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How do I investigate the reason for a 203 Decline or Missing Funds?



You can investigate the reason for a 'hard' decline: 203 from Issuer, a Processor decline, or track missing funds against a transaction by using the Transaction Reference Number (TRN) of the associated transaction.

What is a Transaction Reference Number?

The Transaction Reference Number (TRN) is a unique identifier for each transaction that is common/shared between the Acquirer (merchant's bank), Issuer (customer's bank), Payment Processor, and Payment Gateway (CyberSource). All four parties can identify the transaction with this number. This is similar to CyberSource's use of the Request ID, but it is not always the same number.

The Transaction Reference Number (listed as "Trans Ref No") can be found in the following places:

  • Transaction Search Detail Page (see picture below)
  • Payment Batch Detail Report
  • Transaction Detail Report
  • Merchant Acquiring Reports (for those who use CyberSource as the Merchant Acquirer as well as the Gateway)

The Transaction Reference Number can be used to:

  • Confirm Funds Transfer/Status: Refer to the TRN when contacting the Issuer (customer's bank) / Acquirer (merchant's bank) with questions about missing funds or the status of a transaction.
  • Investigate Processor Errors : When contacting the Processor to investigate transaction(s) that were declined, or received an error response from the processor, the merchant can refer the TRN to track the transaction.
  • 203 Errors / Declines from Issuing Bank: Customer can find out the reason why an Issuer (customer's bank) declined a transaction by providing the TRN. A merchant can provide the TRN to the customer with questions about a transaction: e.g., decline reasons, delays in funding, etc. Customer may then provide this Transaction Reference Number to the issuing bank of their card, and the Issuer can provide more details as required.
Depending upon their payment processor, merchants may have the ability to define the Transaction Reference Number themselves.
To obtain documentation on how to set this up, please contact CyberSource Customer Support.

Find Reason Codes and Reply Flag decriptions here.


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