Best practices for automated payments?

Are there any guiding principals that should be followed for automated payments, specifically those that may be ran in the middle of the night or early morning?

For context, we have a business model where users can continually add orders to a shipment up until their desired ship date. This shipping date can be changed by our users on the fly, and we do not charge customers for shipping until the night before their shipping date or early morning of the shipping date.
We see these automated shipping charges run into generic declines at a much higher frequency than our normal daily orders, and this frustrates our customers - they’re able to place orders with their card on file without issue and add them to their shipment, but get generic declines on the shipping charge.

Looking for any guidance or tips to help us drive these specific intermittent generic declines down, for example, would pre-requesting the shipping charge via delayed capture during normal business hours help?

Just to get ahead of the normal response - we are already communicating to customers that they should reach out to their banks about these generic declines, but they typically get told their card is working fine, or the customer does not bother to reach out cause they had successful charges go through.

If there is a specific identifier we could provide in this messaging so users can ask about specific declined transactions, that would be good to know as well.

:wave: Do you have examples of this as well as any metrics on an increased decline rate at those times? :slightly_smiling_face:

Yep! We’ve started graphing daily declined orders alongside declined shipping charges - we operate on a weekly shipping schedule rather than daily so there’s a cyclical nature to shipping charges -
zooming in on an arbitrary date with shipping charges being ran:
Apr 19 (timezone conversion done so dates are mislabled, but data is from 4/19), declines happen around 6:00PM PDT:

Specific example on that date:
charge_id RoQwOVLxjwaDEyBCt8EhTMKZUFbZY for shipping charge rejected with GENERIC_DECLINE, associated with a user that successfully had orders throughout Apr - one successful charge id from 4/15 is 9IfHnJLVsl28GW3VZF3oWZBWbuRZY. Eventually there was a successful shipping charge for that customer a few days later JI6W1GpQjDBBfire8EIgtNKXm56YY when we ran our shipping charge retry job