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Common POS Error Codes

POS is a popular payment solution in retail stores today. It has many advantages that make it efficient in these stores. Not only does the machine transfer money from the buyer’s account to the seller’s account, but it also scans for prices, prints receipt, keeps sales records, and manage cash payments. However, sometimes, things might go wrong. That does not necessarily mean the POS is not working properly, the error might be from the buyer’s card, solution provider, or input of wrong information. Whatever the case may be, as long as the transaction is not successful, there will always be a need for intervention, and action must be taken.

Therefore, if you are planning to integrate a retail POS system into your business, it is essential to fully understand all its common error codes, what they stand for, and the actions to be taken when each is displayed. In this article, we are going to fully discuss all common POS error codes and the action needed.

What Causes Transaction Errors While Using POS

Errors in POS transactions can be broadly grouped into three categories. The first are errors occurring due to problems with the card. Errors can also arise due to communication between the card and the bank. The third source of error is the POS system itself. Let’s first consider.

Card Errors

Not all transactions can be done on any card. If you are using your card for a transaction that is not allowed by the card or beyond its limit, you will surely receive an error message. The most common of this is transaction response 51, which is insufficient funds. Another common error due to the card is transaction response 61. This error will be indicated if the amount of transaction you are trying to make it beyond the limits of the card. Below are the common errors in this category, their meaning, and actions to be taken.

Transaction Response Code Meaning Intervention
4 Lost or Stolen Card The card should be detained and the customer contact the card issuer as the card has been reported to be lost or stolen
41 Lost Card The card has been reported to be lost, hence stopped by the issuer. The customer should contact the card issuer.
43 Stolen Card The card should be detained, the sales should be canceled and the customer queried as the card has been reported to be stolen.
51 Insufficient funds The balance on the card is not up to the transaction amount. The customer should provide alternative means of payment.
54 Card is expired Confirm if the card is truly expired or the transaction report is in error. If the date on the card indicates the card is still valid, then attempt the transaction again. But if the card has truly expired, let the customer provide an alternative means of payment.
55 Incorrect Pin Ask the customer to enter his pin again.
57 Function Not Permitted on Card The transaction is not registered or approved for the particular transaction. Let him provide alternative means of payment and contact the card issuer.
61 Transaction Limit Exceeded The transaction is more than the limit set on the card. If the customer can increase his limit immediately, let him do so and try again. Otherwise, he should provide an alternative means of payment.
65 Transaction Frequency Exceeded The number of transactions made in the day is more than the limit set on the card. If the customer can increase his limit immediately, let him do so and try again. Otherwise, he should provide an alternative means of payment.
75 Pin Ties Exceeded This usually comes after a number of incorrect pins. Let the customer provide another method of payment.

Communication Errors

Sometimes, there will be nothing wrong with the card and the input, but the card may fail to communicate with the issuer for authorization. Common errors in this category are error 13 which indicates response time out and error 22 which is no response. The table below summarizes the common POS errors due to communication failure.

Transaction Response Meaning Intervention
11 Authorization Error There is a problem with authorization of the transaction which has nothing to do with the card, but with the card issuer. The customer should provide another method of payment.
13 Response Timeout Although the authorization is approved the response couldn’t get back to the card on time, leading to the card canceling the transaction. Attempt the transaction again.
18 Connection Problem Data needed to check connection cannot be successfully sent. Attempt the transaction again.
20 Validation Error The issuer cannot validate the host message. Try again or let the customer provide another method of payment.
22 No Response The card successfully sent the request, but there was no response from the card issuer.  Attempt the transaction again if there is still no response, then let the customer provide an alternative means of payment.

 

POS System Errors

The last possible source of error is from the POS system itself. One of the common errors due to the POS machine is error xx, which occurs when there is no internet service on the POS. Below are the common POS errors and how to deal with them.

Transaction Response Code Meaning Intervention
xx No Internet Connection Your POS is unable to communicate with the bank issuer because it is not connected to the internet. Check your service connection.
No Card Found The POS cannot read your SIM card. Check the SIM card and be sure it is properly inserted. You can remove and re-insert
Unsuccessful Registration The POS does not register on the network. Although, there is an internet connection the POS settings cannot be correctly read. Check your settings again.
     

The Take-Away

There are different reasons that can make a transaction through POS to be declined. The error could originate from the card, the card settings, and the pin. It could also be from communication between the card and the card issuer that have to approve the authorization. Sometimes, the card and the card issuer will be perfect, but the POS system would be faulty.

Some of these errors can be corrected, but there are many errors that there will be nothing you can do. In that case, the customer will have to provide other ways of payment.