by Axis Payments
What happens after you “swipe,” “tap” or “provide” your credit card for the purchase of products or services? Who actually sees your financial information? What can you do if your credit card is declined?
Credit Card Payment Characteristics
The credit card industry divides payments into whether the physical card is “present” or “absent.” Sliding and tapping are card “present” transactions and online purchases are card “absent” transactions. When you provide your credit card information, the vendor sends the data to a credit card processing company.
What Do Credit Card Issuing Banks Check?
Your data is sent via these networks to the credit card issuing bank to verify that the account number and PIN are correct. Also, the bank will check to see if the owner had reported the card stolen. This is the “authentication” step to check if your credit card is real.
When this is verified, then the credit card issuing bank will “authorize” the transaction. If there are any problems, then the bank will reject the card. Your merchant is initially only told that the credit card was rejected.
What Do Merchants See?
Usually, the merchant does not see a whole lot if you swipe your credit card. For an online transaction, his website will record your account number and PIN. For the online payment process, when the card is “absent,” the customer has no other recourse after rejection.
If you have your credit card with you during the “face-to-face” transaction, then the vendor can look at the actual card or request you to provide extra verification. This is when you might be asked for the numbers on the back of your card. This is a “fail-safe” security check when the card is “present.” Vendors also might ask for your address.
Each month, the merchant will receive a summary of all credit card transactions, including those which failed. The credit card processing firm is more likely to discuss why the transaction was rejected in greater detail on this monthly statement.
“To Err is Human”
While we are all doing our best to make sure that the life-cycle of an electronic payment flows smoothly and accurately, all humans are prone to make mistakes. If your credit card has been turned down, then contact your credit card issuing bank. Perhaps, you just moved or your account information was confused with someone else.
Most electronic payments only take seconds to complete. We want the entire process to be fast, efficient and accurate, so you can enjoy your life.