Understanding Credit Card Processing Problems

Understanding Credit Card Processing Problems

One of the most frustrating experiences a merchant can encounter is setting up and integrating their merchant account, and then being unable to process credit cards. While this blog has already discussed declined credit card transactions in depth, here we will go beyond these instances to help you understand credit card processing problems.

Sometimes we will have a merchant discover that their transactions are not processing and they can’t figure out why. Instabill’s team of tech support experts take the time to talk with our merchants and help them find the underlying cause of their problems.

Here are a few of the most common credit card processing problems that you may encounter.

Customers with Bad Cards

This is the most common problem. Examples of customers with bad cards include insufficient funds or a credit card issuing bank blocking an unusual transaction. Keep in mind that these are valid declines and there is nothing wrong with your merchant account, payment gateway, or any other technical aspect of your credit card processing system. The customer is simply using a card that their issuing bank will not approve at that time.

When your customer receives a declined message on a transaction, he or she should contact their bank.

Transaction and Payment Gateway Problems

Our tech team is here to help you with transaction and payment gateway problems, and they can often solve them very quickly. Most of the time, they need to change a setting or fix a bug.

One scenario that falls into this category is that you may not be requiring your customers to submit enough information. Your payment gateway has requirements, and if you don’t meet those requirements then you may run into processing problems.

It’s also very important that your customers supply accurate information to avoid simple problems. If your customers refuse to provide certain details, ask your merchant account manager for help. Waiving such details may require approval high up in the chain of command.

Small bugs are another scenario. Although you may find a small bug here or there in your payment gateway, our technical department works hard to ensure nothing affects your credit card processing. However, on occasion, you may find one. (We admit it—we’re not perfect!)

When and if you do encounter a bug, please report it to us with as many details that you can remember. It’s our number one priority that you have as much processing uptime as possible. Even if our tech team can’t respond immediately, we will fix the bug immediately.

Problems Beyond Your Payment Gateway

If there is a problem with your acquiring bank, this can trickle down to you. At this point, our tech team diligently works with your acquiring bank to determine the problem and fix it as soon as possible. We ask our merchant to keep in mind that when the problem is with your acquiring bank, the most we can do is keep the lines of communication open between you and your bank.

If you’re unable to process transactions, receive an approval, or understand the decline bank codes, then it may be time to contact us regarding the status of your payment gateway and transactions. Send us an email with a screenshot that includes error codes or specific transaction IDs. The screenshot will allow our tech team to see exactly what you see.

Sometimes, especially with a new merchant account, you may need to adjust your settings a bit—for instance, changing a setting that allows you to process credit cards for your business model or an acquiring bank is no longer available to process your payments.

For this reason, it’s a great idea to have multiple merchant accounts, even on the same payment gateway. Having multiple accounts will allow you to have a backup in case one acquiring bank has credit card processing problems. Another benefit is that sometimes you can get one merchant account to approve a transaction that another account declined (so long as you don’t violate PCI DSS by saving card data).

There are a few different places where you’ll run into credit card processing problems in any financial system. However, your Instabill merchant account manager and tech support team are here to help you accept credit cards online with as few problems as possible.

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