When a customer’s credit card declines, it creates an awkward situation for you and the customer. Your first instinct is likely to run the card again. Your customer will likely even ask you to try it again. If the card is declined, it will decline on each subsequent attempt – so, don’t waste time doing it.

This particular blog should be shared with your employees who are tasked with completing transactions. It will help them to be prepared to handle a decline in a professional manner. Without training, your employee may not know what to say or how to handle the situation tactfully and with grace. Here are some tips that you and your employees can follow when a card declines:

Have a Plan

Having a standard protocol that all employees follow will make the situation easier to handle when it happens. There are many different reasons that cards decline that range from being delinquent to being over the established credit limit. The customer may have recently completed a transaction that was out of character for them that causes a decline because the transaction is flagged as possibly fraudulent. Whatever the reason is, you want to maintain a good customer relationship and not make your customer feel awkward. If you operate a moving and storage company and the customer is with a group of other people, you may want to ask him if you can have a private word. The plan is yours to create based upon your type of business. Your plan should include a discrete manner for delivering the bad news based on your business and your point-of-sale area.

Decline Codes

A Decline Code that indicates the card has been lost or stolen can be extremely awkward because now you may become the victim of fraud. In the case of a moving and storage company, obviously the services have been rendered by the time of billing (in most cases) and if another alternate form of payment is not presented or available, you could sustain a loss. Or, you may need to offer a payment plan to the customer. This might also necessitate the need for law enforcement. If you accept an alternate credit card, do so with extreme caution and carefully compare identification to the alternate card presented (to ensure your protection in the event the cardholder initiates a chargeback). In some case, you may receive a notice that says, “pick-up”. That means that you should not give the card back to the customer. They will likely become angry. Be prepared to let them know that the card is property of the bank that issued the card and the bank has asked you to retrieve it. If the customer becomes irate – it is better to hand the card back rather than risk your safety. You can also call the Merchant Authorization line and ask for a “Code 10 Authorization”. This indicates to the operator that you have a potential fraudulent transaction in process. The bank will call the cardholder to verify the transaction.

If you have any questions on how to implement a plan to handle declined cards, please don’t hesitate to reach out to us at Remedy Payment Solutions and we’d be happy to assist. As the moving and storage industry’s preferred credit card processor, it’s our pleasure assisting moving and storage companies ensure the proper protocol and procedures are in place as it relates to accepting payments. 

At Remedy, we will work hand in hand with your business as we present your case to the funding bank. We’re here to fight for you and to make sure you are treated fairly.

Please, let us help keep your account in good standing!

Remedy Payment Solutions is powered by Chosen Payments whom is a registered ISO and FSP of Wells Fargo Bank, N.A., Concord, CA and BBVA USA, Birmingham, AL., and Elavon, Inc., N.A., Atlanta, GA and Evolve Bank & Trust; Memphis, TN., and Merrick Bank, N.A., Draper, UT.