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Why was my client's card declined?

Payments can fail or be declined for a number of reasons, and it’s understandably frustrating when they represent a loss of legitimate business. However, it’s important to know that certain failures are actually preventative measures put in place to work in your favor. These failures are in place to minimize the possibility of things happening like fraudulent payments that otherwise could result in disputes.

Is it an HSA or FSA card? 

You can definitely process FSA (flexible spending account) and HSA (health savings account) cards in SimplePractice. HSA and FSA cards require that your business have a special classification (called an MCC or Merchant Category Code) set so that the card companies know that your products and services are directly related to a client’s medical needs. SimplePractice accounts set up through Stripe are automatically assigned an HSA/FSA eligible MCC. 

Bear in mind, just because an account is enabled to accept HSA or FSA payments, doesn’t guarantee a card won’t still be declined. Card issuers are still at liberty to authorize or decline any payment as they would with any other type of credit card.

 Why else was this client's card declined? 

There are a few main reasons why a client's card is declined:

  • The card number or expiration date is incorrect
  • The client does not have enough funds available to make the payment.
  • Payments declined by card issuer
    • When a charge is submitted to the issuer of your client's card, they have automated systems that determine whether or not to authorize the charge. These systems analyze various signals, such as your customer’s spending habits, account balance, and card information such as the expiration date, address information, and CVC.
  • Generic reasons
    • Most declines are specifically categorized by the card issuer as generic, so it’s not always possible to know exactly why a payment was declined. If all of the card information seems correct, it is best to have your client contact their card issuer and ask for more information. For privacy and security reasons, card issuers can only discuss the specifics of a declined payment with their cardholders – they cannot discuss this with the you, SimplePractice, or Stripe.
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