Why does my online credit card payment fail?

Secure online credit card processing in real-time is outsourced to a merchant payment service provider called Ingenico (previously Ogone) https://payment-services.ingenico.com/int/en

Because of the complexity of the matter and to guarantee the highest level of security, outsourcing online payment transactions is common practice and relates to virtually any payment transaction you encounter on the web.

It is a common issue though that a certain number of online credit card transactions would fail - sometimes the reasons for failure of a transaction are obvious (wrong card number, card limit reached, . ) sometimes the reasons are less obvious and may relate to fraud prevention and/or other security measures implemented by credit card companies.

Every single possible reason for transaction failure though is strictly beyond ISHS control and ISHS - in its position as the beneficiary of the transaction - is not even receiving feedback from the respective credit card companies as to what exactly may have caused a transaction to fail.

This means that unfortunately ISHS cannot really assist in solving the issue which is strictly a matter between the card issuing credit card company (who refused to authorize the transaction) and the credit card holder (who initiated the process to have the amount of the transaction charged to his/her credit card).

In case of a transaction failure, ISHS recommends to first try using an alternative credit card, or to give it another try with the same credit card again but at a later time. In most cases this would solve the issue.

Do carefully check the card details before confirming the transaction for processing. Alternatively try using PayPal instead (know that PayPal allows you to have the transaction charged to your credit card).

Should the transaction continue to fail and before moving over to slower and/or more expensive 'offline' payment methods such as a wire transfer in the ISHS bank account (contact ISHS for details or to request an invoice) you might want to get in touch with your credit card company first. Your credit card company will be able to check the transaction log for your credit card and help fix the problem.

A list of common reasons why payments fail:

  • Your credit card limit was reached (insufficient funds)

Check your credit limit. You might have reached your daily or total credit card limit on the day you tried to charge your card. If this is the case, ask your credit card company to increase your limit.

  • The charge exceeded the maximum amount allowed for a single charge

    Check the maximum amount your card can be charged at a single time. If the declined charge is higher than this amount, ask your credit card company to increase the limit

  • Your card reached the maximum number of charges allowed in a period:

    Check how many times your card can be charged in given time period. If you reached this amount, ask your bank to increase the limit, wait until your card can be charged again, or make a payment with a different payment method.

  • Your card doesn't accept charges from an online source

    Make sure your card allows online transactions. If it doesn't, talk to your credit card company about allowing these charges. Or use another card

  • Your card doesn't allow international transactions

    If you're making payments from abroad, make sure your card accepts international charges. If it doesn't, ask your bank to change this or use another card.

  • Your card is not authorised for transactions of the classification type MO/TO

    contact your financial institution to allow transactions of classification type MO/TO (which stands for mail order/telephone order)

  • Wrong expiration date

    Review the expiration date on your credit card. If your card expired, use another card

  • Wrong credit card number

    You should get an error message indicating the card number is not valid. If not, carefully check the card number when filling out the form.

  • Billing address

    Make sure that the billing address you use for the transaction matches those that your credit card company has. Address matching is however not very likely to be the main cause of a transaction failure.

  • Why was my credit card limit lowered?

    You pay your bills on time. So why did the credit card company lower the limit?

    By Trent Hamm , Guest blogger March 8, 2010

    • Why did my credit limit increase

    Why did my credit limit increase

    Jennifer writes in:

    Yesterday, I received a notice from [my credit card company] that my credit limit had been lowered from $10,000 to $4,000 on my primary credit card. I was immediately worried that my credit had been damaged by identity theft, so I checked it on annualcreditreport.com and there was nothing there at all. I’ve always paid all of my bills on time and my life has been pretty much normal and unchanged for a long time. Why would they make this change? I’m not concerned about reaching my credit limit, but that reduction in my limit does alter my debt-to-credit ratio, which could negatively impact my credit rating.

    Jennifer describes a pretty typical scenario today. A credit card company sends a letter out of nowhere, for no obvious reason, announcing a significant drop in one’s credit limit.

    One big effect that such a drop has is that it alters your debt-to-credit ratio, as Jennifer mentions. Simply put, your debt-to-credit ratio tells what percentage of your credit limit across all of your credit cards you’re actually using. So, let’s say Jennifer had a $3,000 balance on her $10,000 card – that’s a 30% debt-to-credit ratio. When the company drops her credit limit, she then had a $3,000 balance on a $4,000 card – that’s a 75% debt-to-credit ratio. The higher your debt-to-credit ratio, the more negative impact it has on your credit score.

    This type of behavior seems alien, particularly after a decade where credit card issuers would commonly raise credit limits without you even asking. What gives?

    The reality of the credit card industry has changed. For one, the econmic downturn has seen a large spike in the number of people who have simply defaulted on their credit card bills, not bothering to pay them. For another, the Credit Cardholders’ Bill of Right Act recently became the law of the land, restricting some of the business practices of the credit card companies.

    Credit limits are not a right. Another issue is that many people, particularly after the last decade of rampant growth in credit limits, view their limits as something of a right and when credit card companies reduce those limits, their rights are somehow being infringed. In truth, that’s not the case at all – your cardholder agreement makes it very clear that your credit limit and your interest rate can be changed at any time.

    So how do they decide when to lower your limit?

    They watch what you buy via data mining. Every time you make a credit card purchase, the credit card issuer’s computers store a record of that purchase (you’ll see such information on your bill). Obviously, this is a wealth of information, one that they can use to figure out all sorts of things, such as where you live (so that if you suddenly make a rash of purchases elsewhere, they can throw a block on the card).

    They draw conclusions based on what you buy. Another thing that they do is watch what you buy. They look at the places you normally shop and draw conclusions based on that.

    Let’s say Jennifer normally shops for clothing at, say, Banana Republic (I don’t know this, I’m just creating a hypothetical example). Based on this, the credit card company would conclude that she fits the profile of an average Banana Republic customer, meaning she has a fair amount of discretionary income.

    Now, let’s say Jennifer is suddenly a bit worried about the economy. She and her husband decide to curb their spending and she starts doing things like buying soap at the dollar store with her credit card.

    When the credit card company analyzes the data, looking for spending changes that might affect credit limits, they’ll observe from their data that Jennifer is spending a lot less at the Banana Republic and a lot more at the dollar store. That means she’s got a different spending profile – one that signifies the potential for financial trouble.

    They act in accordance to those conclusions. Given their recent problems with people defaulting on credit card debt, they take pre-emptive action and reduce her credit limit.

    To Jennifer, this seems sudden and unfair – and for good reason. She’s likely not in any true financial trouble at all and is simply choosing to be a bit thrifty in these uncertain times.

    What can you do to protect yourself? The truth is that Jennifer should avoid being in any kind of position where such a credit limit change has any impact at all on her. In other words, don’t be reliant on that piece of plastic. Use it as a tool instead of as something you need to have.

    One big way to do that is to never carry a balance on your card. If a bill comes at the end of the month, pay it off. If you’re thinking of making a purchase where you wouldn’t be able to do that, you can’t afford that purchase. Wait a few months and save up the cash.

    This not only keeps your debt-to-credit ratio pretty low, but it also leaves you out of any sort of “danger” from the credit card company adjusting your limits or your interest rates. More importantly, though, it prevents you from building up a significant amount of debt on the card, which can be very, very difficult to pay off.

    Use your credit cards wisely and changes like what happened to Jennifer will have little or no impact on your life.

    The Christian Science Monitor has assembled a diverse group of the best economy-related bloggers out there. Our guest bloggers are not employed or directed by the Monitor and the views expressed are the bloggers' own, as is responsibility for the content of their blogs. To contact us about a blogger, click here. To add or view a comment on a guest blog, please go to the blogger's own site by clicking on the link above.


    Once you've established good payment history with a credit card company, you may be looking to expand your credit limit beyond the initial offering. Whether your limit is $500 or $50,000, sometimes you need a little more cash to complete home projects or buy holiday gifts. Because of the recession, lenders have been stingier with credit. But maintaining a solid history should enable you to negotiate reasonable increases in your credit limit. Most banks require at least six months of spotless credit history to consider an increase; others may call for one year of on-time payments.

    Do I need more credit? Sometimes, it is a good idea to ask for a higher credit limit. If you need to make a large purchase like car repair or a home improvement project, the interest rate on your credit card is likely lower than a credit card from the local home improvement store. If you're seeking a higher credit limit to buy holiday gifts, determine whether you can pay off the balance before the interest payments begin to outweigh the benefits.

    How do I prepare to ask for a credit limit increase? It's best to have your ducks in a row before asking your credit card company to raise your limit. Check your credit report and make sure there are no erroneous entries that could cause the bank to turn you down. Review your payment history to ensure you've been paying on time, and consider paying down your balance. Lenders grant more credit to those with higher credit scores, so make sure your financial house is in order before you go to the bank with your hand out.

    How do I ask the bank to increase my credit limit? Many times, banks and credit card companies offer credit limit increases after a specific period of time to customers with good credit. If your credit is less than perfect, though, you may need to negotiate with the lender for more leeway. Several banks offer online credit limit increase forms, and others have customer service representatives who handle credit limit increases.

    Be sure to keep your request reasonable. An exorbitant figure could flag your account as suspicious. In this case, the worst that can happen is for a lender to deny your request. If you are refused a credit limit increase, spend a few more months paying your bills on time and improving your credit score, and ask again. As you build history as a good customer, lenders will be much more generous than they are with new, unproven customers.

    If you have any questions about how to increase your credit limit or you need to begin credit repair, call Trinity Credit Services today.

    Why did my credit limit increase

    Trinity Credit Services has set the industry standard as a reputable organization among credit repair agencies. We're committed to obtaining the best results possible for each client.

    Why Timing Is Everything When Asking for Your Credit Limit Increase

    When is a good time to ask for a credit limit increase? Some times are better than others to ask for a raise in your credit line. First and foremost, ask yourself why a credit limit increase is important to you. Do you need to make a bigger purchase in the future? Or are you just looking to have more to spend? If you answered yes to the first question and no to the second, read on about the right and wrong times to ask for a credit limit increase.

    Good time: When your credit is strong

    Anytime you ask for any line of credit, or increase in your limit, the credit issuer is going to pull your credit history, and anytime your credit report is pulled up in what is known as a "hard pull," it can drag your credit score down by a few points, for as much as a year. If your credit score is really strong, it can be a good time to ask for an increase.

    Bad time: When you've been late on bills

    If you have been late on paying your bills, even by just a day or two, it's not a good time to ask for a credit limit increase. You will be viewed as a risky bet who may be headed for financial trouble and not a good candidate for an increase.

    Good time: When you get a raise

    If you've landed a great new job, or better yet, a raise or promotion at your existing company, it might not be a bad time to request a credit limit increase since your debt-to-credit ratio may be lower. Unlike the old days, you may need to provide proof of your increased income. Give the bank a call and ask what they might be looking for before authorizing them to do a hard pull of your credit score.

    Bad time: Right after opening other lines of credit

    If you've recently opened new lines of credit, or have increased others, including auto loans or even financing at an appliance store or dentist, you've increased your debt load. Even if you haven't spent much of the new line of credit, creditors will see these new, higher limits as your potential debt, which they will measure against what you make, how much debt you already have, and other factors such as payment history. Play it cool for a while and keep up with making timely, not almost timely, payments.

    Bad time: When you're traveling

    When you are traveling, not only might you be tempted to spend more than usual, but creditors may also see that you are more open to fraud or theft. If you call your credit card company asking for a raise while you are traveling and have lots of new charges made far away from home, it's probably not a good time to ask for an increase.

    Good time: When you don't really need it

    Yes, the bottom line is that credit card companies are more likely to give you an increase to your credit line when it is least important to you. Why? Because that is when you are at the lowest risk of defaulting on your bills. When you're taking care of your credit, your credit score improves, as well as your perceived ability to pay it back. Be smart and spend less, save more, and you won't even be thinking about the offers of increased credit limits that will show up in your mailbox.

    How to Ask Your Credit Card to Increase Your Credit Limit

    The first credit card I ever got was an AT&T Universal Card because someone had a table outside Doherty Hall at Carnegie Mellon University, my alma mater. I may have gotten a t-shirt out of it too.

    The biggest appeal of the card? The fact that I could get one as a freshman with no income (the guy told me to put my tuition for salary… I'm pretty sure that wasn't legit).

    Fast forward a million years and I no longer have that card (it no longer exists, but you can still see an application page for it — 35 cents per minute domestic calls!) and instead use a series of three cards depending on the situation. All told, our total “credit limit” across every card (several of which are in the desk drawer) is over a hundred thousand dollars.

    How did we get that much credit? Simple. We just asked for more.

    And kept asking. And asking.

    You can get more credit too, all you have to do is ask!

    Why would you do this? It can improve your credit score. Credit utilization is a major factor in your credit score and credit utilization is a simple math calculation – total credit used divided by total credit available. When you increase your credit limit, you are increasing your total credit… thus lowering utilization.

    There are three ways you can get your credit card to increase your credit limit:

    • Wait – As you demonstrate that you can use and pay off credit, card issuers will increase it automatically. But you're not the type to wait around for things to happen, so let's talk about the other two.
    • Ask via telephone – Call the customer service number on the back and navigate your way to a human being. Then ask about the process for increasing your credit limit without a credit inquiry. This is always an option but I've never actually done this myself because you can also…
    • Ask online – Almost every credit card issuer has a way to request a credit line increase online. Customer service representatives in a call center cost money, computers do not. This is the way I've always done it and this is what I recommend. You can get a credit line increase faster than you can reach a human being on the telephone. There are some issuers, like Chase for example, that require you to call in.

    When doing this online, and on the phone but it's less obvious, you want to get the increase without a credit report request. When it doubt, especially on the phone, ask if the increase request will require a credit review. If it does, don't submit the request. If you don't know, don't submit the request. Better safe than sorry.

    We include screenshots for Citi, CapitalOne, and American Express below but each issuer follows the same basic flow. Find your credit management area of the account and look for Request Credit Limit Increase. On the request page, confirm that the issuer will not initiate an inquiry with your credit bureau or request your credit report.

    You should look for language like “instant approval” or “automatic” – which means a computer will have made the decision based the numbers they have in front of them. If it requires a manual review or a credit check, stop. That hard inquiry will more than negate the positive effects of an increase.

    If in doubt, don't make the request.

    Table of Contents

    Log into your account and click on Account Management in the top menu.

    Under Balance Transfers, Lines & Loans, click on Request a Credit Line Increase.

    This is the screen you'll see:

    As you can see, it says “A credit bureau report will not be requested and you will receive an instant decision.”

    For Citi, you don't even need to enter in the amount you want. Just enter your annual income, your housing payment, and boom!

    It took 10 seconds and my credit limit went from $16,000 to $18,200 with no credit pull. A 13.75% increase in the limit of my card with no risk involved.

    I could ask for more but it would require a credit review, which includes a credit report hard inquiry, which would decrease my score. I don't need the credit limit for the limit, so I stop.

    Log into your account and click on Services in the top menu.

    Under Card Services, click on Request Credit Line Increase.

    This is the screen you'll see:

    Again, it states that “Checking your eligibility will not affect your credit score.”

    I submitted in my information, confirmed on the subsequent page (not shown), and boom!

    A $1,000 increase on a $10,000 credit limit, increasing my credit line by 10%.

    If those were my only two credit cards, my total credit would've increased from $26,000 to $29,200. For thirty seconds of work, I've increased my total limits by $3200 (+12.3%).

    Log into your account and click on Profile in the top menu. On the next page, click on Credit Management in the sidebar.

    You will see a Increase Line of Credit option, make sure you are on the correct account before continuing.

    American Express will require you to enter the 4-digit number on the front of your card first, followed by the total amount of credit you want. For the previous two, you simply requested an increase and found out.

    Sometimes your request will not be automatically accepted, this will happen if you requested and were granted an increase recently. “Recently” could be as few as six months or as long as 18 months, it depends on the issuer's practices.

    Here's what CapitalOne will show you if your request requires further review:

    In this case, CapitalOne will not increase an account that's less than 3 months old or received a credit line increase or decrease in the last six months.

    With the American Express walkthrough, I was actually given a “further review” notice. I requested a 10% increase to my credit limit and was given this message:

    Your request for a line of credit increase has been submitted.

    You will receive a written response within 7-10 days.

    But there's no cost, except your time, to asking and not getting the increase.

    How often can I do this? It depends on the issuer but most will only approve increases every six months. They will also require you to have a card for more than a few months, sometimes as little as 60 days. They just granted you a line of credit based on your application, they want to see how you behave with it before making a decision on giving you more. Each issuer will answer this question in a FAQ on their site.

    There are some folks who request an increase every 6 months like clockwork. I'm not nearly that diligent, I ask when I remember and that usually works out to be once a year for the cards we use regularly and never for the ones we don't.

    If you want to do this regularly, I recommend creating a calendar notification that reminds you every six months to request an increase.

    Over time, your limit will creep up and then you too can live the American Dream of having way more credit than you need.

    What happens if they do make an inquiry? If it's a hard inquiry, expect a single digit fall in your credit score for about 12 months. It's as if you just applied for a new credit card. Hard inquiries will cost you a few points but the impact subsides after a year. The higher your credit is now, the bigger the dip.

    If you haven't asked for an increase in the last six months, I urge you to try now and report back what you find!

    Have you done this? What's your total credit limit and what's your system?