Soft Decline vs Hard Declines
We were discussing Result Codes (aka. Response Codes) during a call today. We were discussing both “Soft” and “Hard” Declines and the differences of them in the context of reviewing a payment interface and which transactions could be Store-and-Forwarded (‘SAF’).
Result codes are returned in Field or Data Element 39 in an ISO-8583 message.
We use the term “Soft” decline when a subsequent transaction request containing the same pertient information could recieve a different result.
These typically occur from a transient system issue or payment network issue and are temporary in nature.
Examples of some result codes that come to mind:
- “19” Re-Enter Transaction
- “91” Issuer Unavailable or Switch Inoperative
- “96” System Malfunction or System Error
Hard declines contrast from Soft declines in that on a subsequent transation request, the responses are repeatable; you will recieve the same result.