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Declined Transactions

I have a question regarding declined transactions. First let me note all of my fraud-prevention settings are disabled (AVS and Card Code Verification are both disabled.)


1) I notice that an abnormally high number of international customers have their credit card declined. The Transaction Status almost always indicates that the card was declined by the issuing bank. However upon failure of this transaction, I refer the customer to PayPal where the customer most likely uses the same card to make the purchase through PayPal - and it almost always succeeds. Is there any information available about why an overseas card would be declined when processed through but not through PayPal?


2) I notice that some local customers (US-based) also have their credit card declined, and the transaction status also indicates that the card was declined by the issuing bank. I understand that sometimes a card is declined for valid reasons, but I worry that maybe there's something that can be done to reduce the number of declined cards. All information I read on this forum always points to AVS settings, but as I mentioned those settings are definitely disabled. In these cases, I'm seeing Address Verification Status which shows both a Street Address Match and Zip Code Match.

  • Since my AVS rejection settings are disabled, I'm assuming that since it's showing Address Verification Status (showing 1/3, 2/3, and sometimes even 3/3 address match), still receives/requests address information about the cardholder and performs the matching process - even when the transaction is declined by the issuing bank. Is this correct?
  • I'm under the impression that the only way could receive the cardholders address information would be through a successful transaction. If the card is declined by the issuing bank, how does still receive the address information and perform the match? It seems redundant and a bit confusing.
  • Does actually send any address information (or any info other than Card Number and Expiration Date) through to the payment processor which could result in the transaction being declined by the issuing bank?

Thank you for your assistance.


What is the response code and response reason code for those decline transaction?

I don't think the AVS and Card Code in done on I think all they do is read the response(A,B,E,G,N,etc) and reject(void) it for your based on your merchant setting.

If you don't want to use AVS and CardCode validation, probably just don't send it to at all, so the issue bank cannot valid it, you will pay a higher fee for that I think.


In general, the response code is 2, response sub code is 1, response reason code is 2, and response reason text is "This transaction has been declined." In these are always listed as Transaction Status: Declined  (Card declined by issuer - Contact card issuer to determine reason.)


I also notice that sometimes the response code/sub-code/reason-code are all 0 - but I was assured by (several weeks ago) that this doesn't mean anything significant.


I just got off the phone with and they told me that AVS and Card Code verification is done on the end, but since all my rejection settings are disabled that AVS isn't the reason why the transactions are declined.


But I just got off a chat with and they told me that the card issuer actually performs the AVS matching (meaning does indeed send the customer's address information to the CC processor), but the card issuer only returns the AVS match information to, and then decides whether to reject the card based on the merchant settings. So I'm assuming that a card issuer would never actually decline a card due to AVS mismatch.


So I guess my question is: is it possible that MasterCard/Discover/Visa/AmEx would ever decline a card due to AVS mismatch, but not return that information as a reason for the card being declined? (I suppose this question is better suited for each of the individual card companies.)