If your event charges fees to attend, you may notice that a small number of payments from registrants or ticket buyers may be declined or blocked. 

  • For registration forms configured to require a payment and to charge registrants immediately, these registrants won't be able to complete their registration until a payment is successfully processed.
  • For registration forms configured to charge a registrant only when the registration is manually approved by the organizer, the registration will be accepted, but you may later experience errors when you attempt to approve the registration and charge the credit card. In this case, you'll need to follow up with the registrant directly to resolve the payment issue. Read on for guidance on how you can resolve a failed payment. 
  • For ticket purchases, a payment must succeed before a ticket order will be placed. The ticket buyer will need to correct the payment error before they can purchase any tickets.

Learn more about declined payments.

Viewing Details For Declined Payments

To get more details about payment failures, you should look in your Stripe Dashboard > Payments section.

Common Reasons For Declined & Blocked Payments

The Credit Card's Issuing Bank Declined A Payment

When a charge is submitted to the issuing bank of your customer’s card, they have automated systems that determine whether or not to authorize it. 

These systems take various signals into account, such as your customer’s spending habits, account balance, and card information like the expiration date and CVC There are numerous reasons why the customer's issuing bank could decline a payment:

  1. The credit card didn't have enough balance to allow the transaction.
  2. Cardholder details entered were not correct.
  3. The purchase does not match cardholder spending habits.
  4. The card expiration date and/or CVC is incorrect.
  5. For corporate credit cards, there may be numerous corporate spending restrictions placed on the card that prevent the purchase.
  6. The card was used too many times to frequently or matched certain fraudulent spending patterns.
  7. The card issuer may provide one of these more specific reasons to Stripe through the use of a decline code.

If your customer’s card issuer declines a payment, you should visit your Stripe Dashboard where you'll find more information explaining the reason the payment was declined. 

In some cases, card issuers also provide helpful explanations, such as the card number or expiration date being incorrect, or that the customer does not have enough funds available to make the payment. You can view this information in your Stripe Dashboard.

Unfortunately, most declines are categorized as “generic” so it’s not always possible to know exactly why a payment was declined. If all of the card information seems correct, it is best to have your customer contact their card issuer and ask for more information. 

For privacy and security, card issuers can only discuss the specifics of a declined payment with their cardholders–they cannot discuss this with the event organizer.

Stripe Declined And/Or Blocked A Payment.

Stripe can sometimes get over-protective and flag transactions as "high-risk". There are many reasons this can happen, but the most common are that: 

  • the payment was evaluated by Stripe’s fraud prevention system as having an elevated risk of fraud.
  • the payment was made from outside your country.
  • the payment amount was greater than a certain amount.
  • the payment makes use of an email address from an unusual domain.

To get more details about payment failures, you can always look in your Stripe Dashboard

How To Resolve Declined Payments

Charge Registrant Immediately

If a payment has been declined, and your registration form is set up to charge the registrant immediately, you can:

  1. Reach out to your customer over email and ask them to try another credit card to complete their registration.
  2. Reach out to your customer over email and ask them to resolve the declined payment either by contact their credit card's issuing bank, or if appropriate, adding additional funds to their credit card. 

Charge Registration Only On Approval

If a payment is declined, and your registration form is set up to charge the registrant only when their registration is approved, you'll need to manually follow up with the customer to resolve the payment issue. 

Depending on the payment error, you may need to ask the registrant to follow-up with their bank to resolve the issue, add funds to their credit card, or ask them to use a different credit card.

In this case, you'll need to manually follow up directly with the customer by phone or email. When communicating over email, we do not recommend that you ask for updated payment details (e.g. credit card number, security code, etc.) over email since sending payment details by email is not secure. If you need to collect payment details needed to update Stripe, you should do this over a phone call.

  1. Follow these instructions to update the credit card details for the customer in Stripe, then try to re-approve the registration to process the payment once you understand the issue to be addressed by your customer.
  2. Directly inform your customer via email to contact their credit card's issuing bank to resolve the matter, then try to re-approve the registration to process the payment once you understand the issue to be addressed by your customer. 

If Stripe's fraud prevention mechanism blocks a payment, and you believe the payment is not fraudulent, you can mark the blocked payment as "Safe" from your Stripe Dashboard. See this Stripe article for more info. 

Reducing Declined & Blocked Payments

We recommend that you regularly review and approve elevated risk payments from your Stripe Dashboard > Radar > Reviews list.  

By doing this, you'll help Stripe to better understand which transactions are "normal" so there's less chance of a payment getting accidentally declined or blocked in the future. 

You can also contact support@stripe.com to inform them that a specific payment is not high-risk. They should be able to approve the charge to allow it to be processed. When contacting Stripe, you'll need the charge Id (e.g. "ch_1CKzGaJcMadLu12fbdDxMN3H") of the failed payment.

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