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Token operations are typically performed via separate Basis Theory API calls, with each operation committing changes immediately upon completion of the request. This can lead to challenges when needing to coordinate changes between your systems and Basis Theory, or to rollback changes in Basis Theory in the event of an unexpected error.

Transactions allow multiple token operations to be logically grouped together into a single unit of work, which can then be atomically committed or rolled back.

How It Works

First, a transaction must be created through the Basis Theory API or an SDK. This will return a Transaction object containing an id that can be referenced to enlist token operations into the transaction.

Next, individual token operations are enlisted into the transaction by providing a BT-TRANSACTION-ID request header with the API request. The following endpoints support transactions:

The BT-TRANSACTION-ID request header will be ignored if it is provided on other API endpoints not supporting transactions.

Once all the desired changes are enlisted into a transaction, the transaction can be either committed or rolled back through the API.


Transactions use an isolation model analogous to the Read Committed isolation level implemented by several popular database engines. Tokens created or updated within a transaction cannot be read outside the transaction until it is committed.

If a token is updated or deleted within a transaction, the same token cannot be updated or deleted again by another transaction until the first transaction is either committed or rolled back. This is analogous to a row-level lock that many traditional databases use to implement transaction isolation. Attempts to re-enlist a token into another transaction will be rejected with a 409 Conflict error response.

Token Deduplication

The isolation model used by transactions has some interesting consequences relating to token deduplication:

Duplicate tokens simultaneously created within two open transactions will NOT be deduplicated across transactions. Both token creations will be isolated and can be committed independently, even if this results in duplicate token data.

However, if a token is created in a transaction that duplicates a pre-existing committed token or another token created in the same transaction, then the new token will be deduplicated by returning the existing matched token instead of creating a new one.