Denied Purchases
Posted by on 14 August 2013 04:36 PM

Credit/Debit Cards

Declined payments for Credit and/or Debit cards is generally for one of the following three reasons:

  • The credit card issuer (bank or otherwise) did not approve the transaction. This could be for insufficient funds, frozen account status, invalid credit card number or expiration date. Unfortunately the card issuing bank does not provide additional details regarding the reason for the decline. You will need to contact the card issuer for more information.
  • Card has been reported lost or stolen.

Address Verification System (AVS)

Of the three listed reasons, the most common is Address Verification System or Card Code Verification mismatch. In this case the transaction was declined due to the Address Verification Service (AVS) or Card Code Verification (CCV) results. AVS compares the billing address provided in a transaction with the cardholder's address on file from the credit/debit card issuer. CCV compares the card code (a three- or four-digit security code that is printed on the credit/debit card) provided in a transaction with the card code on file with the card issuer. 

It's important to note that a transaction declined this way has still been approved by the card issuing bank, meaning the requested funds will be placed on hold, thereby reducing the your credit or balance. This is not an actual charge to the credit card and the bank will release the funds back to the card after the authorization expires (usually within two weeks but up to one month depending on the credit card issuer.)


A credit card might also be denied if:

  • The card issuer is having technical problems that prevent authorization of a transaction.
  • The card issuer sees a charge that doesn’t fit your normal spending patterns and blocks the transaction to protect you.
  • You’ve inadvertently exceeded the limit on your card.

If you know that your credit card is valid but your payment doesn’t go through, you might want to:

  • Contact your credit card issuer directly. Ask why your card was declined, and whether you can still use it. If you can still use your card, please try your transaction again.
  • Pay securely online using your bank account. You can link your bank account to your PayPal account in just a few minutes. The merchant never sees your financial or other personal information.
  • Link a different credit card to your PayPal account.
  • PLEASE NOTE: we cannot force a payment to go through. If it doesn't go through naturally and you have followed the above steps we are unable to help you.
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