How to Use the Visa Stop Payment Service

Add Stop Instruction APIs

For implementation and UX best practices, please refer to the VSPS UX best practices guide at the bottom of the page.

The Add Stop Instruction APIs allows you to place a stop instruction in the Cardholder Database. There are three types of stop instruction - Merchant, MCC and PAN level. All stop instructions relate to a specific card number (PAN).

  1. A Merchant-level stop instruction stops all eligible matching card-on-file payments against a specific merchant for the time the stop instruction is active.
  2. An MCC-level stop instruction stops all eligible matching card-on-file payments against a specific merchant category code for the time the stop instruction is active. This type of stop instruction may stop payments from multiple merchants.
  3. A PAN-level stop instruction, generally used for closed accounts, stops all eligible matching card-on-file payments for a specific account for any merchant for the time the stop payment instruction is active. This type of stop instruction may stop payments from multiple merchants.

Authorization and Clearing Codes

Stop Instruction Type
Respond Codes for Declined Authorization Requests Reason Codes for Returning Clearing Transactions
R0 or R1 C0 or C1
R3 C2

Note: VSPS can only be as effective as the stop instructions the participating issuer provides. It is highly recommended to carefully review the accuracy of stop instructions, including the use of relevant mandatory and optional identifiers. Incomplete VSPS stop instructions are rejected, but Visa does not verify the accuracy of stop instructions.

Required Information

The information required to create a VSPS stop instruction is:

  • Card/Account Number
  • Stop Instruction Type
  • Merchant Identifier (for Merchant-level stop instructions)
  • Start Date (stop instructions will start immediately, unless a future start date is specified)
  • End Date (usually the last day of a month)
  • Optional matching information to fine tune the stop instruction (such as min/max transaction amounts)
  • Optional non-matching information (included for later reference)

Search & Retrieve Stop Instructions APIs

The Search Stop Instructions API allows you to search for existing stop instructions using a card number (PAN), returning the Stop ID and summary information for each active stop instruction. You can then retrieve details of a stop instruction using the Retrieve Stop Instruction API; sending the Stop ID will return the stop instruction type, merchant identifier, expiration date and any other relevant matching details.

Eligible Transaction Search API

A merchant identifier, such as the Card Acceptor ID (CAID), Merchant Name or Payment Facilitator ID/Sub-Merchant ID (PFID/SMID) is needed when adding a new stop instruction. These may be obtained using the Eligible Transaction Search API which returns a summary record of all VSPS-eligible transactions against a submitted PAN for a defined time period. The results include details from previous Authorization Requests and Clearing Records. Issuers are recommended to use data from previous authorization transactions to stop further Authorization Requests from being approved. The data from previous Clearing Records may also be used to help provide additional cardholder protection in case unauthorized transactions are submitted directly into Clearing.

Cancel Stop Instruction API

The Cancel Stop Instruction API allows you to cancel single or multiple stop instructions on file for a given card number (PAN). After retrieving stop instruction details, you can cancel a single instruction by sending the Stop ID; or you can cancel multiple stop instructions against a single PAN by sending up to ten Stop IDs in the cancellation message.

Update Stop Instruction API

The Update Stop Instruction API allows you to update the merchant identifier of an existing stop instruction, or append additional notes to the stop instruction for future reference. Note: if the merchant identifier is changed, then a new Stop ID is created and the current one is cancelled. If any information other than that used for matching is changed then the Stop ID remains the same.

Extend Stop Instruction API

The Extend Stop Instruction API allows you to extend the End Date of an active stop instruction. This is particularly useful if there is evidence that the merchant is continuing to try to take payment as the stop instruction end date approaches. Changing the End Date does not result in a new Stop ID.

Best Practices and Tips for Using VSPS

The VSPS API simulator may be used by any developer in the sandbox. Currently, however, only Visa issuers or their development partners, on the issuer's behalf, can use the VSPS APIs in production.

The VSPS API messages are compatible with the VSPS User Interface (UI) that is accessible through VOL and subject to separate subscription and participation requiremements. If you have multiple departments using VSPS through different channels, the stop instructions will be compatible across both channels. This means you can add stop instructions through the API, then view and update them if you wish through the UI. All activity may be viewed using the online reports available through the VSPS UI, and a VSPS Implementation/User Guide is also made available to help you make the best use of the service.

VSPS UX Best Practices

Download the PDF for guidelines and best practices to enhance cardholder experiences.