Why Are Online Payments Not Working?

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A laptop on a person's lap and a credit card in hand - Why Are Online Payments Not Working?

You finally found that perfect item and are fixing to check out and make it yours. You go to enter your card information only to receive a warning that your online payment can not be processed at this time. 

Wait, What? Why? 

This is the most frustrating thing that can happen when you are trying to check out. Why does it always seem to happen right when we aren’t expecting it? Why does it happen at all? Is there something wrong with your card, or are the website’s servers down?

So many questions pop into our heads when we see that error pop up. Though this can be an extremely frustrating situation, let’s find out why this happens in the first place. 


Common Reasons For It

It might surprise you to know that this occurrence actually can have many different reasons as to why it happens. Not all of those reasons have anything to do with the card itself. Here’s a list of a few reasons why your payment can’t be processed:


  • The website server is down- just like bad cell phone service, a website’s server can sometimes be unpredictable. Even a temporary pause in its processes at the right moment can cause your payment to not work.
  • Card not authorized for international payments- the internet does one thing extremely well, it allows us to interact with people all over the world. While this is good, your card may not have those same privileges. 
  • Incorrect data input- we are humans, after all, and make mistakes from time to time. 
  • Insufficient Funds- whoops, there may be a different balance on your card than originally thought. A forgotten payment that just showed up, even a mistake made by the bank.
  • Bank Downtime- Your bank itself may be in a scheduled downtime period to refresh its systems. They also may be experiencing an unscheduled downtime due to a technical glitch.


Does it Mean You Are Out Of Money?

There are many reasons an online transaction doesn’t work. We covered just a few of them in the section above. While it can mean that you don’t have enough in your account to cover the purchase, there can also be other reasons.

Verifying if this is the reason for the error is easy to find out, Whether you use your online banking app or call the bank. They are going to be the best places to start. 


Should You Contact Your bank?

You may feel like you need to contact your bank after having a payment not work, but there are a few things you can do before making the call. 

Verify that all the card information is correct, including all corresponding information like:


  • Name
  • Address
  • Zip Code
  • Phone Number


Error in these categories can have an effect on your transaction, as well as incorrect card numbers and expiration dates:


  • Resubmit to rule out server pause.
  • Ensure you are using the right card for your intended account.


If all of those things are checked off, it might be time to contact your bank. Your bank can provide you with the necessary information that can help you determine why your online payments are not working. 

Reasons to call your bank would include:


  • Verifying your account balance
  • Check to see if the bank is having a scheduled or unscheduled downtime period.
  • Verify or set your card up for international payments
  • Verify that the payment processor isn’t in a restricted area


How To Tell If Your Card Is Blocked 

The best way to find out if your card has been blocked is to contact the bank or card issuer. You can also call the number on your card’s back, usually in the bottom corner.

Calling those numbers should be able to tell you if your card has been blocked and why. They are also going to be helpful in finding a remedy for the situation if there is one. 


Final Thoughts on Why Are Online Payments Not Working

While having your online card payment not go through can be extremely frustrating, it’s not always something to worry about. You can be back on your way to buying bliss by taking a few extra steps. 

Remember to always check your information for errors, wait a few minutes before trying again and verify your card is authorized for the purchase, especially if you are certain that funds are not the problem.