ShopSite Tip – Payment Processor Errors

We’ve all seen it.  That generic error when a credit card payment fails, but your customer is sure the details are correct, so why is it still failing?

Merchant Alerts

If you’ve upgraded to ShopSite Pro v11 SP2, then you have an excellent new feature available to you called Merchant Alerts.  This option is available on the Commerce menu and with it you can track various error messages that occur with your store, such as shipping API errors, or payment processing errors.

You can configure the feature to email you when a failure occurs, but even with that turned off you can view alerts anytime in the backoffice.  The alerts will show all the details that came back from the payment processor, which will help determine if a payment was declined or if there is a configuration error with the settings.

Click on Commerce > Merchant Alerts > Configure to enable it, and ShopSite has more details here:

ShopSite Merchant Alerts Sample

Prior ShopSite Versions

ShopSite Error Details Sample

If you’re not running Pro 11 SP2, don’t fret – you can still see the error details.

Just click on Commerce > Payment > Configure Processor, and enable the “Display Error Details” check box on that screen.  With that on a customer will see more details if a payment fails.

For example, click on the image to the right to see what appears when we configure invalid settings.

What Are These Errors?

Displaying the error is only part of the solution.  The cause for some errors are not as obvious as others, so further research may be needed.  The error details that you see are coming back directly from the payment processor, and each processor has different codes and messages.  Here are some of the most popular processors and links to their error code lists:

PayPal / Payflow Pro

Paymentech / Orbital

If an error message or one of the links above does not shed light on what an error code means, the next step would be to contact support for your credit card processor.  Be sure to have the error message available when you call and they should be able to quickly explain what happened and how to resolve it.


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