You should make a Code 10 call to the 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. You can notify the Authorization Center at: 


Visa/Mastercard/Discover: 1-800-228-1122. 


Follow the Code 10 Authorization procedures described below. Code 10 Authorization procedures apply only to situations where the card is physically present, but can be used regardless of the dollar amount of the card sale or the applicable Floor Limit.


• Call the Authorization Center and ask for a Code 10 Authorization (select option 3 or 4). This will automatically direct you to the security area of the Issuer.


• Security personnel will ask you a brief series of “Yes” or “No” questions about the card or the presenter, and may ask you to request confirming identification from the presenter.


• If the security representative is able to confirm the identity of the presenter as a valid cardmember or authorized user of the card, an authorization decision for the card sale will be given and the presenter will not be aware that anything unusual has transpired.


• Some Issuers may request that you retain the card. If you are instructed to retain the card, your employee should do so, but only if permitted by your policies and only by peaceful and reasonable means. Emphasize to your sales staff that they can make Code 10 calls even after a cardholder leaves the store. A Code 10 alert at this time may help stop fraudulent card use at another location, or perhaps during a future transaction at your store.


Please feel free to download a copy of the Merchant Handbook for your records.


Article ID: 36000166999