Credit Card Outage [Why Payment Processing Fails]

Credit card outage refers to a disruption in service for both individual card holders and businesses.

In this article, weโ€™ll take a look at the implications of a credit card outage and what you can do when payments are being declined.

This article is part of our free series on credit card basics, including how to get a credit card with an ITIN number, which you can access by clicking here.

Feel free to use the table of contents to jump ahead to the sections most relevant to you.

Table of Contents

  1. Credit Card Outage
  2. Reasons for a Payment Processing Outage
  3. What to Do When Your Credit Card Payments Are Declined
  4. Frequently Asked Questions
  5. Ready to Explore Your Options?

Credit Card Outage

Credit card outage refers to a period of disruption when card transactions cannot be completed by the card network. Outages can be both inconvenient for consumers and costly for merchants, as they can result in lost revenue in the form of delayed or missed transactions.ย 

There are a number of reasons why a credit card and payment processing outage may occur, which weโ€™ll discuss below. But itโ€™s important to remember that the vast majority of the reasons for an outage are either immediately resolved or require patience while the credit card network recovers.

Of course, the most common problems are related to physical infrastructure including power and internet connections. The least common problem causing a credit card outage would be network outages, which are rare.

Reasons for a Payment Processing Outage

There are a number of reasons why payment processing outages may occur. This may include issues with the merchantโ€™s power supply or internet connection, a consumer’s internet connection when completing online transactions, or problems with the merchants website or payment terminal when completing transactions in person.

Here is a closer look at some of the reasons why a payment processing outage may impact credit card payments.

Reasons for a Payment Processing Outage

  1. Power outage at the merchant location (in person)
  2. Weak internet connection at the merchant location (in person)
  3. Disruption in the consumers internet connection (online)
  4. Website not connecting to the processors API (online)
  5. Issues with the payment terminal (in person)

What to Do When Your Credit Card Payments Are Declined

If you are a cardholder and your credit card payments are declined, there are several steps that you can take. These steps will depend on where you are attempting to complete a transaction.

For example, if you are attempting to complete a transaction online, you should first make sure that the information you are using is correct. Alternatively, if you are trying to complete a transaction in person, you should make sure that the merchant is using the correct terminal for your card network (e.g. Visa, Mastercard, American Express.

If you continue to encounter problems processing your transaction, you should check your account to make sure your payments are up to date. But also confirm that access to your card is still active. If you see no reason for transactions being blocked, you should then contact your credit card company.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Below are two of the most common questions that we receive from people wanting to understand what credit card outage means. If you have further questions you would like answered, donโ€™t hesitate to get in touch with us directly.

Why Do Credit Card Systems Go Down?

Credit card systems go down for a number of reasons. Including poor internet connection, lost power, faulty hardware, software issues, and more. When these problems occur, merchants are unable to process consumer payments through their websites or in person via physical terminals.

Why Are My Credit Card Machines Not Working?

If your credit card machines are not working, you should first check that the power supply is connected and functioning properly (e.g. power cord or batteries). Then confirm if the internet connection is working. And also, if the machines have not been damaged in any way. If after inspection the credit card machines continue not to work you should contact the merchant service provider responsible for the terminals.

Ready to Explore Your Options?

If you would like assistance navigating your banking options in the USA, we can help.

You can access GlobalBanks USA, our dedicated US account opening service, in just a few clicks.

GlobalBanks USA is 100% personalized, with dedicated account management, tapping into our teamโ€™s expertise, including suggestions on which banks are best for you and direct banker introductions.

Of course, if you have any questions, please contact us directly.

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GlobalBanks Team
GlobalBanks Team

The GlobalBanks editorial team comprises a group of subject-matter experts from across the banking world, including former bankers, analysts, investors, and entrepreneurs. All have in-depth knowledge and experience in various aspects of international banking. In particular, they have expertise in banking for foreigners, non-residents, and both foreign and offshore companies.

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