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As you are ringing up a customer, you may come across hold code 41. Accepting payment is the final step on a merchant’s way to the finish line of a sale. However, it’s not over just yet. Just because the customer has agreed to pay, doesn’t mean their chosen form of payment will go through. Instead, the sale might come to halt when your terminal reads: Host Code 41: Hold. This is one of many credit card decline codes you may receive if a customer’s payment is experiencing issues. Read on to learn more about error code 41 and how you can help a customer resolve a lost card hold.
What is a Hold Code?
When a credit card transaction cannot go through, a decline, error, or hold code will appear. This code indicates the reason for the decline and tells the merchant how to respond. In the case of a hold code, the card issuing bank is not just declining the transaction. Instead, they’re asking you to confiscate or hold the card instead of returning it to the customer.
Possible Reasons You’re Receiving Hold Code 41
Hold code 41 indicates a lost card alert. This means the cardholder reported the card lost and the card issuer will not allow the transaction to go through. The hold code is a signal from the issuing bank to the merchant that the cardholder reported their card lost. Since the customer trying to use a lost card could potentially be committing fraud, you must hold the card and not return it to the customer. Returning a lost card to a customer after seeing error code 41 could possibly implicate you in a fraudulent situation.
What to do if You Receive the Lost Card Code
In the case of a hold code 41 lost card, explain that the card has been reported lost and will not work to complete the transaction. As a merchant, do not attempt the transaction again, as you may be dealing with a case of attempted fraud. Be wary of providing any goods or services to the person attempting the transaction in case they are attempting to pay with fraudulent funds.
Instead of returning the card to the customer, keep it and call the toll-free number on the back of the card once the customer is gone. If the transaction is not in person, the merchant cannot take the card. Instead, instruct the customer to call their issuing bank to resolve the problem. As a merchant, you cannot resolve this issue for their customer, as it’s between them and their card issuer.
If a host code 41 hold appears for a recurring or scheduled transaction with a known customer, it is possible that the card was lost after the last successful payment. In this case, contact the customer for a new card number or alternate form of payment.