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  1. #1
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    Valid card declined by CDGCommerce / iTransact gateway

    For a long time I have suspected that valid recurring charges are being declined by my CDGCommerce / iTransact gateway merchant account, but today I finally got proof: my own card, which I had used for testing, was declined. I know it's valid because I've been using it without problems for months. The only error message supplied was "AUTH DECLINED 200"

    I asked CDGCommerce about this problem once, but the response I got from their help desk was very curt and unhelpful, so perhaps they will explain in more detail here.
    Grant Spy "The grant-seeker's intelligence source"

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
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    2,825
    A 200 error is typically an insufficient funds error (at least from my experience). Basically - the card is valid, but there's no money and the card issuing bank is declining the charge.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
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    Auth Declined 200 - Cardholder's bank did not approve transaction.

    I too have seen this in ALL gateways not just iTransact. For whatever reason the Cardholder's bank declined the transaction. This is not the gateway or the merchant account provider giving the decline but the Cardholder's bank.

    I have had customers contact us back after contacting the bank and I have see anything from insufficient funds to over daily limit to too many attempts per day to one merchant account. I have seen that last one on mine all the time when doing integrations

    There can be many other reasons as well but the banks to not tell the gateways the reason why

    If you PM me the ticket number I will look into why a more indepth response was not sent.
    If it works, do not mess with it.
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  4. #4
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    Call your bank - today here is plenty of "filters" set by bank anti-fraud system and they often "block" good transactions because it's not "feet" their criterias.

    I have so many issues with using card on internet - it's got suspended every couple of weeks by bank, here is nothing wrong with payment processing gateway.

    Call your bank customer service and ask them to set selected merchants into "good list" - this seems to be the only solution.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
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    I have noticed a few weird declines lately (using cdg with authnet). I used to have that happen quite a lot with epn, which is why I switched to authnet.

    Scenario: customer submits transaction, gets declined (not for AVS or CVV) submits again, gets accepted, using same credit card. The time between transaction submissions is not sufficient for the customer to have called their bank, and it doesn't appear that anything has changed in the customer's entries.

    It's only happened a couple of times in the past few weeks and has never happened before with authnet. Kind of annoying but not enough to open a ticket. Makes one wonder about other declines where the customer gives up or sends me a frustration-filled email.

    I wish authnet would pass on more info as to reasons for declines.

  6. #6
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    It's always been my impression that gateways have very limited decline information to pass on, as CDGJerry mentioned. And the declines can be related to insufficient funds, fraud filters, or other reasons.

    Like in a retail environment, it seems best to be polite and emphasize to the customer that the decline may not be due in any way to the customer's funds availability. Seek out another credit card from the customer, or encourage Paypal use in those instances?

    Sometimes a card declined for unknown reasons by Authorize.net will process through PayPal or another gateway.

    -mike
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  7. #7
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    I think that the answer to this question has been pretty much addressed already here in the forum, but to clarify 100% - the approval or decline decision on any given transaction is not made by CDGcommerce (or any other merchant processor) but rather by the issuing bank for the credit card in question.

    The issuing bank is not limited in the reasons it has to decline a given transaction and the reason may have absolutely nothing to do with the amount of credit line actually available on the card.

    Some card issuers may automatically flag a card if the purchase pattern is out of the statistical norm or represents an unusual purchase pattern. They may decline it if there is a certain velocity of transactions taking place on that specific card or any of many dozens of other potential reasons.

    I have had several situations with my own credit cards over the years where a transaction - including a recurring transaction - was declined by my card issuing bank for reasons like the above, even when there was more than ample credit available for the transaction and sometimes even when I had made previous purchases from the same company.

    While I do fully appreciate that we ALL like approved sales far more than declined ones, it is important to focus on the source of it - the issuing bank - as opposed to the merchant processor, who plays no role in the actual approval or decline decision process at all.
    CDGcommerce.com - Trusted Merchant Account Solutions since 1998
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  8. #8
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    Sep 2005
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mike - Limestone View Post
    It's always been my impression that gateways have very limited decline information to pass on

    -mike
    epn passed on more info for declines than authnet does. One notable example: use of stolen credit card.

    Now that to me is a VERY useful bit of info!

    Quote Originally Posted by cdgcommerce
    the approval or decline decision on any given transaction is not made by CDGcommerce (or any other merchant processor) but rather by the issuing bank for the credit card in question.
    Some of the things I've noticed (initially declined then accepted with no changes in entries and little time elapsed between transactions) it seems to me can be attributed to a "hiccup" somewhere in the system. Fortunately with authnet it's very rare. (See http://www.webhostingtalk.com/showth...05#post5065205)

  9. #9
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    It really depends on the authorization decline reason code. There are reason codes that do contain useful info that the gateway can then pass on but a lot of times it is just a blanket "Authorization Declined" reason code which doesn't shed much light on WHY it was declined.
    CDGcommerce.com - Trusted Merchant Account Solutions since 1998
    Many thousands of successful, growing businesses benefit from our expertise every day. You can, too!
    We help merchants to eliminate gateway costs, reduce & mitigate fraud and achieve streamlined PCI compliance.
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  10. #10
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    San Diego
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    Thanks for all the responses. These are recurring charges I'm talking about, BTW. It's especially frustrating because the declines come in batches. For example, my own declined charge was immediately followed by another decline seconds later. I used to assume that was only because all the transactions for that day were run around the same time, but now I'm not so sure. It seems like the system gets into a bad mood sometimes and refuses to do its work--a "hiccup", as someone put it.

    Quote Originally Posted by steven-v View Post
    Call your bank customer service and ask them to set selected merchants into "good list" - this seems to be the only solution.
    I don't know what bank I would call. I have never dealt directly with "the bank", only with CDGCommerce.

    BTW, I do sometimes get more specific error messages. I'm not so worried about those.
    Grant Spy "The grant-seeker's intelligence source"

  11. #11
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    Call your credit card bank and ask them why THEY declined the transaction
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  12. #12
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    I don't currently ask customers for CVV numbers; would the banks love me more if I did?
    Grant Spy "The grant-seeker's intelligence source"

  13. #13
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    Hi Spridel,

    Regarding your question on CVV, it all comes down to the individual issuer so there is no "set" answer. That said, it certainly couldn't hurt to get a positive CVV match. It is also hypothetically possible that with an extra data point like CVV, the risk scoring matrix at an issuer might allow the transaction to be approved whereas without that it could possibly be declined.

    In fact, on this same topic, I had an interesting conversation today at a trade show with a representative from MasterCard where we touched on the same topic and she re-iterated how every issuer sets their own criteria for this process and it varies greatly.

    Another example she gave is that one issuing bank may decline on an outdated expiration date while another issuing bank may approve a card with an outdated expiration. And a third issuing bank may sometimes decline and sometimes approve in that situation depending on other data points such as the card purchasing pattern that day, the velocity of transactions and other aggregated data for that card.

    I know that it is always easier when we can all get concrete answers on the "why" behind any situation but unfortunately with issuer banks on an outright auth decline, it is impossible to know exactly why the issuer declined it unless you knew exactly what their internal risk management and authorization approval process was which is not something that they would want to share for fear of it being abused by fraudsters.
    CDGcommerce.com - Trusted Merchant Account Solutions since 1998
    Many thousands of successful, growing businesses benefit from our expertise every day. You can, too!
    We help merchants to eliminate gateway costs, reduce & mitigate fraud and achieve streamlined PCI compliance.
    Learn more today at http://www.cdgcommerce.com - we look forward to helping your business grow!

  14. #14
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    I'm seeing this behavior also. All on recurring charges and usually international customers. Over the last couple of months it has started. No chargebacks, nothing negative. Heck, even authorizations of $1 to verify the card is declined.

    One interesting point though is that one customer tried a card from a completely different company (according them, I don't recall if I checked bin). That card was declined. So, if it's from a different bank, what the heck is going on?

    CDG, is there a filter at the mastercard/visa level, before the banks? The banks are promising the customer that they aren't blocking anything and there isn't any transactions from us but I can see them there in black and white.

    If I do a voice authorization, it usually goes through, but the the next month (this month) the same transaction amount is declined.

    I've asked around and some of the bigger players here are seeing this too.
    -Steven | u2-web, LLC - Clustered Shared Hosting
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  15. #15
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    If you cannot see the error code which explain you the reason means the gateway is not connected in a good manner with the banking or with the acquirer gateway, you can see the error code and thn take out the details yourself.
    many filters now a days check if you have put the wrong CVV or anything wrong and tried to submit card the velocity file which blocks the card for e.g. for 24 hours till your card can again be used on their gateway or you can request them to remove the card from the blacklist you can do that as well, but they going to answer you in 24 hours so lets wait


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  16. #16
    Quote Originally Posted by steven99 View Post
    Heck, even authorizations of $1 to verify the card is declined.
    We have noticed that some of our vendors (who charge their fees to our company credit cards) will test (auth) a card for $1.00 when we change expiration or cards numbers.

    That $1 authorization will (90% of the time) throw our card into a fraud lock and require that we call the bank to "unlock". The reason given? Fraudsters "test" cards with $1 authorizations MORE than any legit business.

  17. #17
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    Another interesting item for this discussion. If I use the authorize.net virtual terminal, it goes through without issue but if the customer tries to add their card to the billing system so it can charge the $1 verification charge (which is voided) it is declined. They also decline the same amount from the billing system.

    So, I'm starting to think that the card companies are filtering out for charges coming from anything but a terminal.

    Also, on the charge that went through the address verification returned street match, but on the declined one it gave "Address information not available." So, why it gave different returns for that, I'm not sure.

    Ideas?
    -Steven | u2-web, LLC - Clustered Shared Hosting
    "It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it" -Aristotle

  18. #18
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    There isn't anything fundamentally different on a virtual terminal transaction versus a non-VT transaction if you look at the actual data fields being transmitted for any Visa/MC e-commerce transaction so I think that this is going to again fall into the realm of an issuer-centric reason.

    For instance, the first transaction run (regardless of whether via VT or another method) goes through OK but then the system starts flagging it on the issuer side for the next transaction.

    Regarding a reason why same information would first produce a street match on the AVS result and then the very same information providing a "not available" AVS response on a subsequent transaction - that again is from the issuing side. In fact, there is even the possibility that the issuing bank in question was having a system issue at the time. (This is rare but it does happen)

    Or there is another possible explanation for all of this... maybe the Visa and MasterCard network now runs on Windows!
    CDGcommerce.com - Trusted Merchant Account Solutions since 1998
    Many thousands of successful, growing businesses benefit from our expertise every day. You can, too!
    We help merchants to eliminate gateway costs, reduce & mitigate fraud and achieve streamlined PCI compliance.
    Learn more today at http://www.cdgcommerce.com - we look forward to helping your business grow!

  19. #19
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    Huh... where am I again?
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    Well, the thing is earlier before the transaction that worked the billing system tried to charge the amount and failed. The one that worked was from the virtual terminal. The second (last one) failed and was from the billing system.

    I am 100% sure I can reproduce this with other customers that have had this issue. And the address not available always comes up when it is declined, so it's not a "System outage".

    EDIT: Also, don't forget this is from multiple credit card companies.
    Last edited by steven99; 07-29-2008 at 09:07 PM.
    -Steven | u2-web, LLC - Clustered Shared Hosting
    "It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it" -Aristotle

  20. #20
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    We are using Patflow Pro and were recently advised by PayPal that the higher decline rate we are experiencing results from a tightening of the filters used by issuing banks. Our use of $1 authorizations (which we immediately cancel), followed by significantly higher $ transactions within a short time period, is apparently what matches a fraud profile. Typically, the $1 auth and it's cancelation goes through, as well as a couple of sale transactions (each over $1000). But by the third sale transaction the declines begin.

    We use the $1 authorizations primarily to validate the card and create a transaction we can later reference in subsequent sale transactions that use the same card. A transaction can be used as a source of card information for up to one year, and therefore we avoid storing that information in our database.

    So now we have to somehow change this method to avoid fitting the fraud profile. Although it will result in a greater number of transactions fees, I wonder if a $1 sale transaction (auth & capture), followed by a $1 credit transaction, would get by the filters. Most fraudsters would not be issuing credits.

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by JimMartin View Post
    Typically, the $1 auth and it's cancelation goes through, as well as a couple of sale transactions (each over $1000). But by the third sale transaction the declines begin.
    Yeah, same thing with us but the thing is we've had the same customer on the same card for around two years with monthly amounts of the same and then they filter it out. To sensitive if you ask me. Some customers range in "successful" transactions of 6 months to a year.
    Quote Originally Posted by JimMartin View Post
    We use the $1 authorizations primarily to validate the card and create a transaction we can later reference in subsequent sale transactions that use the same card.
    We do the same thing for the same reason. Heck, Apple does the same thing with iTunes Music store.
    -Steven | u2-web, LLC - Clustered Shared Hosting
    "It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it" -Aristotle

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