What to look for in the CL file

If you’re investigating a really weird credit card issue and you can’t figure out what next, reading the log files is a good next step. You don’t need to be a super genius, and you don’t even need to read the whole file. The log files are there to give you a hint as to what’s going on.

Every card swipe in POSitouch should end up with at least two lines in the CL file:

  1. SALE – This is the authorization of the credit card. It happens when the card is swiped at the CC Auth screen.
  2. GRATUITY – This happens when the check is closed; it is POSitouch telling SlipStream/Txnplus what the tip on the card should be.

The SALE Line

There’s a lot of text, but most of it you can ignore. This is what the sale line looks like:

SALE   Check#:0003 [AT&UM4 4 1 0 01 xxxxxxxxxxxx9401 * 13.85 ...] 08/03/12 11:35:18
Response: [250 1 A 4 xxxxxxxxxxxx9401 xxxx 1 06124S ...] 08/03/12 11:35:20

The red bits are what POSitouch sent to SlipStream. The purple bits are what SlipStream replied back with. We can see what this transaction was:

  • Check#:0003 – Duh, this is the check number
  • xxxxxxx9401 – We can see the last four digits of the card number
  • 13.85 – We can see the authorization amount

And on the response:

  • 250 – This is a code that means “success”. Any other number, like “206” or “207” means that the authorization failed.
  • xxxxxxx9401 – Again we can see the card number
  • 06124S – This is the auth number. We can verify which transaction we’re looking at by matching up the auth numbers.


GRATUITY   Check#:0003 [AT&UM19 4 1 0 01 xxxxxxxxxxxx9401 * 13.85 06124S ... 3.00 ...] 08/03/12 11:38:30
Response: [250 1 A 19 xxxxxxxxxxxx9401 xxxx 1 06124S ... 3.00 ...] 08/03/12 11:38:31

Again, red is what POSitouch said, and purple is what SlipStream replied with. We can still see the check number, card number, and we can see the authorization number also. The new thing we see is the 3.00. This is the tip amount. If we see this, then we know that SlipStream should have put a 3.00 tip on the card.

What do I do with this?

Reading the log file didn’t really answer any questions for us, but it let us tell the story of what happened:

  • At 11:35:18, POSitouch asked SlipStream to authorize card xxxxx9401 for $13.85.
  • At 11:35:20, SlipStream replied with a successful authorization, auth code 06124S.
  • At 11:38:30, POSitouch asked SlipStream to put a $3.00 tip on the card.
  • At 11:38:31, SlipStream replied saying it did it successfully.

Telling this story lets us know that everything worked out properly. SlipStream responded back with a successful authorization and successfully added a tip when POSitouch asked it to. If there were a problem that kept us from getting an authorization, then we’d see it here in the CL file. You might see messages like:

  • “NO TRANSIT RESPONSE” if SlipStream wasn’t running
  • “[206 0 Declined]” to let you know the processor declined the card.
  • “[207 0 Modem initialization failed]” to let you know that SlipStream tried to use the dial-up modem, but couldn’t find it (why is it trying to use the modem? Is the Internet down?)