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PCI-DSS: Card Present - Code 10 Calls

What to Know
Code 10 calls

Code 10 calls allow UCSC merchants to alert card issuers of suspicious activity and to take appropriate action when instructed to do so. You or your supervisor should make a Code 10 call to your voice authorization center whenever you are suspicious about a card, cardholder, or a transaction. The term “Code 10” is used so the call can be made at any time during a transaction without arousing a customer’s suspicions.

To make a Code 10 call, you or your supervisor will call the credit card company’s voice authorization center, and say, “I have a Code 10 authorization request.”

It is important to note that Code 10 calls can be time consuming. The call may first be routed to a representation of your merchant bank who may need to ask you for some merchant or transaction details. You will then be transferred to the card issuer and connected to a special operator who will ask you a series of questions that can be answered with a simple yes or no.

  • When connected to the special operator, answer all questions calmly and in a normal tone of voice. Your answers will be used to determine whether the card is valid.
  • Follow all operator instructions.
  • If the operator tells you to pick up the card, do so only if recovery is possible by reasonable and peaceful means. UCSC employees are not obligated or expected to confiscate credit cards.
Making a Code 10 call after a transaction

Sometimes you may not feel comfortable making a Code 10 call while the cardholder is at the point of sale, or you may become suspicious of a cardholder who has already left the store even if the transaction was not completed.

It is important to know that Code 10 calls can be made even after a cardholder leaves the store.  A Code 10 alert at that time may help stop fraudulent card use at another location, or perhaps during a future transaction at your store.

Be prepared to provide as much customer information as you can - e.g. name on card, type of card (e.g. MasterCard) and card number.

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