My Credit Card Processing Is Down! Now What?

Are you having problems with your credit card processor today? You’ve tried to hit the power button? Maybe you’ve even checked Down Detector to see why you can’t seem to get your credit card processing to start working. We’re sorry for the frustration! We know that having your credit card processing down means that you can’t serve your customers or clients and more than likely, it will affect your bottom line!

credit card processing is down

Things To Check When You Can’t Get Your Credit Card Processing To Work

1. Check Your Internet Connection And Power Supply

Most gateway and terminals will require power and  an internet connection in order to verify someone’s credit or debit card. If you are not connected to the internet, there’s a high chance that you won’t be able to process credit cards as well. You can always try to reset your router or call your internet service provider. However, if this is the reason your processing is down, you’ll more than likely just have to wait until the outage is over. 

To prevent such an outage in the future, consider having two different internet providers. One service will serve as a backup if the other one goes down. To solve the issue of possible power outages, you’ll want to get a battery, solar or generator power source for your computer system, terminal and internet router at your place of business.

2. Consider That Your Customer’s Card May Be Declined 

Is it possible that your processing is not down, but that your customer’s credit cards are declining? A decline happens when a customer’s credit card can’t be charged for one of several reasons. The customer’s address may not have been verified, fraud filters may have kicked in, there may be insufficient funds, or the card may have been reported lost of stolen – to name just a few.  

You can tell whether a customer’s card is declined by the specific error codes listed on your terminal or gateway. Error messages vary by gateway and processor so there is no way to give a standardized list. In fact, most error messages are intentionally vague to protect customer privacy. Know that if a customer’s card is declined, you should let the customer know and suggest they call their credit card company immediately! Unfortunately, there is very little you can do on the merchant side of things.

3. Check your device for any possible malfunction.

If your power supply and internet connection are reliable, you may be having issues with your specific terminal or processing device. If this is the case, you will need to contact your processor or the device manufacturer for troubleshooting. Getting malfunctioning terminals replaced should be top priority for your processor as the only way they’re making money is when you are actively processing.

4. Call your processor.

At any point throughout this process, you should feel confident in calling your processor. They should be able to let you know whether this is an outage that is affecting other merchants or not. Your processor will walk you through the steps and some of the things to check to get you up and processing payments as soon as possible. Payments professionals should be adept and experienced at dealing with various types of outages. If they are not able to solve your problem directly, they most certainly will be able to point you to someone who can.

A quick note: When you’re looking for a processor, make sure to check on their history of outages. Verify their customer service hours and level of support. Go with a processor that has great ratings and few complaints of service outages and bad customer service. When something goes wrong, you’ll want to be able to get your processor on the phone! Depending on your industry, it may be possible to get approved with a back up processor as well.

Speaking of being unable to get a hold of your processor… are you unable to get a hold of yours directly? Give us a call! We would be happy to help you troubleshoot! We often hear from frustrated merchants that they are unable to get their processor on the phone when there’s a problem. You won’t have that problem with us! With dedicated account managers for the life of the account, we make sure REAL people are available to take your call. Our certified and experienced account managers are standing by to make sure you can start back up processing as soon as possible!  

Was your merchant account shut down?

There are many different reasons a merchant’s account could be shut down including chargebacks, flagged transactions, volume limits, ticket volume limits, industry risk and more. Oftentimes, a processor will send written notice of the account closure and list the reason why the account was closed. If not, you can always give them a call directly and they should be able to tell you the reason for the account closure. 

You can check out our list of ways to avoid getting your merchant account shut down HERE, but if you feel it’s already too late for your account, you’ll want to give us a call directly. It can take days, and sometimes weeks, to find a new acquirer and get the paperwork in order so the sooner you start the process, the better. It’s time to get professional help. 

Don’t worry! All hope is not lost! We specialize in high risk and hard to acquire merchant accounts and are able to recommend ways to make yourself, your business, and your processing history look more attractive to banks and future processors. Our solutions for chargeback mitigation and fraud protection help prevent future account closures. Not to mention, our vast network of partner banks allows us to ensure you’re getting the best rates possible.

Are you feeling stuck and hopeless about your current credit card processing system? Give us a call! All of our clients are assigned a one on one account manager for the life of the account so you can rest assured that you will always be able to get someone on the phone!