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Fix customer's declined credit card payments

Learn what to do if customers' credit card payments get declined when you process them. Here's what you can do if you have issues with customers' ACH payments.

If you have QuickBooks Payments, you can process customer payments directly from QuickBooks products. Customers can pay you by credit card or debit card.

Sometimes, customer's credit cards you process don't go through. This can be caused by many common issues, such as authorization problems or missing info. Here are tips and steps you can take for different types of credit cards customers may use.

Things to check if you enter the credit card info manually

  • Make sure the credit card number and verification code (usually on the back of the card) are correct. Most credit card numbers are 16 digits long. American Express cards are 15 digits long.
  • In addition to the credit card number, you need to enter a verification code. For most cards, like Visa, Mastercard, and Discover cards, it's the 3 digit code on the back of the card. For American Express, it's the 4 digit code on the front of the card.
  • Make sure there are no special characters or spaces in the credit card number or other data fields.
  • use the customer's address from the US USPS website.
Tip: Do your customers usually pay for purchases in-person? If you use QuickBooks Online, QuickBooks Desktop, or the QuickBooks mobile app, consider ordering a card reader. You won't have to enter credit card info manually, which saves time

Processing credit card payments over the phone

Do your customers want to pay for their purchases over the phone? No problem. Follow these steps to get a voice authorization from your customer so you're allowed to charge their card.

Processing debit cards

  • In QuickBooks Online and QuickBooks Desktop, debit cards must be associated with a larger credit card company to process them like a credit card. This means there's a logo for companies like Visa, Mastercard, Discover, or American Express.
  • If you don't see a logo on the card, or it's not associated with a larger credit card company, you may not be able to process it.
  • In QuickBooks Point of Sale, debit cards don't need to be associated with a credit card company if you have a PIN pad to process payments.
  • Debit card transactions can get declined if your customer doesn't have enough money to cover it. Consider reaching out to them to make sure the card is still valid.

Processing business credit cards

Some, but not all, business credit cards require additional commercial codes to process transactions. Reach out to your customer and ask if their employer requires a special commercial code for purchases.

If your customers use special commercial codes, go to the Merchant Service center and update your industry type. This allows you to process commercial codes.

  1. Sign in to the Merchant Service Center.
  2. On the homepage, select Account - Account Profile.
  3. In the Account Holder/Business Information section, select Edit.
  4. Enter the last 4 digits of your business Tax ID number or SSN and select Submit.
  5. Select and change your Industry Type.
  6. Select a Reason for this account change. Then select Submit.

Processing international credit cards

You may see a zip code error if your customer uses an international credit card. If possible, it's easier if they pay with a credit card issued in the US. Here's what to do if customers need to pay with an international credit card.

Processing flex spending cards

Some credit cards, like flex spending (FSA) cards, can only be processed by certain types of businesses. If you need to process flex spend cards, here's how to set everything up.

Using saved customer credit card info

You can only keep customers' payment info on file if they give permission to store it in their profile. Additionally, you need to confirm their permission each time you bill them.

If a customer's payment info changes or if there's an error, you can edit it with their permission. In rare cases, if you still run into issues, you may need to completely delete the info and start fresh.

Note: Make sure you get authorization from your customer before you make any changes. You can get a voice authorization to confirm with your customer.

Get help with customer credit card payments

Keep in mind, if none of the solutions work, consider asking customers for another form of payment. If a customer needs to use the credit card you're having issues with, ask them to contact their credit card company directly for help.

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