Banking

Failed POS Transaction? How To Get A Failed POS Payment Reversed

Point of sale POS is increasingly becoming a popular means of receiving payments by most merchants. This is in addition to thousands of agent banking operators across Nigeria who use POS machines to complete transactions for members of their immediate community for a fee.

With the increasing importance and popularity of PoS machines, so is the increase in the challenge of using them – failed POS transactions that don’t get reversed instantly.

Ideally, when a POS transaction fails – the customer has been debited but the merchant did not receive the credit, most banks would automatically reverse the transaction and credit the customer for them to try again. This reversal usually happens within a few minutes.

But sometimes the customer does not receive a reversal which can lead them to believe that the merchant has received the payment or in some rare circumstances, the merchant can receive an alert for payment received which can later turn out to be a failed transaction. Here’s what to do in both scenarios.

Some reasons for failed POS transactions and explanation

POS transactions fail for different reasons. These reasons are usually printed on the receipt. Here is a list of some POS transaction error codes and what they mean:

Codecode textExplanation
03Invalid MerchantThe merchant should contact the bank/device issuer
91Card Issuer UnavailableThe customer’s bank is currently not available. The customer can wait a bit and retry the transaction.
96System ErrorThe customer’s bank is currently not available. The customer can wait a bit and retry the transaction.
01Refer to Card IssuerThe customer should contact their bank. card likely damaged.
09Request In ProgressThe customer should contact their bank. card likely damaged.
57Function Not Permitted to CardholderThe customer should contact their bank. card likely damaged.
43Stolen CardThe card has been reported as stolen or lost. The merchant should also retain the card with them and not give it back.
04Pick Up CardThe card has been reported as stolen or lost. The merchant should also retain the card with them and not give it back.
05Do Not HonorThe card has failed a security check, or the funds have been frozen due to account irregularities/fraud. The customer should contact their bank.
55Incorrect PINThe customer has entered wrong PIN. The card will be blocked on the third wrong attempt.
38, 75
PIN Tries ExceededThe customer has entered wrong PIN thrice, should contact their bank.
13Invalid AmountAn invalid character has been entered. The transaction should be retried with correct entries.
12Invalid TransactionAn invalid character has been entered. The transaction should be retried with correct entries.
65Exceeds Withdrawal Frequency LimitBanks have default transaction frequency limit (the number of transactions permitted in one day). This means the customer has exceeded that limit. Has to wait till next day. Try alternative means of payment.
33, 54Expired CardThe card is expired. The customer should get a new card from their bank.
51Insufficient FundsThe balance in the account is not enough for the transaction being attempted. The customer should fund the account or try alternative means to pay.
Failed POS transaction codes and what they mean.
What should a merchant do after a failed POS transaction?

The most obvious step is for the merchant not to release any goods and demand for another payment even when the customer has received a debit alert. The customers debit will usually be reversed if the merchant did not receive the corresponding credit instantly.

Merchants should always have POS paper rolls available and in place for every transaction – the customer’s bank would ask for the slip as evidence of the failed transaction if the transaction is not automatically reversed within 72 hours

As high as 20% of all POS transactions fail, merchants and and customers should exercise maximum patience of up to 72 hours before suspecting fraud.

What should a customer do after a failed POS transaction?

Failed POS transactions are common, customers should wait at least 72 hours after the failed transaction for their money to be reversed back into their bank account. If the transaction is not automatically reversed within 72 hours, the customer can approach their bank to lodge a complain with the transaction receipt.

What happens in the backend when a failed POS transaction complain is lodged?

Your bank will contact the merchant’s bank with the transaction receipt you provide to confirm whether or not they received your credit. Your money would be reversed once they confirm the transaction as failed. Note that you cannot contact your merchant’s bank on your own, you have to lodge the complain at your own bank that issued the ATM card.

How long does a POS reversal take?

POS reversal usually happens automatically within minutes but can sometimes take 24 – 72 working hours depending on your bank.

What is a failed POS transaction?

failed POS transactions happens when a customer receives a debit alert but the merchant did not receive the corresponding credit. This usually gets automatically reversed and the customer gets their money back within minutes.

What should I do if a transaction says ‘completed successfully’ but the merchant claims not to have received the credit?

You should collect the transaction receipt which can be used to complain with your bank. If the POS displays the transaction completed, your bank will confirm the date and time the merchant received the credit.

Ismaeel

Statistician with interests in finance, risk management, loan products and market surveys. I also write on crypto currencies, Forex and a variety of financial instruments.

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