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Unusual number of declines from overseas customers

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Web Hosting Master
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 634

Unusual number of declines from overseas customers

We have a client that is experiencing an unusual number of declines from overseas customers (mostly European), and especially from UK customers. On average they do anywhere from 2000-5000 transactions per month, and apparently they have at least a couple dozen inquiries a week from overseas customers with authorization problems who swear their card should be fine.

Is that affected by the choice of payment processor or is that strictly an issue with the card issuing bank? They are currently using Authorize.Net, but are thinking of switching to Verisign because of Authorize.Net's recent problems. We generally advise clients to use CyberSource and we haven't had any complaints similar to this, but due to the merchant bank restrictions they can't use CyberSource. Would switching to Verisign improve the situation at all? I've already checked the transaction reports, and these are almost always straight up declines, not failures to contact the card issuing bank. Due to the nature of what they sell, they have extremely low rates of fraud and therefore have what I would call very loose AVS restrictions (i.e. they take just about anything in), so I don't think that's the issue. Any thoughts?

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Texan at Heart
Join Date: Jul 2003
Location: Castle Pines, CO
Posts: 7,189
What do you have set up on the's gateway's page for AVS, etc? I know unfortunately on their status page, you have to choose a few things - have you verified to make sure everything is fine there?

Web Hosting Master
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 634
That was the first thing I checked. They aren't using FraudScreen.Net and they don't have any of the AVS reject conditions checked--as I said, they pretty much take in everything regardless of the AVS result. I think they've only had 3 fraudulant transactions out of tens of thousands, and they purposefully choose to pretty much ignore the AVS results because it was interfering with legitimate orders (mostly from overseas).

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The E-Commerce Answer Guy
Join Date: Aug 2003
Location: Chesapeake, VA
Posts: 3,375
Are they using Wells Fargo? Or who is their processor?

One other thing to keep in mind is that the source of the problem may be the merchant's acquiring bank or processor.

It is possible on most authorization networks for the processor to scrub out certain BIN's or set their own internal AVS matching requirements... and if this conditions are not met, the auth network might be declining it even though the issuer did not.

This may or may not be your answer - just something to keep in mind as a possibility.

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Web Hosting Master
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 634
Thanks for the info CDG, I'll followup on that. They're using Global Payments for processing. Apparently they've got a Verisign gateway account now, though their website is still interfacing with Authorize.Net. I told them to try the Verisign virtual terminal when an overseas customer contacts them with problems to see if the payment processor makes a difference.


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