A transaction can be declined because of different reasons, namely from the terminal's side, card issuer's side and acquirer's side. To be able to identify the concrete reason of each declined transaction, some analyses should be necessary.
At first it's required to note if it's about a single refused transaction or several refused transactions with different cards. It's also important to note since when the transactions are being refused in case of having many declined ones.
At this point, only a single refused transaction could probably linked to a specific card issue.
Hereby you can find the most common reasons for several declined transactions:
- Out of order
When the terminal isn't showing "read card" on the screen but "out of order" instead, no single transaction attempt will be approved. Please check the main article about this topic to be able to get your terminal back to "Read Card".
- Issuer's limit
A card could be refused because of its own daily/weekly/monthly limits. So it needs to be taken into consideration while accepting transactions of bigger amounts.
- Wrong usage
To be able to accept a transaction the cardholder has to wait for the bip sound and not remove the card before.
- Cold message
A transaction can be refused because of an issue during the previous one. If the previous transaction was interrupted during the processing because of a network issue or by turning the terminal off, a "cold message" could be generated. Please follow the steps as described in the main article to be able to remove the "cold message".
- Acquirer's special restrictions
It's important to know that each acquirer has its own restrictions. So it's important to clarify in advance with the acquirer if some special transaction options like manual pan entry or refund option are allowed or not.
- Hardware issue
A transaction can be refused because of an hardware issue of the terminal. In case of detecting refused transactions only during one specific transaction type (NFC, mag or chip&pin), a hardware test could be the best solution to find out if a specific functionality of the terminal is working or not.
In case of detecting a hardware issue, please contact your terminal provider to find a solution.
- Android Hardware test
- Linux Hardware test