Visa Introduces Phased Approach for Required Support of New Purchase Return Authorization Messages

Sept. 6, 2017


Visa previously communicated an effective date of April 2018 for merchants and acquirers to begin submitting authorizations for purchase returns and credits. Visa has recently announced a new phased approach for merchant required support of the purchase return authorization message as outlined below:

Phase I – Effective October 2018


Annualized Visa Credit/Refund Volume Minimum

United States

USD $10 million


USD $5 million


USD $1 million




Phase II – Effective April 2019

All remaining merchants in all regions will be required to send an authorization for all credit/refunds. Merchants are permitted to adopt the earlier Phase I effective date. Airline merchants have the option to delay implementation until April 2019.

The credit/refund/purchase return authorization request will be displayed to the cardholder as a pending credit/refund when approved by the issuer. The credit/refund settlement transaction will continue to be used by merchants, acquirers, and issuers to return the funds back to the cardholder.

Please note the additional impacts outlined below for chargeback and fee modifications.

  • Credits/refunds/purchase returns that do not receive a valid authorization may be charged back by the issuer using chargeback reason code 71 (declined Authorization) and 72 (No Authorization, as applicable)
  • Credit vouchers will be included in the Zero Floor Limit and Authorization Misuse Processing Integrity Fee Assessment – Effective April 2019

Vantiv continues to work directly with Visa to further define the requirements associated with this change. Updates will continue to be shared as they become known.

Please contact your relationship or partner manager if you have any questions.


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