When you process a credit card transaction, you will find out almost instantaneously whether or not a credit card payment has been accepted or declined. Once you run the credit card, the information is transmitted to the bank for authorization. The acquiring bank that processes the transaction routes the information to the card-issuing bank. If the cardholder does not have enough credit in his account to cover the sale, the bank sends back a denial code to the merchant�s point-of-sale unit.
Normally, a response code consists of a one-letter code that indicates whether a transaction was approved or declined. A result code is a one- to three-digit number that indicates the result of a transaction.
If the purchase is being made in person, you inform your customer that his card has been declined, and he has the option of not making the purchase or choosing another form of payment. If the purchase is being made online, the process is slightly different. With an Internet account, you will have a payment gateway that transmits the credit card information from your Web site to the credit card company, which will send back an accepted or declined message.
If a credit card is declined in this situation, you do have the option of waiting a couple of days and running it again or notifying the customer immediately. Although, this is your choice, customers will appreciate it if you get back to them quickly. Then, your customer has the option of wanting you to run the same credit card at a later date or choosing a different credit card. It is important to get back to your customer as soon as possible and not sit on a declined credit card. If you do, you lose precious time, you are not getting your money any quicker, and it will delay your customer�s purchase. Although, it may be uncomfortable to tell your customer that his credit card is declined, it is part of business, and customers appreciate honesty and promptness.
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