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Why are transactions being declined?

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 Error/Decline Code

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

  1. Go to the Abandoned Carts report (Reports > Abandoned Carts). You should see a list of incomplete orders/transactions.
  2. Use the filters at the top to search for Failed Payments.  You should see a list of all incomplete orders with failed payments.  Look at "Response Text" column for the most recent incomplete orders.  This is where you can see the failed reasons.
  3. If the error is "Authentication Failed", the fix is easy.  Your SafeSave Username and Password have changed.  Go to Administration > Payments and update your SafeSave Username and Password.  If the error is different, continue reading this article.

Checklist: The Basics

  • Have you entered the correct SafeSave username and password into your DS advanced settings panel?
  • Have you double checked your payment methods in DS?  Make sure that you are only accepting payments from cards/accounts that are compatable with your SafeSave account.
    For Example:  You may only be setup to accept Visa and MasterCard.  If so, be sure you use the DS Advanced Settings panel to only accept Visa and MasterCard payments.
  • Are you aware of the transaction limits set by SafeSave?  The amount may be different between ACH processing and credit card processing.
    For Example: Someone is trying to donate $2,500 but your limit is $2,000.

SafeSave Security Measures

The SafeSave Gateway has its own security that may prevent transactions if they appear suspicious.  Safety measures include:

  • Forcing a minimum purchase amount (typically, customers must spend a minimum of $5, but this can be changed)
  • Monitoring transactions per IP address (too many orders coming from the same IP)
  • Monitoring geography of an IP address (someone trying to place an order 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 customer processes a $10 transaction, then another $10 transaction 45 seconds later)

Common Decline Reasons

The ck payment type and/or currency [USD] is not accepted REFID:xxxxxxxxxxxx
Most often, this is the error your customers/donors see when trying to pay using a payment method that your merchant account does not support.  For example, your donor my 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 customer/donor receives when using a credit card that has been 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.  Double check that your SafeSave username and password haven't changed and that they are 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 anytime by contacting

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

Duplicate order REFID: xxxxxxxxxxxxx
SafeSave is preventing the transaction because the amount of the transaction 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
Contact for support.