Understanding Failed Payments

A failed payment can occur from both the payment processor’s end and the customer’s end. To understand why some payments fail, it is important to know first the difference between “Issuing Bank” and “Acquiring Bank”. The bank that issues the credit card or debit card to a cardholder is referred to as an “Issuing Bank” (customer’s bank). The issuing bank will then send the customer’s payment to the “Acquiring Bank” (payment partner’s bank) where the payments settle.

HelixPay makes sure that configurations with the acquiring bank are optimized to prevent decline from their side, thus, card declines that might be experienced are usually the result of the issuing bank declining the transactions. On the other hand, a customer might experience payment failure due but not limited to faulty internet connection, entering incorrect payment details, or because there is not enough balance in their account to cover the payment.

Each type of payment failure is handled differently and to understand why a transaction was most likely declined, we listed down the most common error responses per payment method.

1. Credit/Debit Card

Using card payments may lead customers to make frequent and or automatic recurring purchases as it allows a quicker and more convenient way of paying that is why it is important to address a failed payment as soon as possible. However, issuing banks only share the exact reason for a declined payment to the cardholder who has a direct relationship with the bank but we understand that asking the customer to call their bank is not an ideal customer experience. To help with understanding a failed payment, HelixPay listed down the most common reasons why a card payment was declined, along with suggestions for next steps to try and complete the payment in the table below:

Error Response

Description

Next Step

PAYMENT_EXPIRED

This type of error occurs when the processing of the payment is interrupted. It usually happens when the customer leaves the payment page either by exiting or by going back to the check-out page.

The customer will receive a failed payment message thru SMS and email which includes a payment link the customer can use to retry the payment or change to a different payment method.

Authentication failed.

Failed authentication occurs when the issuing bank rejects the transaction. It could be because of the following reasons:

  1. The One Time Pin (OTP)
    entered was incorrect;
  2. The customer did not
    receive the OTP;
  3. The OTP or authorization
    was not entered or
    approved within the
    required time frame which
    is typically within 5
    minutes; and
  4. The card is not authorized
    to be used for online
    transactions.

For reasons 1 to 3, it is suggested for the customer to try the payment again. The customer may also use the payment link from the SMS and email message to retry the payment.

If the customer has never used the card before for online transactions, it is possible that the card was not enabled to be used online, in which case the customer should check with the bank how to set it up.

Account has insufficient balance to perform this transaction.

This happens when the account does not have enough funds to cover the transaction amount.

Let the customer know the reason for the declined payment and suggest to transfer funds to their account or use a different payment method.

Payment processor service error.

This type of error occurs while the payment is being processed and returns a general error response. Some underlying reasons could be an expired payment or the issuing bank declined the transaction.

For this type of error, it is advised that the customer should try the payment again later. If it still cannot be processed, the customer should try a different payment method or contact the issuing bank.

Issuer declined with a non-generic error

Banks follow a set of rules in accepting or rejecting an online transaction. When the bank declined a payment with a non-generic error, it could mean that some of the rules have been breached by the specific transaction.

For privacy and security, the bank only gives the information about the exact reason why the payment is declined. It is best for the customer to contact their bank if they want to find out more about the decline reason(s). The customer may also use a different payment method to continue with the subscription.

Acquirer decline due to high risk.

The transaction was declined by the acquiring bank because of a suspected fraud.

It is advised for the customer to try a different payment method to continue with the subscription.

Transaction was blocked by the Acquirer

This error means that there is a rule that has been breached by the specific transaction resulting in the acquiring bank blocking the transaction.

The reason for blocking the transaction will no longer change and any further attempts will be blocked for compliance so it is best to inform the customer to try a different payment method.

2. Bank Transfer

Bank transfers let customers send money to the acquiring bank directly from their bank account. From the check-out page, the customer will be redirected to their bank’s log-in page where they can process the payment. Most failed transactions happened in this part and below are the most common reasons:

Error Response

Description

Next Step

transaction timeout

This means that the transaction takes too long to complete or there is no response received from the bank within a given time frame.

Ask the customer to try the payment again using the link in the SMS and email notification.

3. Wallet Payments

These are payments made using digital or virtual wallets where the customers deposit a balance into their wallet and use that to conduct secure online payments. HelixPay's currently available wallet payments are PayMaya Wallet, GCash, and GrabPay. The following are the common error response for Wallet Payments:

Error Response

Description

Next Step

Account has insufficient balance to perform this transaction.

This happens when the account does not have enough funds to cover the transaction amount.

Let the customer know the reason for the declined payment and suggest to transfer funds to their account or use a different payment method.

Transaction timeout

This means that the transaction takes too long to complete or there is no response received from the payment processor within a given time frame.

Ask the customer to try the payment again using the link in the SMS and email notification.

Card is expired. (*for PayMaya Wallet)

PayMaya Wallet users will have a virtual card available upon registration to PayMaya. The customer will need to upgrade their account for them to be able to use the card. The virtual card can be used for online purchases and digital services only. This type of error may occur if the virtual card of the customer has already expired.

Let the customer know that their card has expired. They can go to their PayMaya app to renew the card, or they can try to use a different payment method to continue with their subscription.


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