Visa System Integrity Fees

Visa System Integrity Fees Overview

The Visa Rules require the correct management and usage of declined transaction response codes. This serves not only to reduce fraud but to improve approval rates in general. Issuers can decide to decline a transaction for a variety of reasons. Some declined transactions will never be approved on a re-attempt, while others may be approved if the decline condition is addressed.

In order to further improve the payment ecosystem, Visa has introduced System Integrity Fees to incentivise the desired behaviour, and restate core requirements regarding authorisation best practices. Merchants must be aware of these requirements and prepare their systems accordingly.

Visa Rules for System Integrity

Merchants must be aware of the following Visa rules, and prepare to take actions to address any gaps in their systems:

  • Familiarise yourselves with the decline code categories and adapt your system to address any gaps or undesirable behaviour with your authorisation retry strategy
  • Refrain from excessive authorisation reattempts for specific decline response codes
  • Maintain consistent data elements in authorisation reattempts
  • Be aware of specific regional thresholds for response codes indicating fraud

Specific information on each of the above can be found in the next section.

Visa Decline Codes and Categories

Visa has required Issuers to use descriptive response codes in order to help merchants and acquirers identify decline reasons and optimise authorisation retry strategies. When merchants utilise the combination of response code and category correctly, issuers will benefit from the reduction of authorisation reattempts – for example, those transactions which will never be approved.

In addition to descriptive response codes, merchants are reminded of the requirement to provide accurate and consistent data when reattempting transactions.


Original ISO Response must be enabled

Merchants should ensure that they are configured to receive the OriginalISOResponseCode field in initiatePaymentResponse. This will ensure they have the most accurate information in order to query and categorise all types of declines.

The full mapping of response codes to response code categories is shown below.

Decline Response CodesIssuer RequirementsMerchant Reattempts
Category 1: Issuer will never approve

04 (Pick up card [no fraud])
07 (Pick up card, special condition [fraud account])
12 (Invalid Transaction)
14 (Invalid account number [no such number])
15 (No such issuer [first 8 digits of account number do not relate to an issuing identifier])
41 (Lost card, pick up)
43 (Stolen card, pick up)
46 (Closed account)
57 (Transaction not permitted to cardholder)
R0 (Stop payment order)
R1 (Revocation of authorization order)
R3 (Revocation of all authorizations order)
Limit use to transactions that will never be approvedReattempt not permitted
Category 2: Issuer cannot approve at this time

03 (Invalid merchant)
19 (Re-enter transaction)
39 (No credit account)
51 (Not sufficient funds)
52 (No checking account)
53 (No savings account)
59 (Suspected fraud)
61 (Exceeds approval amount limit)
62 (Restricted card [card invalid in region or country])
65 (Exceeds withdrawal frequency limit)
75 (Allowable number of PIN-entry tries exceeded)
78 (Blocked, first used or special condition [account is temporarily blocked])
86 (Cannot verify PIN)
91 (Issuer or switch inoperative)
93 (Transaction cannot be completed – violation of law)
96 (System malfunction)
N3 (Cash service not available)
N4 (Cash request exceeds issuer or approved limit)
Z5 (valid account but amount not supported)
Use to indicate the decline conditionReattempt permitted up to 15 attempts in 30 days
Category 3: Data quality (Revalidate payment information before reattempt)

54 (Expired card or expiration date missing)
55 (PIN incorrect or missing)
70 (PIN data required [Europe Region only])
82 (Negative Online CAM, dCVV, iCVV, or CVV results)
1A (Additional customer authentication required [Europe Region only])
6P (Verification Failed [Cardholder Identification does not match issuer records])
N7 (Decline for CVV2 failure)
Use to indicate the decline condition/ data element in need of correctionRevalidate payment information
before reattempt.

Reattempt permitted up to 15 attempts in 30 days
Category 4: Generic response codes

All other Decline Response codes
Limit use to transactions where no other value appliesReattempt permitted up to 15 attempts in 30 days

Note: some of the above codes apply only to Card Present transactions. Card Not Present merchants can ignore these.