Reasons for Debit Card Declines at the Merchant Point of Sale

No one expects their benefit debit card for FSA, HRA, and/or HSA to decline when they use it; however, there are many reasons why this can happen.

Most Frequent Valid Decline Reasons for the FSA, HRA, and/or HSA Benefit Debit Card:

  1. The card has not been activated or has been suspended.
  2. The card has no funds remaining, or the card has insufficient funds and the merchant does not support partial authorization.
  3. The cardholder is attempting to purchase only non-healthcare eligible items with a card that has only an FSA and/or HRA purse (and some HSA).
  4. The participants plan only reimburses the prescription drug amount and

    • The merchant does not send the Rx amount in the authorization message, or
    • The plan requires a match to claim(s) from a pharmacy benefit manager (the cardholder’s prescription drug plan) and the transaction failed to match, or
    • The merchants sends the Rx amount, but does not support partial authorization and there are non-Rx items being purchased.
  1. The participant’s card has not been loaded with funds for the new plan year because of delays by the employer or the plan administrator in getting the enrollment file to the issuer processor.
  2. The merchant sent an expiration date that does not match the date in the issuer processor’s system – this can happen when there is an error manually entering the expiration date.
  3. The merchant manually enters in a card number that does not match a valid card on file with the issuer.
  4. The cardholder was issued a new card, either because their employer changed plan administrators or they changed employers, but is continuing to use the old card that has been closed.
  5. The participant’s benefit plan does not allow the participant to use their card at a 90% registered merchant. Some benefit plans only allow the participant to use their card at an IIAS certified merchant that is using a point of sale system.
  6. The participant tried to use their card as a PIN debit and the merchant does not support PIN debit FSA transactions.
  7. The merchant’s POS may not be up to date with the latest BIN file updates or Eligible Product List updates.

If the cardholder experiences an unexpected decline, please have them call the number on the back of their card to determine more information about the reason for the decline.

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