Soft declines

Learn how to handle soft declines in 3D Secure

During the request for authorization or pre-authorization, when the card issuer does not agree with the SCA exemption, they may return a Soft Decline.

A Soft Decline response can be returned for any payment request and irrelevant of an SCA exemption being requested. Most cases where a Soft Decline is returned are for SCA Exemptions.

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A Soft Decline response can also be returned for subsequent Credential on File payments. It is important that you can handle this decline code regardless of whether you intend to use SCA exemptions or not.

How a Soft Decline Works

A soft decline is not an outright refusal of (pre)authorization request. It advises that the card issuer wants the cardholder to perform 3D-Secure authentication. To prove that they are the cardholder, the cardholder must perform SCA (a challenge authentication).

In most cases, we will automatically manage the Soft Decline for you and perform a challenge authentication request during (pre)authorization flow:

  • Payabl returns the 3D-Secure authentication data in response to your request.
  • You re-direct the cardholder to their card issuers challenge page.

Following a Soft Decline message, if payabl. is unable to perform 3D-Secure authentication for you, then it will return a Soft Decline response to your system. The value of the DeclineCode will either be 65 (Mastercard) or 1A (Visa, Diners, Discover).

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If you have non3ds transaction within EU or UK, the issuer can reply to transaction authentication with errorcode=65. In this case you will receive url_3ds parameter in response and you need to redirect the customer to it for 3D Secure verification.


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