What Merchants Should Know About Credit Card Declines

What Merchants Should Know About Credit Card Declines

Did you know that the first two digits of your credit card identification number refer to the industry the card is issued from? Digits on the card can also be added with a simple formula to check their validity. All these aspects of a credit card contribute greatly to the validity and security of the card itself. With credit card declines being a commonplace occurrence considering its abundance among consumers in our current day and age, who decides whether your card gets rejected? What are the main reasons behind this occurrence?


The approval of your credit card purchases would be dependent on the issuing bank of the credit card itself, rather than the payment processor or merchant you are making the purchase from. For a credit card to be approved, the numbers on the credit card have to be valid, there has to be sufficient credit for the amount requested for the transaction, and the card cannot be reported as stolen or damaged. Taking all the above into account, what are the main reasons behind credit card declines?

Expired Card

Card networks will be unable to process cards that have passed their expiry dates printed on them, hence requiring their owner to provide an updated expiry date to process their payment. This error constitutes a large proportion of credit card declines.

Invalid Card

When the card is rejected with an “Invalid Card” message, it means that the particulars of the card were incorrectly entered. Every card contains a set of identification numbers, in which the system of the merchant would apply a checksum formula to validate the identity of the card itself. Hence, the incorrect input of card numbers would result in this error message.

Normal Decline

An error message consisting of these words usually refers to a decline in the transaction from the bank itself. This usually occurs due to credit limits placed on cards or insufficient credit available on the cards themselves.

Call For Auth

An error message with these words does not entail a complete rejection of the payment itself. This error message occurs usually when the bank itself is unsure about the transaction itself and wants the merchant to call in to verify the transaction itself. An approval code would be given over the phone if it passes the appropriate authentication checks and the transaction will still be able to go through.

Pick Up Card

This error message refers to the bank’s suspicion of fraud in the transaction. Usually occurring when the card is removed from circulation due to it being reported lost or stolen, it warns the merchant to seize the card as the individual attempting to make the transaction is in fact participating in a criminal act.

Payment Made Easy

Credit card declines are a common occurrence in the daily operations of most businesses. At Millennium Payment Systems, we provide our merchants with the most advanced and cost-effective payment processing services in the market. Contact us to find out how we can maximize your company’s potential!