A patron's credit card was declined (or the transaction failed) yet the customer states the credit card company has deducted the amount. Why is that?
First, review the transaction and the details of why it was declined on the Credit Card History screen. (Access Accounting > Credit Card History from the home / main menu, enter the transaction date in the Date field and click the Update button. You will see all cc transactions attempted on that date.)
If the charge shows anything other than "This transaction has been approved", the transaction was declined by their credit card company and WILL NOT settle as a final charge with the bank. The charge may show as "pending" on their card for up to 72 hours. But typically these drop off the card within 24 hours. This is standard credit card operation for declined charges. Note that the hold of this type on their card is being held by THEIR CREDIT CARD COMPANY... not by you or by us.
You can instruct the patron to check back with their credit card company to make sure the charge has gone away. Most charges clear within 24 hours. If the patron is overly concerned, you can tell them to ask their credit card company "Is this charge in a pending state? If so, since it was actually declined, it will drop off my card soon, correct?" Hopefully the cc company will confirm this.
Note that sometimes a charge that was declined for some reason such as "AVS Mismatch" will show an authorization code. This does not mean that the charge will succeed. Unless the charge shows successful on the CC History screen, it WILL NOT settle with the bank.
Also, the system is set up to decline multiple duplicate transactions that are made in rapid succession. If a card was declined because a patron or box office employee accidentally entered some required information incorrectly multiple times (e.g. card number, card security code, billing zip code, or expiration date), the system may require you to wait before running the transaction on the same card again.
Here's how we recommend your box officers deal with these types of errors:
1) Attempt the card the first time. If you get something like an "AVS mismatch", inform the patron the transaction did not succeed and let them know that their cc company is saying that the address information we are sending to them does not match their info on their CC acct.
2) Confirm the information with them on their acct, asking if this matches the billing information on their CC. Make any corrections.
3) Try the card again, if the patron wishes. If you get the same error then encourage them to contact their CC company to ask why the mismatch is being sent. LET THEM KNOW that there will likely be pending transactions showing on their card that will disappear usually within 24 hours. This is done by the CC company itself on mismatches like this.
4) If the 2nd try didn't work, we'd recommend asking them for a different credit card or other method of payment for the transaction.
Other Error Messages when attempting a credit card transaction
Note that errors such as "Card Declined" or other rejections come directly from the patron's credit card company. So if they do not feel the card should be declined they will want to contact their card issuer to discuss why it was not allowed to process.
VISA, Mastercard, American Express GIFT cards
We have gotten reports from some clients that some of the credit card type of GIFT cards (wherein a card was purchased at a store with a pre-set spending limit with the intent of giving as a gift) have not worked to process on orders via our system. Below is some information from our Merchant Provider regarding the processing of these cards:
"Some pre-paid credit cards do not allow internet based transactions. This is to lower fraud risks if the card is stolen. However, not all cards are setup this way. Some issuers of these cards feel it is more than worth the extra risk to allow their pre-paid card holders to access web based businesses. AVS (Address Verification System) also can be an issue. Some pre-paid cards can be setup with a patron's address information but again this is dependent on the issuer. More particularly, pre-paid Gift cards, like those found at local retailers, will be much less likely to allow a card holder to add his or her address information to the card."