What Does a Hard Decline Mean?  

Hard decline means that there is a permanent decline on the card. 

It tends to be when the cardholder’s Issuer refuses to release funds for the transaction. Unlike a soft decline though, where the Merchant can (and a lot of the time should) retry the same payment method, a hard decline code should not be pushed again. 

Hard declines are permanent declines on your customer’s card. That means you should assess the code and, in most cases, not push the transaction again.  

The numerical code tends to differ slightly from Issuer-to-Issuer, but they tend to show similar information to the Merchant. 

But common hard decline codes can include:

  • Do not honor
  • Invalid amount
  • Invalid card number
  • Non-existent account
  • Format error
  • Allowable PIN reentries exceeded
  • No credit account
  • Expired card
  • Incorrect PIN
  • Transaction not permitted
  • Suspected fraud
  • Restricted card
  • Security violation
  • Activity count exceeded
  • Invalid account
  • Ineligible transaction
  • Blocked, pick up card
  • Already reversed
  • CVV mismatch
  • Issuer unavailable
  • Unable to route
  • Violation, can’t complete
  • Duplicate transaction
  • System error

April 25, 2024

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