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What Is Do Not Honour Credit Card Refusal?

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Last editedDec 20212 min read

When accepting card payments, occasionally a credit or debit card will be declined. You’ll see an error code or message flash up – one of which is the ‘2000 do not honour’ code. What is a do not honour credit card response, and what are its causes? How can you help your customer complete the transaction when you see this type of error? Find out in our guide below.

What is a do not honour credit card error?

Also known as error code 05 or 2000, the credit card ‘do not honour’ response is something every Australian retailer will come across. You’ll see this response code at some point during everyday transactions, but pinpointing its root cause can involve some trial and error. This is because the ‘do not honour’ code is a catch-all error for any failed transaction.

The response is sent when the card issuer refuses or is unable to authorise payment for a variety of reasons. Without that authorisation token, your payment processor will be unable to complete the transaction.

What causes a 2000 do not honour error code?

There’s a multitude of reasons why you might see a credit card do not honour response code. Here are just a few of the most common:

  • The card has been frozen

  • There are insufficient funds in the cardholder’s account

  • The customer mistyped their card or AVS/CVV numbers

  • The card has been locked due to multiple denied payments

  • The issuing bank’s anti-fraud system detected red flags

  • The transaction’s location is suspicious or unusual

At times, there is no specific reason behind this type of error code. It might simply be an off-peak time of day, or the card issuer doesn’t wish to disclose the cause due to security reasons.

What to do with a payment declined do not honour code

Some of these reasons are beyond the control of the customer, who may abandon their shopping cart completely when faced with a failed payment. It’s important to deal with the situation quickly and efficiently to entice them to contact their card issuer or try another form of payment. Because this code is so vague, you won’t necessarily be able to solve the problem at its root cause. In the moment, your focus should be on reassuring your customer and completing the sale.

Here are a few immediate responses when dealing with a payment declined do not honour code:

  1. Ask your customer for an alternative form of payment

  2. Ask your customer to contact their card issuer or bank

  3. Ask your customer to try again in a few hours

This gives the bank time to resolve the issue, particularly if it’s related to extra security checks or an unusual transaction timing.

How to reduce do not honour card refusals

Working with your customer and their bank might be the right way to handle error codes in the short term, but you’ll also need to future-proof your website to prevent unnecessary refusals. For ecommerce businesses, this is particularly important because you often won’t get a second chance to complete the sale. If the customer’s card is declined, they may not return to your website. All of this can increase abandoned shopping cart rates and decrease conversion rates.

To get a handle on the situation, you must implement a good retry strategy. Set up automated emails to communicate with your customer as soon as the transaction is declined. The email should include concrete steps they can take to fix the error code and complete the transaction. Follow up with an additional message a day or two later reminding them to try again. You could also work a discount or promo code in there as additional enticement.

GoCardless can help reduce failed payments with Success+, designed to predict and manage payment failures. When a recurring payment is declined, the system automatically retries using advanced payment intelligence. It can recover an average of 76% of failed payments, boosting revenue while improving the customer experience.

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