Mastercard is launching the PSD2 Optimization Program for acquirers

Mastercard 12/05/2021
Update for: all e-commerce merchants in EEA + UK

What’s changing?

The e-commerce transactions in the intra-European Economic Area (EEA), plus the United Kingdom should be resent for authorization through 3DS 2.0 (or higher) after receiving a soft decline response for at least:

  • 20% of soft declines as of 1 June 2021
  • 80% of soft declines as of 1 October 2021
  • 95% of soft declines as of 1 January 2022.

What do these changes mean?

Under the Payment Service Directive 2 (PSD2), most ecommerce transactions require Strong Customer Authentication (SCA), unless there’s an applied exemption or exclusion.

Soft declines are used by the issuers to indicate that Strong Customer Authentication is required: this can also happen on transactions where an acquirer exemption was applied.

With this update, any transaction that receives a soft decline response should be resent for authorization, including the 3DS 2.0 (or higher) authentication data.

Mastercard will monitor soft declines on acquirer level to ensure that they comply with the thresholds indicated in the section above (“what’s changing?”).

How will this affect you?

Non-compliance will result in a fee, which is charged on the Acquirer level. It will be passed onto you, as a merchant, based on the volume of your transaction and your contribution percentage to non-compliance.

Effective date

  • June 1, 2021
  • October 1, 2021
  • January 1, 2022

Do you need more info? Feel free to reach out to your dedicated Account Manager, or the Payvision support team at