How to Deal With a Hold Code 43

When you run a credit or debit card, you may come across hold code 43. When a credit card transaction does not go through, the terminal presents a decline, error, or hold code. There are many possible credit card decline codes, each with a different meaning. Knowing what these codes mean and how to deal with them can help you resolve the situation. This knowledge can also help you soothe your customer and possibly even save the sale. Read on to learn what a stolen card 43 hold code means and how to resolve it.

The Reason You’re Getting a Code 43 Hold

If the customer swipes their card and you see “code 43 hold” on your terminal, it means fraud is at play. Hold code 43 alerts the merchant that the card has been reported stolen. This stolen card 43 code flags the card for pickup by the issuing bank and will not work to complete a transaction. The only way for you to receive this code is if the customer’s card is reported as stolen. Hold code 43 differs from hold code 41 which is when customers report their card is lost or missing.

What is a Hold Code?

hold code 43 stolen card

A hold code is similar to a decline code, in that it indicates the card payment could not go through. The difference here is that with most decline codes, the solution is returning the card to the customer and instructing them to resolve the problem with their issuer (Visa, American Express, Mastercard, Discover, etc.). However, with a hold code, the card issuer is asking the merchant to confiscate the card. This is why it’s called a “hold” code rather than just a decline.

How to Proceed with a Stolen Card 43 Code

Hold 43 code indicates that the customer in question may be attempting fraud, so you should not return the credit card to them. Do not attempt to run the card again, and if possible, avoid providing any goods or services to the customer.

Instead of handing the stolen card back to the customer, keep it and call the toll-free number on the back of the credit card once they’ve left. If the customer is not present at the store and you’re unable to confiscate the card, the solution is a little trickier. If the customer believes the decline is an error, instruct them to call their card issuer to resolve the problem. However, you should also report the transaction to the card-issuing bank.

For recurring customers or those with scheduled transactions, the card may have been stolen after the last successful payment. In this case, contact the customer for a new credit card number or alternative form of payment.

close icon


By submitting this form, you consent to our terms

VeriSign Secured

Your information will not be distributed