Declined Refunds and Failed Refund Authorizations

When attempting to refund a customer's credit card payment, merchants may receive a message that the refund payment was 'rejected' or was 'declined'. When issuing a refund through the Bolt Merchant Dashboard, declined refunds will display an error message as shown below.


If a refund is declined, it may be because the customer's credit card failed Refund Authorization. There are a number of reasons that refund authorization may not be granted, including: fraudulent cards, closed accounts, lost cards, and stolen cards.

Return authorizations are now mandatory through certain credit card networks:

  • Visa announced that as of October 2019  all refunds initiated to a card on their network will require a refund authorization. For more information, see TSYS's article on the topic, Visa's older article
  • Mastercard has announced its intention to fully implement refund authorizations in April 2020. 

Since Refund Authorizations are not part of Bolt procedure or product, Bolt is unable alter this behavior or override refund authorizations.

If a refund is declined, merchants may opt to use an alternative method to provide a refund. In these instances, the merchant should contact the customer and coordinate the optimal method of refund.

Alternate refund methods may include any of the following:

  • PayPal
  • Gift Card
  • Store Credit
  • Check/ACH

Note — As there is always the possibility of a chargeback occurring it is especially important to keep paperwork for failed return authorization. 

Was this article helpful?
0 out of 0 found this helpful
Have more questions? Submit a request