Credit cards have become a significant mode of payment in today’s market – especially for e-commerce. The 2020 Pandemic has especially fueled this trend as people depended more on online transactions and cashless payment methods to reduce the spread of the virus. As a result, by July 2020, there were at least 2.8 billion active credit cards worldwide.
People are swiping their credit cards more often as the demand for e-commerce increases, and as the demand increases, so are the risks associated with online credit card transactions. Card issuers have therefore put in place stringent measures to protect both card users and businesses alike.
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What Are Credit Card Errors?
Some of these measures reflect as card errors when processing a payment transaction. As an online merchant, you must have already seen this enough times – and most times, you do not know what to do. They can leave you frustrated, and if not quickly resolved, it will leave you with an irate customer in your hands.
These error codes are usually signals from the card issuer that indicate credit card problems such as; expired or canceled credit cards, damaged credit card or reader, technical issues by the issuing bank, suspected fraud, etc.
Although some of these errors can be resolved immediately and allow you to complete the transaction, some of them will completely stop the trade for various reasons. Merchants need to understand what each error means and what to do about it. Hence, below is a list of credit card decline codes you will encounter and what you can do when you encounter them.
List of Credit Card Error Codes
01 & 02, Refer to Issuer
If you receive code 01 or 02, it means that the card issuer has blocked the transaction, and you should call the issuer for further instructions.
Solution: As the first step, inform the customer that the credit card was declined and request an alternative payment method. If this is not available, ask them to call the bank (there is a toll-free number at the back of the card) and resolve the issue before entering the payment again.
04, Pick up the card
This error occurs when the card issuer blocks the transaction due to suspected issues such as lost/misplaced card, expiration, or fraud, etc. It also requires the merchant to seize the credit card.
Solution: Seize the card and call or have a subordinate contact the card issuer for further instructions(there is a toll-free number at the back of the card). In the meantime, request the customer for a different card to complete the transaction.
05, Do Not Honor (Decline)
This is a very common response code received by merchants. It means that the card issuer has blocked the transaction due to problems with the cardholder’s account. Code 05 literally tells you that the card can not complete the payment.
Solution: Check that you have the correct customer information as it might be due to an incorrect billing address. If the customer information is not the issue, ask the customer for a different form of payment or call the bank to resolve the issue.
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14, Card No. Error
Error 14 is a common error on the merchant side. It indicates that the transaction is invalid due to a mistyped credit card number.
Solution: Checking the credit number for the second time and carefully reentering it will immediately solve the problem.
Well, the system is basically telling you it doesn’t have a clue what happened, and you should try to reenter the transaction again.
Solution: Reenter the transaction again. If it still does not work, request the customer to contact the card issuer to determine if the issue is on their end.
51, Insufficient Funds
This error is very straightforward; there is not enough balance in the cardholder’s account to complete the payment. It can be that the cardholder has reached their credit limit, or the balance is not sufficient.
Solution: In such cases, ask the customer for an alternative payment method or request them to call the credit card issuer and solve it.
07, 41 & 43–Hold-Call or Pick Up Card
These codes indicate potential fraud. The card issuer blocks the transaction, and the code means that you should seize the card immediately.
Solution: Although it might be nerve-wracking, these codes indicate a suspected case of fraud. The first thing you should do is hold on to the card and call the toll-free number at the back of the card for further instructions. If this is too much for you, you can request a different form of payment.
54, Card Expired
This credit card code is the easiest to interpret. It simply means that the card is expired and no longer viable for payment.
Solution: The solution is to request the customer to provide another form of payment or call the bank to get their card renewed.
62 Invalid service code, restricted
Merchants can opt-out of some credit card issuers, e.g., American Express, due to high fees or chargeback rates. If a customer attempts to pay using this card, the system will automatically reject the card and issue error code 62.
Solution: The first thing you should do is apologize to the customer for the inconvenience. The customer may be disappointed to hear your explanation, but you have to be genuine and express your reason with empathy. You should then request them for a different mode of payment.
78 No account, invalid account, or nonexistent account
This error could be due to various problems with the cardholder account. It could be the account is on hold or inactive. It essentially means that the bank does not recognize that account number.
Solution: In this case, ask the customer to call the credit card company. However, they will need to provide an alternative payment method to complete the payment transaction.
97, Invalid CVV
This code means that the CVV is wrong. CVV is the three (or four) digit number found at the back of the card. It is an extra security number needed when processing a transaction to lower the risk of fraud.
Solution: If you receive this error, ask the customer to double-check the number and reenter it correctly.
Receiving credit card error codes once in a while is inevitable. However, you can do a few things to lower the chances of receiving these errors due to negligence on the merchant’s side. For example, using a system that allows you to save customer billing information will ensure a more streamlined checkout process.
Most of the errors can be easily resolved with a call to the card issuer or just checking and reentering the information again. However, some errors might be more serious and need further action from the cardholder, the merchant, or the card issuer.