If your credit or debit card fails to process a payment the failure message, called a decline code, should explain why (i.e. incorrect_address is corrected by using the billing address associated with your card).
But some decline codes can be vague: do_not_honor, generic_decline, or transaction_not_allowed. This article will cover how to resolve a vague decline code.
How Payment Processing Works
There are two possible points at which Stripe (our payment processor) can reject cards: Validation and Charging.
Validation is about security – is the card real, is the authorized person using it, etc. It is a common practice for online merchants. In some cases, validation involves a test charge between $0 and $1. The test charge is refunded; the timing of the refund is up to the bank.
Some banking institutions run multiple validation systems. And, although less common, we have seen issues where the primary system validated a card, but a secondary system rejected it. The bank was only checking the primary system and saying that there were no problems – until they looked at the secondary system.
A real attempt to collect money from the card.
What You Can Do: Contact Your Bank
Contact your bank and ask two very specific sets of questions. These questions should help your bank or financial institution resolve the issue:
The first set is about validation. Do not skip a question.
- Did the bank see Covenant Eye’s attempt to validate my card?
- Did the bank decline to validate my card?
- Why did the bank decline to validate my card?
- Would the bank allow my card to be validated?
The second set of questions applies to the charge aspect of the transaction. Again, do not skip a question.
- Did the bank see Covenant Eye’s attempt to charge my card?
- Did the bank decline to charge my card?
- Why did the bank decline to charge my card?
- Would the bank allow my card to be charged?
If we can provide additional support, please contact us.