Why has my Rooster Card been declined?

Here are some of the most common reasons that the Rooster Card will be declined.

Remember! We send through push notifications to both the parent and child devices whenever a payment is declined, and these include the reason for the decline. Make sure you have these turned on by following the steps here >> How to turn Push notifications on/off

A quick overview of the decline reasons can be seen in the table below - scroll down to view a more detailed explanation for each of the decline reasons.

Decline Reason Explanation 
Spend pot balance If your child wishes to spend money held in pots other than the Spend pot, they will need to transfer the money to their Spend pot first.
First payment in-store The first payment that you make in-store must be via chip and PIN.
Card Settings If your child tries to spend outside of what you have allowed, the payment will be declined. You can change the Card Settings in the app.
Online purchase Things to check:
1. Do you have Online Spending turned on in the Card Settings?
2. Have you requested a new CVV code?
Contactless SCA Regulations - If your child is regularly making payments using contactless, then every now and again the card will be declined and your child will need to use their chip and PIN.
Blocked Merchant Categories The Rooster Card cannot make purchases from places classed as intended for people aged 18+.


Spend Pot Balance

Only the money held in the Spend pot is linked to the Rooster Card, so if your child tries to spend more than the amount in there it will be declined. 

If your child wishes to spend money that is held in other pots (such as Save and Goals), then they will need to transfer this money to their Spend pot to make the purchase.

Read how to do this here >> Removing money from Save back to Spend

If you don’t want them tapping into their savings, you can lock their Save pot so they can only add money to it, not move any out. See how to do this here >> How to lock your child's savings so they can't remove money

First Payment

The first payment you make in a physical store with the Rooster Card must be a chip and PIN transaction. You will need to insert the card into the terminal and enter your PIN to fully activate the card. If you swipe the card or try and use contactless the payment will be declined. 
After that first payment, contactless will be good to go! We don’t support magstripe payments so swiping the Rooster Card will never work.  
Alternatively, if your child enters their PIN at an ATM, this also activates their Rooster Card for contactless spending. This can double up with changing the PIN to something more memorable at the ATM terminal. 

Card Settings

Parents can choose where a child’s Rooster Card can and cannot be used, and set spending limits from their RoosterMoney app. 
If your child tries to spend outside of what the parent has allowed, the payment will be declined. 
You can check the card settings (and if you are the parent, change them) by tapping ‘Card’ then ‘Card settings’ in the app. 
Note on the ‘Spending abroad’ control: some online shops will charge you from outside of the UK. If you have ‘Spending abroad’ switched off and your child’s online payment gets declined, this might be the reason. Try turning ‘Spending abroad’ on, and then trying the online payment again. 
Online Purchase
If your child’s online purchase attempt has been declined then the first thing to check is that you have “Online Purchases” turned on in the Card Settings. You can check this by following the steps above.
If you have turned on Online Spending and the transaction is still not going through, then it may be because the CVV code has expired. The Rooster Card uses a dynamic CVV code which means it’s a one-time use code that expires after it’s first use or after 15 minutes - whichever comes first! You can generate a new CVV code in the app by tapping “Card” and “Get CVV”.
You can read more about the dynamic CVV code here >> How to use dynamic CVV

Contactless declined due to SCA regulations

The SCA regulations in the UK mean that every 1 in 5 contactless payment will be declined and you will need to use chip and PIN instead. This is to keep your card secure and applies to all payment cards, not just the Rooster Card. 

Shops may not be able to tell you that this is the reason for the decline, so if contactless doesn’t work the best thing is to try chip and PIN. 

If you find that contactless is still not working after making a chip and PIN transaction, pop us a message to hello@roostermoney.com and we will be more than happy to help.

MCC (Merchant Category Code)

The Rooster Card cannot make purchases from places classed as intended for people ages 18+. We use the information that shops provide to the Visa Category scheme to determine this. Based on how shops have listed themselves, there may be cases where these blocks can’t be resolved by us.  
For example,  your local corner shop may have categorised themselves as an off-license as although they sell all the essentials, they also sell alcohol behind the counter. The Rooster Card cannot be used in the shop due to that reason. However, if they have listed themselves as a general retailer, the card can be used in the shop.

The categories we block are:

  • Nightlife
  • Alcohol
  • Tobacco
  • Fuel
  • Gambling
  • Airlines
  • Money transfers


If your card gets declined because of how a shop has categorised itself, and you don’t think it should have been blocked, please get in touch on hello@roostermoney.com to let us know. We review these regularly to make sure we are getting it right! 

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