How to Force a Card and Obtain a Force Code

If a customer is over her limit, or is restricted to using her credit card at certain types of businesses, you may contact the customer’s issuing bank to obtain a one-time, six-digit credit card authorization number by dialing the number on the back of the customer’s credit card.

Please note, if the authorization code is fake or invalid, the transaction will fail at batch time (so double check the force code and do not be misled by the word “force”).  

Please be sure that you have obtained the credit card authorization number directly from the customer's bank (and not indirectly through information passed to you by the customer).

This feature is rarely used, and the merchant assumes all risks associated with a forced transaction.

When forcing a card, follow these steps.

How to Force a Card

  1. Call the 800 number listed on the back of the customer’s credit card.
  2. Ask the issuing bank for a six-digit authorization code for your transaction.
  3. Once you have logged in, click the Process icon on the left-hand side of the page.



  4. Determine if you will be swiping the card or manually keying it in (you can only swipe the card if the customer is physically present and you have a USB swiper or Smart Terminal). Click Card or Smart Terminal accordingly.



  5. Fill out the form following the onscreen instructions; you must fill out any field that has a star or a security shield next to it. If you like, the form can be customized to more specifically fit your business needs.
  6. Either have the customer swipe the card or manually enter the card number and expiration date.
  7. Set the Action to Force.
  8. Enter the six-digit authorization code you obtained from the customer’s issuing credit card bank in the Force Code field. Note: Entering an invalid credit card authorization number will result in the transaction being rejected at batch time (so double check that your authorization code is correct).
  9. Fill out any other required fields (and optional fields if you like).
  10. Scroll to the bottom and click Process.
  11. You might receive an error if the card is declined, or if you did not fill out the form correctly. Correct any errors or obtain a different credit card from you customer if the transaction was declined. Click Process after resolving any errors on the form.
  12. Upon a successful transaction, you will see a green approval and capture:

Your transaction will be settled automatically at 5 p.m. Pacific Time (depending on your Automatic Settlement settings).

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