Troubleshooting

If you are experiencing issues when charging cards, please follow the steps below to troubleshoot the issue.

Please note that in many instances, a payment gateway will return an error such as "Credit Card Invalid", when the error message should actually return "Payment Gateway Misconfigured".
  1. Is the Gateway’s Card Storage Feature Turned On?

    Contact your gateway provider and make sure their card storage solution is enabled for your account. For Authorize.net, this is called “Customer Information Manager” or “CIM” and can be enabled via their administrative interface for an extra monthly fee. For all other supported gateways, this will be called something like “Tokenized Billing” or “Vault Storage”, etc.

Please note with Authorize.net if you just added CIM recently (within the last 24 hours), it may not work yet. We have seen several merchants report that things just started working fine about 24 hours after turning on the CIM option in Authorize.net.

  1. Are your Gateway Credentials/API Log-In Correct?

    Double-check the gateway credentials you’ve entered into your Chargify site settings. For instance, Authorize.net and PayPal Website Payments Pro have different login & password for their API than for your regular, human login. This is a COMMON and easy mistake.

  2. Try a Charge Directly in Your Gateway, without using Chargify

    Log in to your gateway provider’s administrative interface and attempt to run a charge using the same information. If the charge does not go through, please contact your gateway provider directly – an issue may exist between your gateway and merchant account providers.

  3. Test/Live/Prod Modes Must Match

    Make sure your Chargify Site is in the same mode as your gateway account. For instance, a Chargify “Prod” site must be connected to a gateway in “Live” or “Production” mode. Conversely, a Chargify “Test” site must be connected to a gateway in “Test” mode.

  4. Try Multiple Credit Cards

    Have you tried more than one credit card? And more than one type of card? If only one customer is having problems, then you know the problem lies with their card OR SOMETHING ABOUT THEM. For instance, if you are in the USA and they are in Australia, maybe their credit card bank is blocking because they think it’s strange/unusual, or maybe your payment gateway is blocking (see below).

  5. Payment Gateway Address-Verification / Anti-Fraud Settings (AVS)

    Your payment gateway, such as Authorize.net, has many settings that allow or block transactions. Various settings tell the gateway how to react if there is a billing address mismatch with your customer’s credit card, or if the customer’s card-issuing bank does not support address verification, or if their card bank is outside the USA, or if the card bank is simply in a different country than the merchant (you), etc. These settings inside your gateway account are meant to protect you from fraudulent charges. You will need to log into your payment gateway website and adjust these settings as you learn your customer profile and behavior. It’s a balance between making it easy for your customers and preventing fraud.

  6. American Express

    Note that most merchant accounts are not set up to accept American Express unless you specifically ask for it and you usually have to fill out separate paperwork. Your payment gateway will accept the transaction, but then your merchant account will return some sort of error.

More Info

If you want to read more about payment gateways and merchant accounts, read co-founder Lance Walley’s blog entry on how merchant accounts, payment gateways and Chargify work together.

If you continue to experience problems, please contact support and describe the problem you are experiencing in as much detail as possible.