Why was a charge declined?

Declines can happen for a variety of reasons that are determined by the cardholder's bank. Each bank has a system that takes into account various signals, such as the cardholder's spending habits, account balance, and card information like the expiration date and CVV/CVC security number.

Since these signals are constantly changing, a previously successful card might be declined in the future.

Even if all of the card information is correct and the cardholder previously had a successful payment, a future charge can still be declined by a bank’s overzealous fraud systems.

Finding out more information about a specific decline

GoVisually shows all the information we receive from the cardholder’s bank and the payment processor (e.g. Stripe) about a decline in the error message, therefore we don’t have specific information as to why a charge was declined.

If the card information (card number, expiration date, billing zip code, CVV/CVC) is correct but there is still trouble checking out, the cardholder needs to contact their bank.   

The cardholder's bank is declining the charge and sending the error. Therefore, only the bank knows why the transaction was declined and how to correct the issue.  

Error Messages

“Your card does not support this type of purchase."

  • Some debit cards require a PIN to be entered. If the cardholder is using one of these cards, they'll need to use another card to make the purchase.
  • Some cards have restrictions on international purchases. If the card was issued in a country other than where your business is located, this might be the problem. In this case, the cardholder needs to contact their bank.
  • Some cards (often corporate cards or FSA cards) can only be used for certain business categories, like travel or healthcare.

“Your card is not supported.”

  • Some payment processors restrict card brands (i.e. Discover, Mastercard) based on the country your store is located in. For example, Stripe currently doesn't support Discover cards in Canada.
  • The cardholder needs to use a different brand of card that would be supported for the country where your store is located.

  “Your card has insufficient funds.” 

  • The cardholder's bank is saying that they don't have enough funds in their account to cover the costs of the purchase.
  • Sometimes cardholders' banks don't properly assess the risk of currency conversion of purchases. If they see that the purchase is in a different currency then the bank will decline the charge as insufficient funds so the currency conversion or the currency conversion fee doesn't overdraw the account.
  • If a cardholder sees this error message, they should contact their bank.

  “The Zipcode you supplied failed validation."

  • The bank is telling the payment processor that the zip code does not match the one it has on file.
  • If the cardholder has recently moved, it may take their bank a while to have the correct zip code on file for them.
  • If the cardholder hasn't recently moved, they need to call their bank and confirm that the information their bank has on file is correct.