the dispute process into your mobile app or website to provide account holders with a seamless dispute experience. The account holder's experience might be as simple as this:

  1. Click a "dispute transaction" button or link.
  2. Select one or more transactions to dispute.
  3. Answer a series of questions about the transactions.
  4. Fill out additional documents, if required.
  5. Submit the dispute.
  6. If later adjustments need to be made to the dispute, such as attaching more documents, edit the dispute.
  7. Track the status of the dispute until completion.

Using the Dispute API endpoints also ensures that disputes are made in compliance with card network requirements and regulations such as Regulation E and Regulation Z. Any updates to the requirements are accounted for on the backend, without disrupting your workflow.

Galileo has developed a conversational API for its disputes function. A "conversational" API is a series of calls that are made in a certain order, with the response from one call providing the data for the next call. By using a conversational API, Galileo makes it possible to tailor the user experience according to the nature of a given dispute and also to conform to regulations governing disputes. For example, if an account holder indicates that a disputed transaction is a duplicate, you can provide follow-up questions that are specific to duplicate charges, whereas an account holder who indicates suspected fraud will get questions that are related to fraud.

Result of following this procedure

When the full dispute-intake procedure has been successfully completed, a dispute is entered into the dispute system.The information gathered and submitted for the dispute conforms to either Reg E or Reg Z, depending on the characteristics of the account and account holder.

UI requirements

For your mobile app or web site, create a user interface that permits account holders to initiate and submit a dispute.

  • The dispute-creation process involves multiple steps that must be performed in the order shown in the numbered steps below.
  • The UI must be flexible enough to display dynamic responses from the endpoints, which are returned depending on the characteristics of the dispute that were indicated in earlier endpoints calls. Some responses from the account holder will trigger further displays, and so on.
  • You should include an interface for uploading files.

Dispute-creation workflow

Follow these steps to create a dispute.



Unless otherwise specified, you must call the endpoints in the order shown here. Failure to follow the sequence will prevent you from completing the intake flow.

Endpoint sequence

This is a summary of the sequence in which endpoints must be called to complete the intake flow. Read each numbered section below (starting here) to see exactly how to call the endpoints.

Initiate the case and obtain the case reason
1. Create Case
2. Get Case Reasons
3. Add Case Reasons

Select transactions
4. Get Transactions
5. Add Transactions

Get follow-up questionnaire answers
6. Get Questionnaire
7. Add Questionnaire

Attach documents
8. Get Doc Requirements
9. Add Required Docs
10. (Optional) Add Attachments

Finalize the case
11. Submit Case
12. (Optional) Get Case Confirmation

1. Initiate the case and obtain the case reason

Initiate the case, obtain the case reason from the account holder, and send it back to Galileo.

  1. The account holder initiates a dispute on your mobile app or website by clicking an "initiate dispute" control.
  2. You call the Create Case endpoint with the PRN, PAN, or CAD of the account.
  3. Galileo returns the caseId. You pass caseId for all subsequent calls for the case.
  4. You call Get Case Reasons with the caseId.
  5. Galileo returns a JSON containing the case reason types and case reasons. The response varies depending on the account and user type. For example, a consumer debit account might get a different response than a business credit account.
  6. You present the case reasons to the account holder. See "Presenting the case reasons," below, for instructions.
  7. The account holder selects the category and reason.
  8. You pass the category and reason back to Galileo in the Add Case Reasons call. See Returning the case reasons for more information.
  9. The endpoint returns status_code: 0.

Presenting the case reasons

Use the response from the Get Case Reasons endpoint to populate a screen that prompts two interactions with the account holder. First, the account holder selects a case reason type (ClaimReasonType) and then selects a case reason (ClaimReason).

The JSON in the response is structured as answerList levels nested inside questionList levels. The first level contains the case reason type in the top level, and then when the account holder selects one of the types, you present the corresponding case reasons in the next level down.

This is an example of the first screen to present. The values in parentheses are identifier values in the Get Case Reasons response. You may get a different set of fields in the response depending on the account and account holder types.

Which of the following would you like to report? (ClaimReasonType)

  • I made this purchase, but there is a problem and I need to dispute it. (NonFraud)
  • I did not authorize this transaction. I suspect fraud. (Fraud)
  • I had an issue while using my card at an ATM. (NonFraudATM)

When the account holder selects a case reason type, present the case reasons that are nested in the corresponding answerList. The case reasons should have radio-button controls so that the account holder can select only one case reason. For example, if the account holder selects NonFraud, present these options:

Which of the following best describes the reason for your dispute? (ClaimReason)

  • I was charged or credited incorrectly. (ChargedCreditedIncorrect)
  • I am dissatisfied with the merchandise or a service I received. (MerchandiseServiceIssue)
  • I continue to be charged for a recurring transaction after I canceled. (MerchantRecurring)
  • I canceled or returned the merchandise or service and have not received the expected credit. (MerchantCreditNotIssued)
  • I haven't received merchandise or a service I purchased. (MerchantNotProvided)
  • I was charged more than once. (MerchantDuplicate)

Returning the case reasons

When the account holder selects the case reason type and case reason, pass them back to Galileo by calling the Add Case Reasons call. Populate reasonType with the case reason type and reason with the case reason. Use the value in the Identifier field of the Get Case Reasons response.

These are the valid reasonType and reason combinations for the example shown above.


2. Select transactions

Present a list of eligible transactions for the account holder to select and pass the transactions back to Galileo.

  1. You call Get Transactions with the caseId. You pass start and end dates and optionally the amount and merchant name as filters.
  2. Galileo returns a list of transactions that are eligible for dispute and that fit the filter criteria.
  3. You present the list of transactions to the account holder. The list should have check-box controls to select multiple transactions. See "Transaction entries," below, for more information.
  4. You submit the transaction IDs of the selected transaction(s) in the Add Transactions call. See Submitting the transactions for the restrictions on this call.
  5. The endpoint returns status_code: 0.

Transaction entries

Each entry that is returned by Get Transactions contains these metadata fields:

  • authorizationStatus — The only valid value is Posted.
  • debitCredit — Whether the transaction debits or credits the account:
    • Debit
    • Credit
  • transactionType — The type of transaction. Possible values:
    • ACH — ACH transaction
    • ATMWD — ATM withdrawal
    • CardPinless — Card transaction without PIN (signature)
    • CardPinned — Card transaction with PIN
    • P2P — Peer-to-peer transfer
  • description — The description of the transaction
  • amount — Transaction amount; unsigned
  • cardNumberEndingIn — Last 4 digits of the PAN
  • date — Date of the transaction: YYYYMMDD
  • transactionId — Identifier assigned by the disputes platform

You may need to record each disputed transaction with its metadata so that you can make the correct decision if you are awarding provisional credit. See Provisional credit in About Disputes for more information.

Submitting the transactions

When submitting the transactions using the Add Transactions endpoint, you must follow these rules, depending on the reasonType that you submitted with the Add Case Reasons call:

  • If reasonType != Fraud, all transactions submitted in an Add Transactions call must be from the same merchant. If the account holder has selected transactions from multiple merchants, send multiple Add Transaction calls with the transactions from the same merchant bundled together.
  • If reasonType = Fraud, the transactions in the same call can be from different merchants.

If you send Add Transactions multiple times with different values, the last request is honored. For example, if you send transactions 1111 and 2222, and then soon after send 2222 and 3333, transactions 2222 and 3333 are submitted—1111 is not.

3. Get follow-up questionnaire answers

According to the reason that the account holder returned, present the follow-up questions.

  1. You call Get Questionnaire with the caseId.
  2. Galileo returns a JSON of the questionnaire.
  3. You present the questionnaire to the account holder, according to the contents of the response. See "Presenting the questionnaire," below, for instructions.
  4. The account holder answers the questions.
  5. You pass the answers back to Galileo with the Add Questionnaire call. See Returning the answers to the questionnaire for instructions.
  6. The endpoint returns status_code: 0.

Presenting the questionnaire

The questions that you receive in the response to Get Questionnaire will vary according to the reason that you passed in the Add Case Reasons call as well as the network. The response may contain many dozens of lines of JSON formatting.



Every questionnaire is subject to change over time as network requirements change, so you should not cache the questionnaires. Your interface must be able to handle truly dynamic responses.

As with the JSON in the Get Case Reasons response, there are answerList levels nested inside questionList levels. However, instead of only two levels of questions, the number of levels that you will use depends on the answers that the account holder provides in each level.

For example, if you submitted reasonType: Fraud and reason: CardSecure ("I didn't make the purchase, but I still have my card.") in the Add Case Reasons call, the questionnaire that Get Questionnaire returns is called FraudCardSecure. See Dispute Questionnaire: FraudCardSecure for an example response, keeping in mind that this is an example only, and your response may be different.

The next level down is a questionList called CardPossession that contains two questions. This is the first question to present:

"type": "YesNo"
"identifier": "CardPossessionInd"
"displayText": "Do you always have possession of the card?"
"dataType": "String"

Nested inside that questionList level is the answerList with two possible answers, Yes and No, and nested inside each of those answers are follow-up questions that you display depending on which answer the account holder selects. If the account holder selects Yes then there are no further questions to display for that answer. If the account holder selects No, then you display two more questions, each with a text box for the answer:

"type": "Text"
"identifier": "CardLocation"
"displayText": "Where is the card usually kept?"
"dataType": "String"
"type": "Text"
"identifier": "CardNoPossession"
"displayText": "In what circumstances do you not have the card in your possession?"
"dataType": "String"

After the account holder answers those questions you present the next set of four questions, which are inside vsq1. This is the first of those questions:

"type": "YesNo"
"identifier": "HasAuthorizedOthers"
"displayText": "Have you ever authorized another person to use your card?"
"dataType": "String"

As the account holder answers the questions, present any follow-up questions that are nested inside the answers until you reach the end of the node, and then go to the next question in that level. Capture the identifier and the answer for each question answered to return in Add Questionnaire, as described in the next step.

This is one possible sequence of answers for the FraudCardSecure questionnaire. The identifier for the question is shown in parentheses:

  • Do you always have possession of the card? (CardPossessionInd)
    • No
      • Where is the card usually kept? (CardLocation)
        • "In my purse"
      • In what circumstances do you not have the card in your possession? (CardNoPossession)
        • "When I go to the gym"
    • Have you ever authorized another person to use your card? (HasAuthorizedOthers)
      • No
    • Have you ever shared your Personal Identification Number (PIN)? (HasSharedPIN)
      • No
    • Where do you keep your PIN? (WherePinKept)
      • In memory (InMemory)
    • Due to the fraud on your account, would you like to cancel your card now? (CancelCardInd)
      • Yes
    • Would you like us to send you a replacement card? (ReissueCard)
      • No
        • Should the account be closed permanently? (ConfirmAccountClosure)
          • Yes

After presenting the main parts of the questionnaire, you display the postQuestionnaire questions, which permit the account holder to add information such as comments or to attach further documents.

  • Do you have any additional information to provide about this dispute? (AddlInfo)
    • No
  • Do you have any additional information that should be provided to the merchant regarding your dispute? (HasVisaComments)
    • No

Returning the answers to the questionnaire

The questionnaire parameter in the Add Questionnaire endpoint accepts a JSON list (questionList) that contains identifier/answerValue pairs. identifier contains the identifier for the question in the Get Questionnaire response and answerValue contains the response that the account holder selected or entered.

This example shows what you would return for the questions in the example section, above:

questionnaire: {
    "questionList": [
        "identifier": "CardPossessionInd",
        "answerValue": "No"
        "identifier": "CardLocation",
        "answerValue": "In my purse"
        "identifier": "CardNoPossession",
        "answerValue": "When I go to the gym"
        "identifier": "HasAuthorizedOthers",
        "answerValue": "No"
        "identifier": "HasSharedPIN",
        "answerValue": "No"
        "identifier": "WherePinKept",
        "answerValue": "InMemory"
        "identifier": "CancelCardInd",
        "answerValue": "Yes"
        "identifier": "ReissueCard",
        "answerValue": "No"
        "identifier": "ConfirmAccountClosure",
        "answerValue": "Yes"
        "identifier": "AddlInfo",
        "answerValue": "No"
        "identifier": "HasVisaComments",
        "answerValue": "No"

4. Attach documents

Depending on the case reasons and the transactions selected, the account holder may need to fill out a form. Other documents can be attached to the case as well, as prompted in the post-questionnaire.

  1. You call Get Doc Requirements.
  2. Galileo returns one of two options:
    • A message saying that no further documents are required.
    • A base64-encoded PDF (templateDocumentationStream) that the account holder must fill out and return. When the account holder has filled out the form, you call Add Required Docs to send the completed form to Galileo.
  3. The account holder optionally clicks an "Attach Documents" control (which may be included in the post-questionnaire flow instead of being after Add Questionnaire) and uploads files such as screenshots and receipts to your interface.
    • Supported file types: JPG, JPEG, TIFF, PNG and PDF
    • File size maximum:
      • Mastercard — 20 MB
      • Visa — 10 MB
  4. You call Add Attachments to attach the files to the case.



If the account holder does not fill out and return the required PDF before submitting the case, you can add the PDF form later using Add Attachments. Make sure you keep track of which required documents have not yet been submitted.

5. Finalize the case

The account holder clicks "submit" at the end of the process.

  1. The account holder clicks a "submit" control to signal that they have finished inputting information for the dispute.
  2. You call Submit Case. The "Requirements for submission," below, must be fulfilled.
  3. Galileo returns success and sends the DSCT: dispute_created event message.

Requirements for submission

Before you can call Submit Case, these minimum requirements must be fulfilled:

  1. The case number was created. (Create Case)
  2. The case-reason category and reason were submitted. (Add Case Reasons)
  3. One or more transactions were submitted. (Add Transactions)
  4. The questionnaire answers were submitted. (Add Questionnaire)



If the account holder begins the dispute process but does not complete it, the case that was created remains in the dispute system for eight hours and then times out. If the account holder decides to return to a case that has timed out, you have to start over with Create Case to create a new caseId.

After submitting the dispute

After you have successfully called Submit Case, you can optionally call Get Case Confirmation to retrieve a confirmation number and PDF that you can present to the account holder.

Before the verdict arrives, if the account holder wants to add more documents to the case, or if the account holder needs to return the required PDF form, call Add Attachments with the case ID to attach the documents.

For more information on what happens to a dispute after it is submitted, begin with Post-intake processing in Disputes at Galileo or consult the Card-transaction dispute lifecycle in About Disputes.