A Merchant’s Guide to Credit Card Failure Codes

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When a credit card is declined, it’s useful to know what the accompanying credit card failure code means and what you should do about it.

Here is an explanatory guide of the most common credit card failure codes and the actions you should take when they appear. (Please note that the response text may vary.)

Failure code: 01

Response text: Call
Failure code definition: Refer to card issuer

Explanation: Authorization of the transaction is being prevented by the customer’s issuing bank.

Recommended action: The customer should contact their issuing bank to find out the reason for the decline. Once the problem has been addressed and the issuing bank has confirmed they will authorize upcoming transactions, you can process the transaction again.

If the problem cannot be solved, ask the customer for an alternative card or use another payment method.

 

Failure code: 04

Response text: Hold-call or Pick Up Card
Failure code definition: Pick up card

Explanation: Authorization of the transaction is being prevented by the customer’s issuing bank.

Recommended action: The customer should contact their issuing bank to find out the reason for the decline. Once the problem has been addressed and the issuing bank has confirmed they will authorize upcoming transactions, you can process the transaction again.

If the problem cannot be solved, ask the customer for an alternative card or use another payment method.

 

Failure code: 05

Response text: Decline
Failure code definition: Do not honor

Explanation: There is a problem with the customer’s account, and the issuing bank is telling you not to honor the card.

Recommended action: The customer should contact their issuing bank to find out the reason for the decline. Once the problem has been addressed and the issuing bank has confirmed they will authorize upcoming transactions, you can process the transaction again.

If the problem cannot be solved, ask the customer for an alternative card or use another payment method.

 

Failure code: 07

Response text: Hold-call
Failure code definition: Pick up card, special conditions

Explanation: Fraudulent activity has been detected on the customer’s account, and so the transaction is not authorized.

Recommended action: If you have received a successful payment from this customer before, ask the customer for an alternative card or use another payment method. If this is a new customer making a one-time payment, assume it is fraudulent activity. Do not attempt to carry out the transaction again and do not provide goods or services.

 

Failure code: 12

Response text: Invalid Trans
Failure code definition: Invalid transaction

Explanation: The transaction is invalid or not supported. For example, you may be trying to refund a credit payment.

Recommended action: A secure payment solution should detect these errors before submitting the transaction for authorization, so this code should not appear. In the event that you come across this code, check and correct the payment type and payment details. Once you’ve addressed the problem, attempt the transaction again.

 

Failure code: 13

Response text: Amount Error
Failure code definition: Invalid amount

Explanation: The payment amount is negative, or non-numeric, and therefore invalid.

Recommended action: In the event that you come across this code, correct the payment amount. Once you’ve addressed the problem, attempt the transaction again.

 

Failure code: 14

Response text: Card No. Error
Failure code definition: Invalid card number

Explanation: The card number is invalid.

Recommended action: Check and correct the card number before attempting the transaction again. Make sure to stop recurring payments once an invalid card number is found, because you will be charged an authorization fee for each attempted transaction with an invalid number.

 

Failure code: 15

Response text: No Such Issuer
Failure code definition: No such issuer

Explanation: The first digit of the card number is invalid, it does not match a card issuer number.

Recommended action: In the event that you come across this code, correct the first digit of the card number. Once you’ve addressed the problem, attempt the transaction again.

 

Failure code: 19

Response text: Re Enter
Failure code definition: Re-enter transaction

Explanation: There was an unknown error.

Recommended action: Re-attempt the transaction. If repeated attempts are unsuccessful, contact Direct Pay Online for assistance.

 

Failure code: 28

Response text: No Reply
Failure code definition:
File update file locked

Explanation: Authorization failed due to a temporary error.

Recommended action: Re-attempt the transaction. If repeated attempts are unsuccessful, contact Direct Pay Online for assistance.

 

Failure code: 41

Response text: Hold-call
Failure code definition: Lost card - pick up

Explanation: The card being used has been reported as lost by its owner, so all payments will not be authorized.

Recommended action: If this is a new customer making a one-time payment, assume fraudulent activity. Do not attempt to carry out the transaction again and do not provide goods or services.


If this transaction is either a recurring payment or a scheduled payment, it’s possible that the card owner reported the card lost since the last successful authorization occurred. Ask the customer for a new card number or use another payment method. Make sure to update the lost number with the new one.

 

Failure code: 51

Response text: Decline
Failure code definition: Insufficient funds

Explanation: The customer is over the credit limit, or will go over the limit if this payment is carried out, so the issuing bank is declining the transaction.

Recommended action: The customer should contact their issuing bank to ask for a credit limit increase. Once the problem has been addressed and the issuing bank has confirmed the increased credit limit, process the transaction again.

If the problem cannot be solved, ask the customer for an alternative card or use another payment method.

 

Failure code: 54

Response text: Expired Card
Failure code definition: Expired card

Explanation: The credit card has passed its expiration date. This is common with recurring payments.

Recommended action: Ask the customer for an updated expiration date. Edit the customer’s account to reflect these details. Future payments will be automatically updated, including existing recurring payments.

Repeat the failed transaction as a one-time payment (even if it was a recurring payment).

 

Failure code: 57

Response text: Serv Not Allowed
Failure code definition: Transaction not permitted to cardholder          

Explanation: The customer’s card does not allow the type of transaction that is being attempted.

Recommended action: The customer should contact their issuing bank to get permission for the transaction. Once the issuing bank has confirmed they will authorize the transaction, process the transaction again.

If the problem cannot be solved, ask the customer for an alternative card or use another payment method.

 

Failure code: 58

Response text: Serv Not Allowed
Failure code definition: Transaction not permitted to terminal

Explanation: You are attempting a transaction which your merchant account it not set up to process. For example, you try to process an American Express transaction without having the appropriate account configuration.

Recommended action: Contact Direct Pay Online to check your account is configured correctly for all required payment types.

 

Failure code: 62

Response text: Decline
Failure code definition:
Restricted card

Explanation: You are possibly trying to perform a transaction that your merchant account it not set up to process. Alternatively, the customer’s card may not permit online payments or international transactions.

Recommended action: Contact Direct Pay Online to check your account is configured correctly for all required payment types.

If the customer’s card is the problem, the customer should contact their issuing bank to find out the reason for the decline. Once the problem has been addressed, process the transaction again. If the problem cannot be solved, ask the customer for an alternative card or use another payment method.

 

Failure code: 63

Response text: Sec violation
Failure code definition: Security violation

Explanation: The CID or CVV2 code does not match the one associated with the card number.

Recommended action: Ask the customer for a corrected code. You can also re-attempt the transaction without a CID or CVV2 code, but be aware that an invalid code can signal fraudulent use.

 

Failure code: 65

Response text: Decline
Failure code definition: Exceeds withdrawal frequency limit

Explanation: The customer has exceeded their daily maximum credit limit, or will exceed it with the transaction that is being processed.

Recommended action: If it is a customer that has bought from you in the past, then you should ask him/her to contact their issuing bank to ask for a credit limit increase. Once the problem has been addressed and the issuing bank has confirmed the increased credit limit, process the transaction again.

If the problem cannot be solved, ask the customer for an alternative card or use another payment method.

If it is a first-time customer or a one-time purchase, then the transaction could be fraudulent.

 

Failure code: 85 or 00

Response text: Retry
Failure code definition: Issuer system unavailable

Explanation: Authorization failed due to a temporary communication error.

Recommended action: Re-attempt the transaction. If repeated attempts are unsuccessful, contact Direct Pay Online for assistance.

 

Failure code: 85

Response text: Card OK
Failure code definition: No reason to decline

Explanation: Authorization failed due to an unknown error, but there is no problem with the card.

Recommended action: Re-attempt the transaction. If repeated attempts are unsuccessful, contact Direct Pay Online for assistance.

 

Failure code: 91

Response text: No Reply
Failure code definition: Issuer or Switch is inoperative

Explanation: Authorization failed due to a temporary error.

Recommended action: Re-attempt the transaction. If repeated attempts are unsuccessful, contact Direct Pay Online for assistance.

 

Failure code: 93

Response text: Decline
Failure code definition: Transaction cannot be completed

Explanation: Authorization of the transaction is being prevented by the customer’s issuing bank because of an account violation.

Recommended action: The customer should contact their issuing bank to find out the reason for the decline. Once the problem has been addressed and the issuing bank has confirmed they will authorize upcoming transactions, process the transaction again.

If the problem cannot be solved, ask the customer for an alternative card or use another payment method.

 

Failure code: 96

Response text: System Error
Failure code definition: System malfunction

Explanation: Authorization failed due to a temporary error.

Recommended action: Re-attempt the transaction. If repeated attempts are unsuccessful, contact Direct Pay Online for assistance.

 

Failure code: CV

Response text: Failure CV
Failure code definition: Card type verification error

Explanation: The CID or CVV2 code does not match the one associated with the card number. Alternatively, there is an error in your account configuration.

Recommended action: Ask the customer for a corrected code. You can also re-attempt the transaction without a CID or CVV2 code, but be aware that an invalid code can signal fraudulent use. If the transaction does not go through without the code, contact Direct Pay Online for assistance in case of an error in your account configuration.

 

Failure code: R0 or R1

Response text: Stop Recurring
Failure code definition: Stop Recurring Transaction

Explanation: The customer has asked the card issuer not to continue with the recurring payment in question.

Recommended action: To prevent chargebacks, stop the recurring schedule right away. Ask your customer how they wish to proceed. If they want to continue using the original card, they will need to contact the card issuer to discontinue the ‘stop’ against your charges. Once the problem has been resolved, resume the payment schedule. If they wish to change payment type or use another card to continue the payments, you can simply obtain new authorization and resume the existing schedule.

 

Now that you know the most common credit card failure codes, you can respond to declined payments appropriately. Usually, contacting the customer and/or checking card details will allow you to resolve problems. This will help you recapture lost revenue from declined transactions and ensure that future transactions are processed successfully.

 

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