Why did I get result code 13?

PayPal returned result code 13 - Referral error.

The following reasons can produce result code 13 during transaction processing:

  • The cardholder's bank has refused the transactions because a voice referral is being issued. This is equivalent to a "Call Center" response.
  • Merchants using TSYS: An incorrect ZIP code is on record at the processor or at PayPal.
  • Some transactions can't be authorized over the Internet (for example, high dollar amounts), and require manual authorization.

If you get this error message, try to resolve it using one of the following methods:

Transaction declined
Typically, you request a voice authorization from a card-issuing bank when you receive a referral error message. This error message indicates that the card issuer is requesting direct contact with the merchant (you) to authorize the sale. Have your merchant account information (Merchant ID, etc.), the credit card number, expiration date, and amount available before contacting the bank.
  • For MasterCard and Visa, see your monthly statement for the toll-free authorization phone number or contact the customer service department of your merchant bank.
  • For American Express, Discover and Diners Authorization Only/Authorization Deposit, contact the appropriate authorization center:
  • American Express, 1-800-528-5200, option 3.
  • Discover, 1-800-347-1111, option 1.
  • Diners Club, 1-800-525-7376.
  • If the credit card number isn't available, contact the cardholder to get it.

If the bank approves the transaction, the bank will give you a voice authorization code for the transaction. You can enter it online using the Virtual Terminal within PayPal Manager: Here's how:
  1. Log in to your PayPal Manager account.
  2. Click Virtual Terminal.
  3. Click Single Transaction.
  4. In Step 1, set the following values:
    • Tender Type - Credit Card.
    • Transaction Type - Voice Authorization.
    • Credit Card Number - Your full credit card number, using no spaces or dashes.
    • Voice Authorization Number - The six-digit voice authorization code.
    • Transaction Mode - Live.
  5. Click Submit.
  6. In Step 2, fill out any additional transaction details including the expiration date and approved dollar amount.
  7. Click Submit.
You should then receive an approval message on the next screen indicating that the transaction has successfully completed.

Note: Voice authorizations are immediate sales, settled with the current batch. No additional capture is needed.

You can also submit Voice Authorization transactions via API by including the AUTHCODE in your transaction request. An example of a Voice Authorization request parameter string follows:

Note: Voice authorizations aren't available when processing through PayPal.

TSYS - Incorrect ZIP code
If your processor is TSYS, contact your merchant bank to verify the ZIP code you have on file with TSYS. After confirming this information, contact the PayPal Merchant Services support department by email at payflow-support@paypal.com, or by phone at 1-888-215-5506 (Monday - Friday, 7:00 A.M. to 8:00 P.M. Central Time) and ask to have your TSYS information updated.

Transaction requires manual authorization
Follow your organization's procedures for handling such transactions.