MasterCard's Decline Code Grouping and MAC

As of November 2, 2021, MasterCard is introducing a new authorization decline program. The program starts by consolidating decline codes into three buckets: 

79 - Lifecycle Declines

  • 14 Invalid Card Number
  • 54 Expired Card 

82- Policy Declines

  • 03 Invalid Merchant
  • 13 Invalid Amount
  • 57 Transaction Not Permitted
  • 61 Exceeds Withdrawal amount
  • 62 Restricted Card
  • 65 Exceeds Withdrawal Count

83- Security Declines

  • 41 Lost Card
  • 43 Stolen Card
  • 55 Invalid PIN
  • 63 Security Violation

MasterCard will map these three Authorization Response Categories to one of four Merchant Advice Codes (MAC), depending on the underlying decline code. These codes are as follows:

01 - Updated information needed
    Check Account Updater if the decline code is 79 or 82
    Retry using EMV 3DS if the decline code is 83
02- Try again later
03 - Do Not try again
21 - Payment canceled

Qualpay products, including Payment Gateway and Virtual Terminal, support MAC for your reference. New credit card test numbers are available to test the new MAC response codes in our sandbox. The Qualpay simulator will respond with the field: “merchant_advice_code.” Virtual Terminal will display the MAC = on the transaction receipt when appropriate. 

To view the Merchant Advice Code (MAC):

  1. Log into Qualpay Manager, select Transactions, and apply the filter of Merchant Advice Code.
  2. Select all or individual MACs you are interested in viewing. The table will present all the data meeting the criteria selected.
  3. Download the data for further analysis, or click on a transaction to view the details. The Transaction Detail will display the MAC code in the Authorized tab. 

Card-not-present authorization requests retried after being declined with a MAC of 03 or 21 (from the same card and with the same transaction amount in the past 30 days) will receive a fee. MasterCard’s fee is in effect with November 2021 billing, but Qualpay will not, at this time, bill for the $.02 per item fee. MasterCard will raise the fee to $.03 in January 2022.