Card Statuses

A card's status is designated by a single capital letter in the Galileo system, as shown in the Card Statuses enumeration.



Card status is not the same as account status. The statuses may be similar in some cases, but they operate independently. Compare with the Account Statuses enumeration.

When a merchant attempts to authorize a transaction, the Galileo system checks to see whether the card is active (status: N). The account must also be active (status: N) for the transaction to be approved. When a card or account is not active the authorization request is denied.

In both the Card Statuses and Account Statuses enumerations, the columns on the right show which operations are permitted for each status. Keep in mind that the Galileo system always checks both the card and account statuses when determining whether to allow a transaction.

Changing card statuses

The original status of a card is determined by the XAACT parameter. This parameter has three characters—the third character specifies which status to assign to new cards. Default is W (waiting to be processed). For virtual and Digital First cards the value is N (normal, active), because they are activated at the time they are created.

Card statuses can be changed either manually with an endpoint or automatically by internal Galileo processes. To manually change a card status, use the Modify Status endpoint. Make sure the type affects what you want it to affect—some types affect both the card and the account, whereas others affect only the account or only the card. See Modify Status Types for the list of possible values.



When activating a card for the first time, do not use Modify Status type: 7. That setting changes the card to status: N, but it does not trigger important card-activation processes such as setting the activation date. Instead, use one of the other methods shown in Card activation in the Setting Up a Card Program guide.

Automated processes that change a card status include:

  • Emboss process — Picks up cards in status: X (set to emboss) or status: W, includes them in the batch file for the emboss vendor, and changes the cards to status: Y (ready to activate).
  • Card activation — When the cardholder activates the card using your designated methods, the card is changed to status: N (normal, active). Depending on your settings, other cards on the account may be set to status: C (canceled) at the same time. See Card activation in Setting Up a Card Program for more information.
  • Lost/stolen — When you use Modify Status to report a lost or stolen card, the process changes the card to status: L or status: S. See Lost, Stolen, or Damaged Cards for more information.
  • PIN failures — When the number of failed PIN attempts reaches a threshold, the card may be changed to status: B, depending on your settings.
  • Card reissue or replacement — When a reissued or replacement card is activated, the previous card may be set to status: C or status D, depending on the parameters you pass with the Reissue Card endpoint call. See Reissuing Cards for more information.
  • Fraud detection — If you are using Galileo's fraud-detection engine, you can configure a rule to set a card to a disabled status when certain criteria are true.

Freezing cards

Instead of reporting a card as lost or stolen, your cardholders might want to temporarily freeze a card. A frozen card cannot be used for purchases but has not been canceled. As soon as the card is unfrozen it is usable again without reissuing the card or creating a new card. Reasons for freezing a card rather than disabling or canceling it include:

  • The cardholder cannot locate their card but is not ready to report it lost or stolen.
  • Parents want to stop their teenager from accessing funds for a time.
  • A company wants to temporarily withdraw fund access for an employee.

To freeze a card call the Modify Status endpoint with type: 17. To unfreeze it use type: 18.

When you call Modify Status with type: 17 to freeze a card, use the startDate and endDate as follows:

blankblankFreeze starts at the current date-time and ends in current date-time +24 hours in Galileo System Time.
blankPopulatedFreeze start defaults to current date-time in Galileo System Time.
PopulatedblankReturns status code 2.

When unfreezing a card with type: 18, the startDate and endDate parameters are ignored and the card is unfrozen immediately.

When a card is frozen because of suspected fraud—such as when a fraud-detection rule is triggered—the expiration date is set to 3000-01-31. Fraud-related freezes that are created by the API or the CST have that same expiry date.



Modify Status types 17 and 18 do not change the card or account status. To see whether a card is frozen call the Get Card or Get Account Cards endpoint and check the freeze_info object.

  • When a card is frozen, Galileo sends the FRZN: frozen event message.
  • When you unfreeze a card using Modify Status, Galileo sends the UFRZ: unfrozen event message.
  • When a card freeze expires, Galileo does not send an event message.

Affected transaction types

When a card is frozen, it cannot be used for transactions that arrive at Galileo through the authorization stream:

  • Authorizations (purchases)
  • Completions
  • Reversals
  • Merchant credits
  • Card loads (except Green Dot and Western Union)



If you want to permit transactions on frozen cards that credit the account, set CTRNS. Setting this parameter permits reversals, merchant credits and card loads, but anything that debits the account is still blocked.

Transactions that are not initiated in the authorization stream can still be performed:

  • Settlements
  • ACH
  • Billpay, including scheduled transactions
  • Direct deposits
  • Funds movement created by automated processes or the Program API (payments, adjustments, internal transfers, fees)
  • Provisional credit and other dispute-related money movement
  • Green Dot and Western Union card loads

Events API messages

These event messages indicate stages in the card lifecycle and changes to card status. You must arrange with Galileo to receive these event messages:

  • SHIP: card_shipped — The card has been picked up by the emboss process and is included in the batch file for the embosser. Card is now in status: Y.
  • BACT: card_activated — Card has been activated and is now in status: N.
  • CSNT: card_status_change — The card status has changed to a status specified in the CDMSG parameter. This event message is triggered regardless of which process changed the status.
  • FRZN: frozen — The card has been frozen. The status has not changed.
  • UFRZ: unfrozen — The card has been unfrozen. The status has not changed. This event is not sent when a freeze expires.
  • CDFR: bulk_frozen — The card has been frozen by a bulk-freeze action in the CST.
  • RBEX: card_expiring — The card will expire in the number of configured days. Default: 30 days.
  • PSUC: card_returned — The cardholder mailed the card back and the shipping room recorded the return.
  • LSCN:lost/stolen card no replacement — The card has been marked lost or stolen and no replacement card has been created. Status is L or S.
  • LSCR:lost/stolen card with replacement — The card has been marked lost or stolen and a replacement card has been created. Status is L or S.