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Obtaining a manual authorisation

With an electronic terminal, the authorisation check is nearly always automatic. Sometimes however, your terminal will prompt you to obtain manual authorisation, known as a referral.

If you have a mobile or portable terminal, this will have been handed to the customer to enter their PIN. You should always take back the terminal from your customer as soon as the PIN is entered.

If prompted to do so, make a telephone call to the number displayed on the terminal. You should have the card and the completed sales voucher (if using the paper fallback procedure) in your possession. Make sure that the goods are out of the customer’s reach.

The Authorisation Operator will ask you for the following information:

• The card number
• The card issue number (if applicable)
• Your AIB Merchant Services Merchant number
• The exact amount of the card transaction
• The card expiry date.

You may also be asked to for:

• The name embossed on the card
• Whether the presenter of the card is male or female.

The Authorisation Operator may require you to ask the customer to show you an identity document, such as a driver’s licence.

If the transaction is authorised, the Authorisation Operator will give you an authorisation code that you can enter on the terminal.

In some cases the Authorisation Operator may ask to speak directly to the customer. Ensure that you obtain the authorisation code directly from the Authorisation Operator and not from the customer.

Authorisation only guarantees that at the point of sale the card has not been reported lost or stolen and that sufficient funds are available.

If the Authorisation Operator declines to authorise a transaction, follow the operator’s instructions and ask the customer to pay by other means.

For more information: see the Merchant Procedure Guide.


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© 2020 First Merchant Processing (Ireland) DAC trading as AIB Merchant Services. All Rights Reserved. All trademarks, service marks, and trade names referenced in this material are the property of their respective owners. First Merchant Processing (Ireland) DAC is a joint venture between Allied Irish Banks, p.l.c. and First Data Corporation. The joint venture is a separate legal entity from Allied Irish Banks, p.l.c. and its subsidiary companies. "AIB" and the AIB logo are the registered trademarks of Allied Irish Banks, p.l.c. and are used under licence by First Merchant Processing (Ireland) DAC. First Merchant Processing (Ireland) DAC, trading as AIB Merchant Services, is regulated by the Central Bank of Ireland.

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