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Credit Cards are declined/unapproved when swiped through a Magnetic Stripe Reader (MSR), but are approved when entered by hand into the POS.

Most likely the MSR (also known as magswipe) is configured improperly. If the MSR is connected to the computer as a keyboard wedge device, do the following:

1. Open up the Notepad application on the computer (normally under Start | Programs | Accessories)

2. On the very first line of the Notepad window, swipe a credit card through the MSR.

3. The format should read as follows:

%B1111111111111111^DOE/JOHN^YYMM111111111111 22222222222?

This normally will appear on one line within the Notepad window. Make sure that Word Wrap is turned off (Format | Word Wrap). A carriage return in the middle could be the problem, or incorrect special characters are being used.

Pay particular attention to the special characters in the format above (% and ; being the two most important ones) and make sure the MSR printout follows this format. If it does not, you will need to contact the manufacturer of your MSR and program the device to follow the above format. You might also check your MSR manual and setup guide for details regarding Track #1 & #2 settings.
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  1. Dave J

  2. Posted