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Credit Cards not Being Authorized Online

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When patrons call and say that their credit card was not accepted on line, you will need to look at their shopping cart and the cart logs.

Theatre Manager does not tell the customer why their credit card was declined - only that it did not work. Their card could have been declined for a number of reasons. The bank does pass back the messages, such as:

  • Do not honored - a general message that tells you the bank wont authorize the card
  • Decline - another general message that the card is not accepted
  • Hold card - may mean that the card was stolen and the merchant is being asked to keep it
  • Insufficient Funds - mean what it says
  • AVS error - means that zip/postal code verification was incorrect. You may have overly strict AVS settings on your merchant account - so refer to your merchant account online setup or call your merchant provider directly
  • CVV error - means that the CVV2 number was not right - we can't display what was entered
  • etc.
On the off-hand possibility that the card was being used by an unauthorized person, PCI recommendations for online sales are to simply state the card cant be used and not give away any further information.

How to help the Patron?

If a patron calls in and tells you their card was declined, you need to look at their shopping cart, on the web logs page. The picture below shows the typical messages you would see if a card was successfully authorized. There are 6 main messages in process.

Anybody who is declined with not see the the 6 steps.

Instead, some time after step 1, there will be a message indicating WHY the card was declined. In such as case, you can help the patron check out their shopping cart manually (see Checkout button).