Credit cards are the most common mode of payment method for customers. Based on a report by the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston, 80 percent of consumers hold a credit card. A close second are debit card holders with 78 percent, while prepaid card users are at 17 percent only. Usage may not be on an uptrend due to the recent recession. In 2012, spending was on a downtrend but that had been going on since 2007. The good news is that things are starting to pick up. And despite the decline, you can expect consumers to continue making purchases.

You may have heard of other payment methods available, like mobile and digital wallets. It is still a new concept for many. This got started with advancements in the mobile phone industry. This type of payment is available only with smartphones since other basic phones do not have the technology called NFC. So, if the cost of upgrading your point of sale software to capture these types of payments is still up in air, you’ll be fine without it for now. Shopify has both to offer for you.

Credit Card

What’s Going On with the Card

Now that you have focused credit cards, zero in on making sure your orders push. Sounds easy right? Businesses will be the first to tell you that you will encounter card errors at some point. At this point, a good background would help you remember what you need to do to find a solution.

A lot of the credit card errors mean your customer may have a problem with unpaid charges on their card. The card could have expired, or the account is inactive or the customer has been missing payments. There would be times that the customer had allowed a big amount to be on hold for a product or service. You cannot do anything about this anymore but politely ask for another credit card to use.

There are some errors where fraud prevention mechanism could be in place. This happens when a customer had used the card too often over a short period of time. The same can happen when your customer may have set their eyes on a shirt they found online. But the card chip has identified this to be an international sale. In this case, a quick call to the bank would lift that restriction. Not too many customers know they need to tell their banks that they’re travelling out of the country to allow them to use their cards. That’s another tip you could share with customers which they would appreciate.


Easy to Follow Steps

You don’t want a customer walking out the door when they are close to completing a sale only if you’ve gone the extra mile. It doesn’t make your customers comfortable when you ask for a second card, no matter how nice you may ask. You can try swiping that card again. You can re-check if the information entered was correct. Then, you asked for a second card but that didn’t work too. Does your customer carry cash or check? If the answer is no and you have time, try the following.

Point of sale terminals are like computers. And basic troubleshooting always point to checking cables first. Make sure they are secure. In some cases, it might help to switch ends. Once that’s done, the lights on the terminals come next. It would be good to see if the colors that are on are what you should expect like green for power.

Cables and lights are good but it still is failing. How about rebooting the router? You can keep it off for at least 30 seconds and a full minute for it to boot up. It would also help to be able to check if you can isolate the problem. Due to usage, some of the things may have been down due to wear and tear. If you’re thinking it could be the router, have someone check if they can go to a website to know that the router is working.

It is always important to display tactfulness and consideration in dealing with this kind of situation. No one wants this to happen, including your customer. And you still want them to come back anyway. After going through the entire troubleshooting steps, your customer will appreciate what you did. You can be sure that they are well aware you did all that’s possible for the sale to push through. It’s time to let them go. You also need to know that each decline can cost you a few cents each time. So, you want to be careful about trying the card over and over again.

International travel is a section all its own when it comes to finances. But Betty Riess, a spokeswoman for Bank of America told Bank Rate that, “We recommend that customers alert us of their plans to travel internationally, and we will take that into account when monitoring for potential fraud.”