When accepting credit and debit cards, you may encounter a number of hold, error, or decline codes, including error code 19. An error code is both good and bad. While it keeps you as a merchant from processing a transaction you cannot put through, it can frustrate customers and potentially cause you to lose a sale. Therefore, it’s important to know what an error code is and understand the meanings behind error code messages. Doing so will give you more leverage with your customers and result in better customer service and communications. Read on to find out what error code 19 means and how to resolve it for your customers.
What is an Error Code?
In credit card payment processing, an error code represents a failed transaction. Realistically, some payments do not go through on the first try. If so, you need to know the reason for the failure. When payment cannot go through, your credit card terminal will return one of many hold, error, or decline codes. An error code is a numbered code that gives you the reason for a declined card transaction. By checking the error code number, you can see the reason for the transaction error. Knowing this reason will help you address the problem quickly and efficiently.
General reasons for error codes
An error code may pop up because the:
- Credit card is not active
- Customer reached their spending limit
- Cardholder is behind on payments
- Purchaser is not the owner of the card
- Retailer input the data for the card incorrectly
- Reader on the card is not working
- Wrong credit card type for reader
If you do come across any of these reasons, you need to know how to address each issue. For example, if you suspect fraud, you should hold the card and not give it back to the buyer. In most instances, you will need to ask the purchaser to call their bank or provide another card for payment. Sometimes, human error is to blame and you need to resubmit the card details to correct the mistake.
What is Error Code 19?
Error Code 19 is one of the most common error codes in the payment processing industry. When you see this code, it means you need to re-enter the data. You might call error code 19 a mystery code, as the credit card terminal is telling you it does not understand or know why the transaction has failed. So, if you ask, “What does error code 19 mean?” the answer may vary.
How to Clear Error Code 19
If you want to clear error code 19, first re-enter the credit card information. If the attempt does not work, you need to ask the customer to call their issuing bank or present you with another form of payment. Tell them you have not been given an exact reason the transaction did not process. Therefore, they must talk to the bank to find out why the card does not work.
Error codes happen. Understanding their meanings will make payment processing easier and lead to better customer relations.