Recover from 10486 Error Code

Important: This integration method is deprecated as of January 1, 2017. PayPal continues to support existing merchants who use this method, but be advised that new features and enhancements are not applied to these integrations. For new integrations, see Redirect for an alternate funding source.

When a buyer's funding source fails, the DoExpressCheckoutPayment call returns a 10486 error. If this error occurs, you can redirect the buyer to PayPal where the buyer can add or choose an alternate funding source.

A funding source might fail for these reasons:

  • The billing address associated with the financial instrument could not be confirmed.
  • The transaction exceeds the card limit.
  • The transaction was denied by the card issuer.

These topics provide more details:


You can initiate the recovery process with this Express Checkout implementation:

PaymentAction type API operation
Sale or Authorization DoExpressCheckoutPayment

These features do not support the recovery process:

  • Reference Transactions
  • Recurring Payments

Error code details

The Express Checkout error response parameters for the NVP and SOAP API formats are:

API Format Parameter Returned Value
This transaction couldn't be completed.
This transaction couldn't be completed.
Please redirect your customer to PayPal.

You can redirect the buyer to PayPal multiple times as long as this error code is returned. Then prompt the buyer to choose another payment method available on your site.

Integration details

Integration details depend on how you set PaymentAction in your implementation.

Sale or authorization integrations

Upon receiving this error code for a sale or an authorization, redirect the buyer to PayPal by using the existing Express Checkout token. On the PayPal page, the buyer is presented with an error message that explains the reason for the decline. Additionally, the buyer can add or select an alternate funding source. After the buyer changes the financial instrument, you can reattempt the payment.

This diagram shows the redirect flow for DoExpressCheckoutPayment when PaymentAction is set to sale or authorization:

Redirect for sale or authorization failures

Note: This feature makes no changes to the current token expiry period.

Integration steps

Modify your front-end error code handling to redirect the buyer to PayPal by using the same redirect URL that was used to originally start the checkout flow.

This example shows the redirect URL and token:

Test your integration

The PayPal sandbox is a self-contained, virtual testing environment that mimics the live PayPal production environment. It provides a shielded space where you can watch your application process calls to the PayPal APIs, without touching any live PayPal accounts. By substituting fictitious sandbox accounts and their associated authentication credentials in your PayPal API calls, you can test and debug your application without referencing any real PayPal users or their PayPal accounts. To set up your sandbox test environment, see the PayPal Sandbox Testing Guide.

To test your error-handling code, configure a fictitious sandbox buyer's PayPal account to return error 10486 when it is used to execute an Express Checkout payment in the sandbox environment.

Test a sale or authorization integration

  1. Log in to by using your buyer's test PayPal account.
  2. Replace the contents of line 1 of the street address of the buyer's test credit card, with CCREJECT-REFUSED.
  3. Execute a typical Express Checkout payment flow against the sandbox environment by using the same buyer account with the same credit card that you just modified.
  4. When you execute DoExpressCheckoutPayment, error code 10486 is returned.

    Your code should redirect the buyer to PayPal by using the same redirect URL that was used to start the checkout flow and the same Express Checkout token.

The buyer's experience

When the buyer returns to PayPal, the buyer is prompted with proper error messaging on the PayPal page. If the buyer's PayPal log-in session is still active, the buyer does not need to log in again.

For example, the buyer might1 see an error message similar to this on the PayPal page:

We're sorry, but your transaction couldn't be completed using the selected card, Visa x-1234, because it has been denied by the card issuer. Another payment method has been chosen for you. Please continue with this payment method, or choose a different way to pay.

The previous message does not appear when you enable negative testing.

This error message appears only when these conditions are met:

  • You test with the sandbox seller account.
  • You disable negative testing.
  • The buyer uses the credit card option and sets line 1 of the street address to CCREJECT-REFUSED.

Additional information