Sometimes a credit card network will give vague rejection codes to customers. You might have run into one. This article shares what we know and advice on how to proceed.
What We Know
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.
When a card fails, the failure code and message should explain why. Many of these are easy to fix (e.g. incorrect_address is corrected by using a correct address). However, some customers are seeing vague codes. And, the same set of vague codes is showing up for both validation and charge issues. Codes may include do_not_honor, generic_decline, or transaction_not_allowed. Dealing with these codes means contacting your bank.
What You Can Do
Contact your bank and ask two very specific set of questions. 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?
Those questions should help you work with your financial institution to smooth things out. If we can provide additional support, please contact us. Call us at 989.720.8000 or use chat support. Our Customer Service Team is ready to serve you.