Been Googling about your VISA payment being declined today, 1 June 2018?
You’re not the only one.
There is no issue with your card, but it’s VISA themselves that’s having the issue.
Your card doesn’t just get declined because you have no money. If it gets declined you don’t need to panic and there are things you can do to put it right.
I decided to buy something the other evening – shock horror!!
We have been talking for a while about buying a bit of software we can use on the blog and have been putting it off for some time.
I know that by owning it the blog will grow and we might be able to earn more money but, on the other hand, it means I have to spend money.
Naomi and I had a long chat and, feeling a little nervous, I double checked my bank to see the money was there and headed to the website.
Even though we had made the decision I was still a little unsure.
I checked the pages again, seeing what this product could actually do. Searched for any discount codes.
I even spent a good hour reading reviews to make sure we were making the right choice.
Naomi started getting a bit frustrated and was shifting in her chair. I know that she could tell I was putting the decision off.
Enough was enough. I clicked the buy now button and was taken to the payment page.
I was met with two options: pay by card or pay by PayPal.
My initial reaction was PayPal would be easier as I wouldn’t have to get my debit card out and enter all the information.
Plus, I presumed that because PayPal offers buyer protection, it would actually be safer than using a debit/credit card (please tell me if this is wrong as I am genuinely interested in this debate!)
I decided to go with my debit card and popped in my details. I clicked through to the final confirmation screen but something put me off.
It wasn’t the site, it wasn’t the product, it was the thought that the money (which to be fair wasn’t a lot) was going to leave my account.
So, much to Naomi’s dissatisfaction, I clicked away and started reading the news on the BBC.
Around another five minutes passed and I still didn’t venture back to the page.
Naomi still hadn’t said anything but had twigged that I was thinking about spending the money so didn’t push me.
It’s nuts to think that when you haven’t had a lot in the past, the idea of leaving yourself with nothing again is the last thing you ever want to do.
I’ve found that even if we have money in the bank, I struggle to buy something if it goes below a certain level for fear we’ll run out. Talk about paranoia!
Well, the paranoia well and truly kicked in. I went back to the payment screen, hit the last payment button and watched the turning circle and waited for the confirmation screen.
PANIC SET IN!
Instead of seeing the usual “thank you for your order” screen that you usually get after an online payment, all I saw was payment declined.
MY HEART SANK!
My heart started to race. My breathing got deeper. think I even started to sweat!
Did I have enough money in my account?? EEEK!!
Where has my money gone?
What has been paid out that I forgot about?
Oh no! Worse – someone has hacked my account and have stolen all my money!
How on earth am I going to pay rent? The landlord will kick us and out we’ll be homeless.
My mind spiralled a catastrophe of events in a few short seconds. From not being able to make a small purchase online, I now imagined myself homeless! Talk about going overboard!
Luckily, my practical mind then started to take over. There must be a reason why the payment was declined and, whatever happened, I will be able to fix it.
If this has ever happened to you, don’t immediately think the worst! There could actually be a straightforward reason for it happening.
Here are seven of the more common reasons why card payments are declined.
(Lack of) funds in your account
If my payment is declined the first thing I check is if there was actually money in my bank.
I know that I checked the available balance before making the purchase but I didn’t know if something else had happened in the meantime.
I love online banking as it’s so quick and easy to check everything and move money around. After a quick check and if everything is in order then I can see if there is anything else.
If there were insufficient funds in the bank, the purchase would get automatically declined.
You got it wrong
Did you enter the details properly in the first place? It could be something very simple such as keying the wrong card number in or you put in the wrong CVV (the last three digits on the back of the card). It could even be that the card readers are faulty?
Has your card hit an expiry date? Maybe you have a new card sitting on the side that needs to be used instead?
Have you moved and not told your bank (this has happened to me before!)? After moving house, I did an online food order.
However, I hadn’t got around to changing my address with the bank. One question on the order is usually is the billing address the same as the shipping address.
I ticked yes forgetting I hadn’t updated my bank and the payment was declined.
Is the card type accepted?
Some places don’t accept all cards types. Although VISA is accepted pretty much everywhere, a VISA Electron is not accepted by a large number of retailers still.
Double check which cards are accepted and you may find your answer.
If your bank or card issuer suspects fraud and that there may be someone else using your card then they could put a stop to the payment to protect you.
If you usually make all your purchases in your hometown, making a payment a few hundred miles up the road could trigger fraud warning on the computer systems at the bank.
It can be annoying/embarrassing/cringe-worthy when it happens but I would much prefer my bank to be cautious than lose loads of money!
Some banks automatically put a stop to paying for things internationally. If they see your card is from the UK and you suddenly make a purchase in India or Russia, it will set off alarm bells.
This could cause the bank to put a stop on your card. Again, this is just trying to protect you.
If you’ve been making a lot of purchases, or you’ve just tried to spend a very large sum of money, and the bank aren’t used to seeing that kind of spending habit then the bank may reject the transaction.
It’s down to protecting you and your money again. Rather than getting overly embarrassed (or even angry at the bank) I always am just thankful that they are looking after my cash.
Card payments can sometimes be declined purely because of an issue at their end.
If you have been making a payment and nothing else it untoward then it could be the card issuer that has the fault. Twitter is a good way to see if anything is happening anywhere else in the country.
With real-time tweets, it could be that peace of mind that nothing else it wrong.
When things have been quite bad in the past there have been trending hashtags so it doesn’t hurt to look.
What do you do if your card is declined?
First off, try not to panic or get upset. There are so many reasons why a card could be declined and it may not be the worst thing you can think of that’s the cause.
Firstly check to make sure that your card is valid and in date, that you have entered all the correct information, that your card is accepted and that you have enough money in your account.
If everything seems okay then you need to get in contact with your bank.
If you are out shopping then you may be near a bank and can pop in and just ask. Alternatively, you can call your bank and just ask.
If you look on the back of your bank card, there is usually a phone number so you don’t even need to have internet access to find the number. If you can get online make sure you find a free geographical number.
Be nice to the person you speak to at the bank (you may be angry or upset but that won’t help matters over the phone). With a small conversation, they will be able to get the bottom of the problem and let you know what happens next.
For my purchase, after checking my online account (again), I called the bank and they blocked my purchase as I was buying from the USA. They told me to wait five minutes and try again. Five minutes later, my purchase went through and my panic was well and truly over.
Moral of the story – if your card is declined although you may get anxious you don’t necessarily have to go straight into panic mode and get red-faced.
There are many different reasons why a card is rejected and more of them point to something other than not having enough money in your account.
Have you had your card declined even though you had enough cash in the bank? Let me know in the comments.
Ricky Willis is the original Skint Dad. A money-making enthusiast, father, and husband to Naomi. He is always looking for unique ways to earn a little extra.