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101 ways credit card transactions can fail on your website

There are a number of reasons a credit card authorisation (when a user is trying to buy something on your website) can fail, in fact there around a 100 valid reasons a card can fail.   Out of those 100, there are usually only one or two that are in relation to the card holder not having “sufficient funds”.

If the card holder has “sufficient funds” and the payment still fails, common reasons this transaction has failed include:

  1. The card holder has entered the incorrect card number, expiry date or CVV.
  2. The card holder is trying to use an AMEX or Diners Club card (if you are not setup to process these cards, then obviously this will fail)
  3. The payment gateway has blocked the transaction due “fraud screening”).  This usually happens if an Australian issued card is being used from an overseas location.  Most payment gateways will allow you to “release” (or approve) this transaction if it occurs.

Steps you should take:

  1.  If a customer contacts you saying their card doesn’t work, the first port of call should logging into your payment gateway (most of our clients use eWay or Stripe).  You can then investigate why this card has failed.
  2. If you have had a high volume of transactions that fail (e.g. on a normal day you might expect to see 10% of transactions fail, but today 100% of them are failing) , you should contact us asap.