The most common and the most irritating error message when you accept credit card payments in your online business: “Transaction rejected by credit card company”.
What is it?
This can appear any time. That’s the most common error message. It can look like:
- Rejected by credit card company
- Card declined
- Card declined by an issuer
All these error messages say one thing only – this card (transaction) has been rejected by an issuer (customer’s bank).
What can you do with it?
Not too much. When this error appears – that can mean anything. That your customers don’t have enough money on their bank account, that limits on the card are too low, that this card is blocked or inactive, that your customer doesn’t have limits defined for such transactions (e.g. Internet transactions or MOTO transactions), that your customer’s bank classified this transaction as a fraudulent one.
In other words: that could really be anything. And in most cases you are not able to do anything about that, except one thing – talk to your customer.
There are also several questions that you should ask your customer to help solve the problem.
What should you ask your customer?
I recommend to ask these questions…
- Did you have an amount of XXX (amount and currency of the unsuccessful transaction) on YYY (date of unsuccessful transaction) at ZZZ (time of unsuccessful transaction) on a credit card with card number ending with QQQQ (4 last digits of the credit card number from the unsuccessful transaction)?
- Did you activate the option of online payments on this card? Could you please send us a screenshot so that we can check what it looks like in your bank interface and if it is properly set?
- Are transaction volume limits for (online/MOTO) transactions on the credit card QQQQ (4 last digits of credit card number) higher than XXX (amount and currency of the unsuccessful transaction)? Could you please send us a screenshot so that we can check what it looks like in your bank interface and if it is properly set?
- Did you set transactions quantity limits for (online/MOTO) transactions on the credit card QQQQ (4 last digits of credit card number)? Could you please send us a screenshot so that we can check what it looks like in your bank interface and if it is properly set?
- Could you please log in to RRR (name of your online product) and check if all the credit card details are right? Especially in terms of your name (name on card) and expiration date.
- Did you pay for something in any other web store in the last couple of weeks using the card QQQQ (4 last digits of credit card number)? Was it a successful transaction? When did you pay online with this card last?
- Did you have to put some password while paying online (e.g. from SMS)? Was it a 3d secure transaction (Verified by Visa / MasterCard SecureCode)? Did you have some problems with it?
What to do after that?
Once you receive answers to these questions, you should analyze them. For instance if you know the limits on the customer’s credit card – you should check if these limits are high enough to pay for your service.
Let say your customer has limits like:
- 1500 EUR and 5 transactions per day
- 5000 EUR and 10 transactions per month
If the last transaction was done today and it was 1000 EUR and your transaction is for 510 EUR, then your transaction will be rejected. If your customer has already paid five times today, the next transaction will be rejected. If your customer has already paid 10 times this month – your transaction will be rejected. If your amount is higher than the customer’s limits – transaction will be rejected. If the last successful transaction was a 3d secure transaction and you are not using this mechanism – that could be the reason why your transaction was rejected.
If you still can’t find a reason why this transaction was rejected – you can only ask your customer to call their bank and ask about it (better provide your customer with some details of the transaction, such as the four last digits of their credit card number, date and time of the unsuccessful transaction, amount and currency of the unsuccessful transaction, because that will help their bank to find it in their systems).