There are many reasons for declined transactions or failed payments. This article helps you troubleshoot what might be causing issues during payment processing.

Determine the Failure Message

Before diagnosing the problem, you need to know what error or decline code is being generated. This is easy to find.

  1. Go to Contributions > Abandoned Carts. You should see a list of incomplete contributions.

  2. Select More Filters at the top next to the search box. Under Checkout Status select Failed Payments from the drop-down menu. Then, you should see a list of all incomplete contributions with failed payments. Next, look at the "Response Text" column for the most recent incomplete contributions. This is where you can see the failed reasons.

  3. If the error is "Authentication Failed," the fix is easy. Your Payment Gateway Username and Password have changed. Go to Settings > Payment Gateways, find your chosen Payment Gateway under the Configuration list and select Edit. Once on the details page for your Payment Gateway, update the username and password for your active Payment Gateway. If the error is different, continue reading this article.

Common Mistakes & Quick Fixes

  • Is your Payment Gateway connected correctly to Givecloud?
    Go to Settings > Payment Gateways and review and test your settings.

  • Is someone trying to pay with a type of payment you aren't set up to process?
    For example - perhaps someone is trying to use Direct Debit, but you haven't set that up yet.

  • Are you aware of the different Security Measures and Account Limitations that have been applied to your Payment Gateway/Processing accounts?
    Login to your Payment Gateway or contact your Payment Processor to review what measures may be preventing payments from being processed.  Read below as a reference.

Legitimate Reasons Your Payments Might Be Failing

Your Payment Gateway Thinks The Payment Is Suspicious

Your Payment Gateway has its own security that may prevent transactions if they appear suspicious. These measures are negotiable and can often be managed directly from your Payment Gateway login.  These measures may include:

  • Forcing a minimum purchase amount (typically, supporters must spend a minimum of $5, but this can be changed)

  • Monitoring transactions per IP address (too many contributions coming from the same IP)

  • Monitoring geography of an IP address (someone trying to place a contribution with a US billing address from a non-US computer)

  • Preventing duplicate transactions within a short time frame (for example it may be suspicious that a supporter processes a $10 transaction, then another $10 transaction 45 seconds later)

  • Forcing the address or ZIP listed on the payment to match the address on file with the card issuer.

  • Forcing the CVC code on the back of the card to match the actual CVC on file with the card issuer.

The Processor Thinks The Payment is Suspicious

Your Payment Processor (that your Payment Gateway communicates with) may have its own security measures. Most times, these measures are negotiable by contacting your Payment Processor.  These measures may include (but not limited to):

  • Limiting how much money can be received in a day.
    (For example maximum of $100,000 per day)

  • Limiting how many transactions can be performed in a day.
    (For example maximum of 500 payments in a day - including recurring payments)

The Bank or Card Issuers Don't Like The Payment (MasterCard / Visa / American Express)

Card issuers may also have their own reasons for declining a payment.  Most times, it's difficult to say why a card issuer is declining.  Often it will include:

  • The cardholder may be over their limit

  • The card has expired

And sometimes:

  • The card has been reported lost/stolen

  • Some internal system has flagged the transaction as suspicious

Some card issuers (*cough* American Express) require additional certification in contribution to process more than $1,000,000 in donations over the lifetime of your electronic processing.

Understanding Specific Failure Messages

The ck payment type and/or currency [USD] is not accepted REFID:xxxxxxxxxxxx
Most often, this is the error your supporters see when trying to pay using a payment method that your merchant account does not support. For example, your donor may be trying to pay with a Personal Check (ACH); however, your merchant account may only be configured to accept Visa and MasterCard.

SafeSave has aborted the transaction because something appears suspicious with the circumstances of the payment. This is typically due to the iSpy Fraud Protection settings on your SafeSave account. For example, someone may be trying to use a US billing address from a NON-US computer. Please review your iSpy Fraud settings or contact SafeSave payments for help at

This is the error a supporter receives when using a credit card that was reported lost or stolen.

Authentication Failed
This error typically happens when the SafeSave username or password stored in DS Advanced Settings has changed or is no longer valid. First, double-check that your SafeSave username and password haven't changed and entered correctly in DS.

Amount exceeds the maximum ticket allowed REFID:xxxxxxxxxxxxxx
SafeSave Payments has a built-in transaction limit to protect the merchant and consumer. The default limit is $10,000. This limit can be raised to any amount at any time by contacting

Cannot Complete Transaction
This error is typical of an ACH (eCheck) transaction that exceeds your built-in transaction limit. SafeSave sets this transaction limit. This limit can be raised to any amount at any time by contacting

Duplicate Contribution REFID: xxxxxxxxxxxxx
SafeSave is preventing the transaction because the transaction amount matches the exact amount of a transaction that JUST took place on the exact same card. This is called Duplicate Transaction protection and can be disabled by request by contacting

Other Reasons
For other payment concerns or errors related to Safesave, you can contact for support.

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