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"Code 10" - Your First Line of Defense

Whether you sell goods and services in a face-to-face environment, or via mail, phone or Internet, you can employ a "Code 10" authorization to verify additional information on a suspicious transaction. You may be prompted by your processing terminal to call for voice authorization of the charges (CALL AUTH), or you may simply not feel right about the transaction. In either case, you can use "Code 10" to gain additional information before you release your merchandise.

How to use "Code 10"

  • Call the voice authorization phone number provided by Merchant Services. This number can typically be found on the sticker on your terminal or call Merchant Services at 1-800-725-1243 and ask to be transferred to the Voice Authorization department.
  • Choose the prompt for "Code 10". You will be transferred to a voice authorization representative and will be asked a series of questions about the transaction.

    Never call a phone number for the card issuing bank provided by a customer, or let the customer call the card issuing bank for you to obtain an authorization code. Do not accept an authorization code given to you by a customer. Any authorization code obtained from any source other than your Authorization Center cannot be verified.
  • If the order is a mail order, phone or Internet sale, be prepared to provide the cardholder name, billing address and shipping address. The representative will attempt to verify the information you provide with the bank that issued the card to the customer.
  • The representative will attempt to verify the cardholder information during your call. If this is not possible, the data will be forwarded to an investigator for further research. We will attempt to contact you within 24 - 72 hours with the current status or results of the investigation.
  • If an authorization request is declined, request another form of payment other than a credit card. Do not split a declined transaction into smaller increments to obtain an authorization.
  • Obtain an authorization code for the full amount of the sale. Always obtain the authorization code before shipping the merchandise.

An authorization code does not guarantee that a transaction will not be disputed later. An authorization code simply identifies that the amount of credit requested for that particular transaction is available on the card at the time of the sale. An authorization code does not protect you in the event of a chargeback regarding unauthorized transactions or disputes involving the quality or delivery of goods and services.

It is highly recommended that you use "Code 10" before charges have been placed on the credit card and before the product has been shipped. Doing so will allow you to avoid being billed for processing fees and loss of shipping costs on the transaction in question. Please note that you may still request a "Code 10" if the product has been shipped, but your chances to recover the product will be reduced.