Sometimes during a card-present transaction, a merchant can alert the card issuer to suspicious activity such as the validity of the card or the cardholder by, by making a Code 10 Call without alerting the customer. An operator at the card issuing company then proceeds to ask the card process a number of questions to validate or void the transaction. Once the operator determines whether the transaction is valid or not, the merchant will proceed accordingly.
When to Make a Code 10 Call
A merchant should make a Code 10 call under the following circumstances:
- If after the card is swiped, the point-of-sale terminal (POS) reads: Lost or Stolen Card, Pick Up Card or a similar suspicious message.
- Security features of the card have been altered or tampered with in anyway
- Signature of the transaction receipt does not match signature on the back of the card
- Customer is behaving suspiciously or in an unusual manner.
*Be careful when using this as a form of judgment to determine the validity of the card or legitimately of the card holder. A customer’s behavior could be entirely unrelated.
Making a Code 10 Call
When it is necessary to make a code 10 call, merchant should keep the card in their possession and proceed as follows:
- Call processor’s voice authorization center and tell the operator: “I Have a Code 10 authorization request.”
- The operator may ask a series of additional questions and then transfer you to the card issuer.
- The card issuer’s operator will also ask a series of “yes” or “no” questions.
*Make sure to answer these calmly, as to not arise nervousness or suspicion to the customer.
- Finally, follow the operator’s instructions on how to proceed.
If the merchant is not in possession of the card when making a Code 10 call, and the operator instructs you to pick up the card – only do this if it safe. If it is not safe, complete the transaction as usual, wait for the customer to leave, and then alert the card processor.
Even though it would be too late to prevent a fraudulent transaction, the merchant will be able to prevent another one from occurring in the future.
How Making a Code 10 Authorization Call Can Save Your Business Money
Making a Code 10 Call can prevent fraud before it happens, which saves the merchant from having to pay a chargeback and saves the owner of the lost or stolen credit card from having to pay the credit card bill. Code 10 Authorization Requests are a great security feature for a merchant to implement into their business, whether they run an e-commerce business or a regular store.