Credit card security and fallout.

We’ve noticed an increasing number of customers complain that their card transaction is being declined, apparently for no reason, when using our website to buy parts. This is mainly over the past 2 weeks and I’ve looked into each case. Most of the time it is due to the address details entered not matching those on the card authorisation database. I guess the card processing people, in our case Cardsave, have tightened up their security checks. I have spoken with them and the only way to avoid being caught by it is to enter your payment address details exactly as shown on your card statement.

One side effect of this, as we discovered with one such case this week, is that if a transaction is declined due to incorrect address details, the money is still set aside in case the transaction is later authorised. The money apparently does not actually leave your account, but is just not available for you to use. The problem is that if you only just have enough money in the account to cover the transaction and you try again with the correct address details, it gets declined again,  this time due to lack of available funds caused by the first declined transaction.

I’d not heard of this happening before, and to me it seems like complete madness – surely nothing should happen to your funds if a transaction is declined,  but after speaking to Cardsave about it, they tell me that this is standard procedure and the money is available to use back  in your account in 4 – 5 days.  I’m guessing all the card processing companies will operate in a similar way.

Apparently it only happens when a transaction is declined due to incorrect address details. Nothing happens to your funds if the transaction is declined for any other reason.

I do not like this, but security is security and there doesn’t seem to be much we can do about it. The key is to avoid it happening by very carefully entering your details exactly as they are on your card statement. If your transaction is declined, it is unlikely to be a fault with our website, although we will always investigate if you think it is, it is more likely a slight mismatch of your details compared to the card company database.

What are your thoughts, experiences and comments?




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