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Card Brands - Visa Reminder: Processing Best Practices for Authorization Reversals and Account verification

For: All merchants
Date effective: Reminder

Processing Best Practices

All approved and partially approved Visa authorization transactions must be either cleared or reversed (e.g., reversed in the case of a cardholder-canceled sale or an authorization request submitted by the merchant in error). Merchants must:

Process authorization reversals for authorizations submitted in error and/or cardholder-canceled transactions

Use a zero-amount account verification request to validate the consumer payment information prior to authorization, rather than using status checks or low value authorizations

A matched reversal is a transaction in which the key tracing elements match a previous authorization. This includes, but is not limited to, the following authorization fields: Card Number (Field 2), Authorization Response Identification (Field 38), Retrieval Reference Number (Field 37), and Transaction Identifier (Field 62.2).

Correct response codes for account verification requests

Merchants use a zero-amount verification request to validate card information prior to establishing a deferred payment relationship or performing authorization. The verification message allows the merchant to validate the consumer payment information without requesting authorization, thereby mitigating a “hold on funds” issue that could be present with a traditional authorization. 

Merchants should be aware of the following requirements for verification requests:

An issuer must respond to a verification request with Response Code 00—Approval, Response Code 85—No Reason to Decline, or an appropriate decline response code.

Response Codes 00 and 85 indicate to the acquirer that the issuer has validated the following:


The account number has been issued

The account is in good standing

All requested elements of the transaction (e.g., the address) are valid

A decline response indicates the account number, or any of the elements requested, are not valid or the account is not in good standing.

Note: When an account verification is processed in stand-in processing (STIP), Visa will validate the account number has not been listed on the exception file and will validate elements of the transaction in accordance with issuer STIP processing options.

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