Merchant’s Guide to First Data Decline Codes

November 16, 2021 / Posted in Payment Processing

Each time a transaction takes place, your payment processor returns a response code. However, not every payment transaction is allowed. That is the time when you might receive one of the First Data decline codes. Some of them are more common than others, but it’s always helpful to know more about the codes you can receive. Read our guide and learn about the response reason codes that might pop up during an unsuccessful transaction.

What Are First Data Decline Codes?

A customer walks into your store, you ask if they will be paying with a credit card or cash, they opt for a card, but the transaction doesn’t go through. You don’t have to know how credit card processing works to see that the payment failed, but you’re probably wondering why that happened. The code that appears on the POS terminal will solve that mystery.

Response code 100 is the only one that shows approval – all the others are some form of do not honor errors. A part of every merchant’s good customer service is knowing to explain to a buyer why the transaction failed and what the response reason code that appeared means. For that reason, we listed the most common codes and their short explanations.

Most Common Decline Codes and Their Causes

Each transaction can be approved, declined, or blocked because of fraud. In the following list, you can see some of the currently defined First Data response codes and their meaning. This list is prone to changes, so some additional First Data error codes might be added in the future.

Generally speaking, all response code values of 200 are rejects, while those of 300 and higher are declines from the issuing bank or entity. You will also see the action field for the most common response reason codes that suggest the best action you should take once you know the returned code.

S – Successful, R – Rejected, D – Declined

Resend – Send this transaction back at any time

Wait – Wait up to three days before sending back, or try to resolve with the customer

Cust. – Get an alternative method of payment or resolve with the customer

Fix – Fix the invalid field that’s being sent and resend

N/A – Not applicable

Voice – Perform a voice authorization per First Data instructions

Call – Call First Data

Response Code Name Action Comments
D 000 No Answer Resend First Data didn't receive an answer from the authorization network
S 109 Previously Processed Transaction N/A Transaction was previously processed, so it's not re-authorized with the Debit Network
N/A 200 Suspected Fraud N/A The authorization transaction is reversing because of suspected fraud in a non-Face-To-Face transaction environment
R 201 Invalid CC Number Cust Bad length, check digit, or other credit card problem
R 205 Bad Total Auth. Amount Fix The sum of the authorization amount from extended data information does not equal a detailed record authorization amount. Amount sent was unreadable, zero, exceeds the maximum allowable amount, or over the ceiling limit.
R 242 Invalid Temporary Services Data Fix Data is missing or inaccurate
R 254, 255, 268, 269, 270, 271, 273 Reserved N/A Contact First Data representative
R 272 Invalid Purchase Level 2 Fix There's inaccurate data on the purchase card, the data is missing, or there isn't an appropriate card brand
R 299 Duplicate Transaction Reject The payment is a duplicate of a previous transaction, regardless of whether it was within this same batch file, or in any batch file that was submitted by the client in the last 7 days).
D 301 Issuer unavailable Resend The authorization network couldn't reach the issuing bank
R 350 Additional customer authentication required Fix The transaction can't be approved until Strong Customer Authentication (SCA) is performed
D 420 Unsupported Currency Fix The transaction has been attempted in an invalid currency, or the one that's not supported by the endpoint.
D 502 Lost/Stolen Cust. The card has been reported as lost or stolen, and there might be a need for credit card fraud prevention
D 521 Insufficient funds Cust. Insufficient funds or over the credit limit
D 530 Do Not Honor Cust. Generic Decline - The customer should contact their issuing bank for more information
D 606 Invalid Transaction Type Cust. The issuing bank doesn't allow this type of transaction
R 755 No Account/ Unable to Locate Cust. Doesn't match any account for the customer at the bank
D 806 Restraint Cust. The card has been restricted
D 997 Acquirer Error Call Acquiring bank configuration problem. Contact your First Data representative.

Why Is a 24/7 Present Merchant Processor Important if the Credit Card Was Denied

Whatever the cause of the First Data virtual terminal decline codes you received might be, it’s essential to have a professional merchant processing company to help you solve the situation. Not all credit card processing companies provide that – you’ll need the one that has agents available for you 24/7. Applying for a merchant account and signing up for merchant statements from a company that can provide you with the best credit card processing for small businesses is the smartest way to help your business thrive. If you’re looking to avoid one of the most common mistakes business owners make with notorious overpaying of credit card fees, and you want to have professional agents at your disposal, contact us and get the best merchant services and credit card processing for your company.

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