May 17, 2024
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Marqeta Staff
Marqeta Staff

What are declines?

Declines occur when a card payment cannot be processed, for a variety of different reasons. To begin to troubleshoot it’s important to understand the types of declines and why they occur.

HARD DECLINE: Authorizations that are not approved by the issuing bank or processor. Customers should not re-attempt these transactions.

Example of a hard decline include: 

  • Lost or Stolen Cards
  • Closed Cards

SOFT DECLINE: Authorizations have been approved by the issuer but there is a separate issue with the transaction. Customers can re-try these once the issue has been resolved.

Example of a soft decline include:

  • Not Sufficient Funds
  • Card Activity Limit Exceeded
  • Fraud Watch
  • Billing Address or Postal Code Mismatch

At what point in the transaction lifecycle do declines occur?

Declines can occur at multiple points in the transaction lifecycle. This can be due to miss-keyed card information, program velocity and authorization controls, and fraud service controls as well as specific Issuer, Network controls, and JIT Gateway declines. 


Where decline occurs in transaction? Examples of why card payment declined
Card Level Decline
  • Not Sufficient Funds, Incorrect CVV, incorrect expiration date, incorrect card number.
Card Product or Program Level Decline
  • Exceeds Max Limit(s), ATM not allowed, E-Commerce not allowed.
Network Level Decline (declines by Visa, MC, etc.)
  • Failed CAVV validation for 3DS, response times to the network are too slow. 
Fraud Decline
  • Network (Visa and Mastercard): Suspicion of Fraud declines.
JIT Gateway Declines
  • When setting up your gateway, it’s important to understand what the business rules that you have set up to decline transactions. For example, if you have a business rule to determine duplicate transactions, a decline would be submitted from your gateway for “Duplicate Transaction.” You decide what these are going to be called and we map them. 


For further details on this please see below knowledge base or developer docs:

Common decline reasons and resolutions

How to use a webhook response to find decline code

Developer Docs: Transaction response codes

Version history
Last update:
‎06-30-2021 05:55 PM
Updated by: