Frequently Asked Questions

General Information About Visa Stop Payment Service (VSPS)

What is the Visa Stop Payment Service (VSPS)?

The Visa Stop Payment Service (VSPS) helps issuers stop eligible card-not-present (CNP) payments from being authorized and cleared by Visa's processing systems. VSPS is an optional subscription service available through Visa Online and the Visa Developer Platform (VDP).

This service also helps issuers cancel, update or extend the active life of existing stop payment instructions as well as view various high-level reports.

VSPS is designed to help issuers

  • Meet certain regulatory requirements that may apply
  • Reduce dispute activity and related total costs
  • Improve the cardholder experience
  • Provide cardholders with visibility and control over their finances Visit Visa Online for more information about Visa Stop Payment Solutions.

How is VSPS different from Visa’s dispute management solutions?

VSPS allows issuer cardholders to stop future recurring or installments-type payments. This includes merchant-initiated transactions where the merchant has access to stored credentials and at some point, received authorization from the cardholder to debit payments automatically on a periodic basis. VSPS cannot stop transactions that have been cleared.

Visa’s Dispute Management solutions allow issuer cardholders to be reimbursed for an authorized or cleared transaction they believe has been debited without their consent. Visa’s Dispute Management solution can also help issuers with stop payments if the issuer has signed up for the service through DPS.

Does VSPS process non-Visa credentials?

VSPS only supports stop requests for Visa credentials -- it does not currently support non-Visa credentials.

Am I eligible for VSPS?

VSPS is available to issuers, acquirers, authorized VisaNet processors and third-party agents in all Visa regions across North America, Asia Pacific, Europe, Africa, the Middle East and Latin America.

I do not see my country in the list of countries where VSPS is available today. How can I get access to VSPS?

VSPS is available in all countries or regions where Visa is available. Contact your Visa Account Manager to get more information about access or visit Visa Online or the Visa Developer Platform (VDP).

Data Security and Compliance in VSPS

How does VSPS handle data that passes through the VSPS APIs?

To learn more about Visa’s security measures for handling data, please refer to Visa’s Privacy Notice.

Does VSPS comply with the data privacy regulations in my country that ensure the proper handling of my cardholder data?

Visa strives to meet all the social, economic and regulatory requirements of the countries or regions we operate in that are applicable to Visa. To learn more, please review Visa’s Privacy Notice and Terms of Service.

How does Visa ensure that only authorized entities have access to cardholder information and are allowed to make changes on their behalf?

Visa has strong identity and access management systems and processes in place to ensure authorized access and use of cardholder information. Whether you access VSPS through the User Interface on Visa Online or APIs through VDP, our systems are designed to ensure that access is granted based on the user ID allocated to you, permissions allocated to each user ID and associated BINs. For more information, please reach out to your Visa Account Manager.

What PII data does VSPS have access to? How does Visa handle that data?

To learn more about how we handle data and personal/sensitive information, please review Visa’s privacy notice.

How do I ensure the solution I’m signing up for meets the needs of my organization?

The VSPS API suite offers various capabilities that include stopping a recurring payment, updating, or canceling an active stop instruction and specifying customized instructions like duration, payment amount and the like. To help issuers adopt a solution that meets their specific needs, VSPS offers bundled solutions, along with best practices and guidelines on maximizing value. To learn more about these bundles, please reach out to your Visa Account Manager or visit the Visa Developer Platform.

Making the Most of VSPS APIs

What type of test environment/data will we have access to?

All testing is currently supported through the VSPS client testing environment on the Playground tool on the Visa Developer Platform, which allows testing of a small set of scenarios using data provided on the API Reference page.

Note that "clientID" is a required parameter for production API calls but is not required in the testing environment. Client ID will be provided upon signing the VDP contract and VSPS enrollment form.

If the card/account is closed or has expired, can the merchant still send authorization messages after the stop has expired?

To make sure stop instructions remain efective even after a card/account is closed or has expired, we recommend you subscribe to VSPS-Visa Account Updater (VAU) linking. VSPS-VAU linking is a value-added feature that links old stop instructions from a card that has been closed/reported lost/stolen to the new card that is issued. This way, stop instructions will continue to protect the cardholder on both the old and new cards. The original and new stop instruction end date can be customized.


How do I subscribe to VAU-linking? Is this included in the price for the solution I selected or are there additional charges to subscribe to this service?

While submitting your enrollment form to set up system parameters in CORE, select the VAU-Linking option. There may be additional configuration charges to subscribe to this service. VSPS usage fees will apply. Please contact your Visa Account Manager for additional questions or setup.

Will Visa send me a decline response when a stop payment is declined? If yes, where do I locate that information?

A decline reason code will be sent for a payment that is declined because of a VSPS stop instruction. Please refer to the Stop Instruction Type table for more information.

Decline Response codes R0, R1, and R3 pertain to transactions stopped in authorization. Return Reason codes C0, C1, and C2 pertain to transactions returned from clearing. For additional information, please refer to the VSPS API reference guide on the Visa Developer Platform.

Stop Instruction Type Description Response Code Return/Reclassification Reason Code
Merchant Level Use this stop instruction type to stop all eligible transactions for one merchant and a specific Visa account. This stop instruction type is the most frequently used. The merchant-level stop instruction stops all eligible transaction types. For more information, see VSPS Stop Payment Eligibility Criteria in VIP. R1 C1
Merchant Level One-Time StopPayment 

Use this stop instruction type to stop one specific payment for one merchant and a specific Visa account. This will stop multiple attempts to take the single payment. This is intended to enable issuers to manage one-time R0 C0

stop requests. The end date of the stop instruction is set to the end of the next month automatically.

R0 C0
MCC Level Use this stop instruction type to stop all future payments on a PAN against a specific Merchant Category Code (MCC). R1 C1
PAN Level Use this stop instruction type to stop all payments on a PAN. This is intended for closed accounts. R3 C2

What is the purpose of the “additional notes” field? What are examples of data that I can/cannot use in the field?

The purpose of the additional notes field is to capture any other information, like internal record numbers, that might be needed to help investigate/audit the stop in certain dispute cases, or to simply add more information, like merchant identifiers, that are tied to the same stop instruction. Please note that the additional information field will reject any PII/sensitive data, such as cardholder credential information like PAN numbers.

If I do not specify the payment frequency, will the transaction be stopped?

Yes, frequency is an optional field. 

How long can I place a stop for?

A stop instruction can be placed anywhere from 1 month to 60 months. The default duration in VSPS is 13 months. If the duration field is left blank, it will default to 13 months. It is aways good to take into consideration the frequency of the payment when setting the stop payment duration. For example, if the payment frequency is monthly, setting the stop payment duration to 6 months may be appropriate, and if the frequency is yearly, then setting the duration to 13 months may be appropriate.

What are examples of a one-time stop? What are the advantages of providing cardholders with a one-time stop?

A one-time stop is meant to pause a recurring or installment type transaction for the next consecutive month and restart the month after. If you place a one-time stop, it will be set to expire on the last day of the following month. For example: say your cardholder has a monthly gym membership which is debited on the first of every month. If they are going on vacation and would like to ensure charges are not debited from their account for the month of April, the stop instruction (created before authorization starts) will decline these charges for April and allow it to be debited May 1.

How do I ensure that the stop I am creating targets a specific transaction and does not entirely stop my cardholder from transacting at the merchant?

When adding a stop instruction, you may set the “recurringandinstallmentsindicator” to true, so you only stop the subscription/recurring subset of all VSPS eligible transactions, and not all transactions at that merchant.

Note that this will stop all recurring transactions at the retailer, and not just one specific subscription.

For more information, refer to the VSPS API reference guide on the Visa Developer Platform.

How long does it take for a stop instruction to take effect once I add it?

If you placed a stop instruction using one of the VSPS Add Stop APIs and received a success message, then the instruction takes effect immediately. For more information or best practices on placing stop instructions, please refer to the VSPS API reference page on the Visa Developer Platform.

Can I stop a preauthorized recurring transaction?

Yes, you can place a stop instruction for a preauthorized recurring transaction. The probability of a payment being stopped depends on the quality of data elements (especially merchant identifiers) included in the transaction and the stopped intsruction. It is best practice to take these data elements from previous transaction messages to ensure they match and the intended transaction is successfully stopped.

Will the Eligible Transaction Search API only show transactions with the recurring or installments indicator?

The Eligible Transaction Search API shows all transactions that qualify as a transaction eligible to be stopped. The results the API provides will indicate whether or not the eligible transactions are recurring. 

How can we view and investigate reasons for failures in creating a stop instruction?

The responses from all VSPS APIs include reasons for error and failure to help clients understand and fix these errors before retrying. Please refer to the VSPS API reference guide for a list of error codes and descriptions.

How do we view and investigate failures in active stop instructions declining transactions?

Currently, VSPS does not provide users with investigation capabilities for failed transactions. You can get some insights by

  • Checking the quality of the stop instruction by reviewing data elements in transaction messages for the credential and comparing them with corresponding stop instructions. The effectiveness of the system recognizing a stop against a credential depends on how closely the merchant identifiers match between the transaction and stop ID.
  • Verifying if the transaction was processed prior to the stop instruction being created.

What level of support will I get from Visa during API implementation and testing?

Visa will actively work with your team and provide any reasonable support during your implementation. Your support team will include your Visa Account Executive, Client Readiness Manager and VDP Implementation Specialist. The VSPS Product team will also be available as an additional resource to address any product-related questions.

What are some of the best practices for going live with VSPS?

For best practices on making the most of our APIs, please refer to the VSPS Best Practices Guide.

How will deleted/purged credentials impact active stop payments?

Existing stop instructions on deleted credentials will remain active even after the credential has expired to safeguard against fraudulent transactions. Additionally, as a best practice, adding the deleted credential to the exception file may also prevent payments from going through. If the deleted credential is not in the exception file, an active stop instruction may prevent payments from being authorized or cleared.

If I have not subscribed to the VSPS User Interface, how can I get access to monthly/daily activity reports for my organization?

To access performance reports, you need to subscribe to the VSPS user interface. For access, contact your Visa Account Manager, who can help set up your organization in VSPS. For more information, visit the Visa Online Portal. Also, if you are using a processor to process stop payments, your processor can run a report for you.

What are the best practices regarding data that can be displayed to cardholders -- for example, authorization and clearing information?

It’s always recommended to display information that allows cardholders to have visibility and control over their recurring charges. For guidance on creating optimal user experiences, please refer to the VSPS Best Practices Guide.

I understand the duration of a stop is between 1 to 60 months (5 years). Are there provisions to increase the duration or set it as indefinite?

Currently, the maximum stop duration is 60 months (5 years). You can update and extend the stop further any time after placing the initial request.

If I place a stop instruction including relevant merchant identifiers, but do not include the minimum or maximum transaction amount, will it stop transactions for that merchant?

Yes, transaction amount is an optional field, and if left blank, matching transactions at the retailer will be stopped regardless of transaction amount.

Will the Eligible Transaction Search API respond with a list of all recurring transactions for the period selected, or just the last transaction?

Yes, the Eligible Transaction Search API will return a list of all eligible transactions for that PAN for the period specified. The duration the API supports are 30, 60, 90, 120, and 180 days

How long are expired or canceled stop instructions stored by Visa before purging?

Expired or canceled stop instructions are available for 180 days to support any ongoing disputes or claims. Records are then archived and not included in the API response.

For any additional questions / support, please contact us at [email protected].