Chargebacks and card transaction disputes FAQ

In the event of an unauthorized transaction or even eligible authorized transactions, N26 customers can dispute a payment made with their N26 debit Mastercard and get their money back. Read on for answers to our frequently asked questions on chargebacks, and learn how to dispute a transaction (new tab) in this step-by-step article.

I’ve noticed an unauthorized transaction on my account. What should I do?

If you’ve noticed an unauthorized transaction on your account, you’ll need to order a new card in order to keep your account secure and prevent further unauthorized transactions from occurring. Go to your N26 app, and re-order your card in the ‘Cards’ tab. You can mark the reason as “lost” or “stolen” based on your situation. If your card was in your possession at all times, you’ll need to re-confirm that you did not make the transaction yourself. Then, if necessary, report the fraud to the police, and follow the instructions to initiate a payment dispute (new tab).  

How do I file a dispute for goods I ordered online?

The process for filing a dispute for goods ordered online depends on the circumstance. Here’s a breakdown of the most common scenarios:

  • You ordered goods online but never received them, and the merchant provided an expected delivery date First, you’ll need to wait until the estimated delivery date has passed. If the goods don’t arrive within this timeframe, you can dispute the transaction from the date you expected to receive the goods. Mastercard’s chargeback guidelines state that you must file the dispute within 120 days of the anticipated delivery date.
  • You ordered goods online but never received them, and you were never provided with an expected delivery date  In this scenario, Mastercard’s chargeback guidelines allow you to file a dispute 30 days after the transaction date, kicking off a 120-day window in which the filing must take place. 
  • You received a delivery, but it doesn’t correspond with what you ordered  Here, you may file the dispute right away, provided you aren't able to resolve the issue with the merchant. You have 120 days from the date you received the goods.

I tried to withdraw cash at an ATM. I was charged, but I didn’t receive the cash. What should I do?

First, try contacting the bank that owns the ATM. This is the fastest way to get your money back. Here’s some guidance on what to say:

Dear XX, I attempted to withdraw cash from an ATM owned by your bank. I did not receive the cash, but was still charged. Below, you can find information about the transaction: Amount: €{insert amount}ATM name: {insert ATM/bank name} ATMDate and time of transaction: DD/MM/YYYY at {insert time} (CET)ATM location: {ATM address - include the name of the street, or shopping mall}Please return the funds to my account, or I will be forced to file a chargeback with my bank. 

If the bank that owns the ATM is not helpful, follow the instructions to initiate a dispute (new tab). Be sure to include the transaction date, amount, and merchant, as well as your reason for contesting this transaction.

I have a previously authorized payment with a merchant who has charged me again without my authorization. What should I do?

First, reach out to the merchant to see if they can help––this is the fastest way to get your money back. Here’s a basic template you can use to raise this issue with them: 

Dear XX, I authorized a transaction to {merchant name}, but {merchant name} has issued an additional charge without my authorization. Please find information about the transactions below: Merchant name: {insert merchant name} Amount of original, authorized transaction: €{insert amount}Amount of non-authorized transaction: €{insert amount}Date & time of original, authorized transaction: DD/MM/YYYY at {insert time} (CET)Date & time of non-authorized transaction: DD/MM/YYYY at {insert time} (CET)Please return the funds to my account, or I will be forced to file a chargeback with my bank and initiate a complaint to the police/authorities.

If the merchant is unresponsive or uncooperative, you can follow the instructions here to initiate a chargeback with N26. Be sure to include the transaction date, amount, merchant name, and the reason for contesting the transaction so that we have all the information we need to move your case forward.

The merchant told me that they’ve issued a refund to my N26 card, but I never received the refund. What should I do?

Refunds can take up to 15 calendar days from the date they were issued by the merchant. If 15 days have passed and you still haven’t received your refund, simply follow the instructions to initiate a dispute (new tab). Please include the transaction date, amount, merchant and your reason for contesting this transaction. 

How does N26 prevent fraud?

At N26, protecting your account is our top priority. That’s why we offer a variety of features to keep your money safe, including the option to block your card in seconds, activate or deactivate payments abroad, enable or disable online transactions, and set spending limits––all right from your N26 app. We also offer biometric authentication for a secure login, 3D Secure technology for safe online payments, and a ‘Discreet Mode (new tab)’ option to securely access your account in public. 

Instant push-notifications help you stay up-to-date on all your incoming and outgoing payments, so you’re always aware of what’s happening on your account. Plus, we’re always improving our internal processes and tools to detect and prevent card fraud. 

How does card fraud occur?

When it comes to debit cards or credit cards, there are 3 main ways in which fraud occurs:

  1. Your card is skimmed and counterfeited. This may happen when you use your card at an ATM that’s been tampered with in order to steal card details.
  2. Your card details are stolen online. This may happen if: 
    • You ordered something from a fraudulent website
    • Your details are stolen while making a legitimate purchase 
    • Your online shopping account is hacked 
  3. Your physical card is stolen and used to make purchases.

How can I protect my account from fraud?

Here are a few ways you can protect your account from fraud:

  • Only use ATMs that belong to trusted banks 
  • Only place orders with trusted online retailers and websites
  • Change your online passwords and PINs regularly 
  • Never trust text messages or emails that appear to come from N26 which ask you to provide your card details, account details, or include suspicious links. N26 will never ask for your card or account details outside of the N26 app or the N26 WebApp.
  • Change your card settings within your N26 app. For example, disable online payments, ATM withdrawals, payments abroad, and set spending limits that correspond with your regular spending behavior.
  • Avoid making Magnetic Stripe transactions if possible. Instead, opt for the safer NFC chip-based or digital wallet transactions where available.
  • Always keep your card in a safe place.

How does a chargeback request process work?

We fully understand that this is a difficult period for you. Unfortunately, we need to let you know that disputing a transaction involves several parties and can take some time. Once you have submitted a dispute with us, one of our analysts will take a look at the case and make sure we have all the information needed to treat it. If any documentation or information is missing from your claim, we will reach out to you, in order to inform you and request it from you. 

If we understand that we have the right to claim the money from the merchant, we will proceed with your case. We will file a dispute with Mastercard, requesting a refund for your transaction. Mastercard will analyse the case and reach out to the merchant. In case the merchant accepts the case presented, he will refund the money. In case the merchant disagrees with the case presented, you can receive a second charge on your account, and in this case we would escalate the case with Mastercard again.

What information/documents are needed to file a dispute?

In order for us to be able to process your dispute, we need specific information or documents to be able to present your claim.

For unauthorized transactions - transactions not recognized, we need the date on which the card was stolen (if that is the case) and a police report (if available)

For authorized transactions - we need evidence of conversations with the merchant (reaching out to the merchant is usually the fastest way to solve these issues), invoices or order confirmations and if applicable: the expected delivery date, evidence of counterfeit, and/or evidence that the payment was done through other means.