Too many GENERIC_DECLINE errors on payment attempts

In the past 28 days, we have encountered 222 failed payment API calls with the GENERIC_DECLINE response. From reading the Slack channels and this forum, I can see that the typical response is to reach out to the card’s issuing bank. However, what fails now will succeed in an hour’s time so it’s a little odd.

Is it possible to discuss this with someone at Square to better understand what is going on? I don’t believe this is a simple bank issue as it’s becoming too frequent and intermittent. Happy to DM whatever details are required.

When the payments succeeds the second time had the customer contacted the bank prior to the second attempt? :slightly_smiling_face:

No, the customer doesn’t contact the bank. We have a process of re-attempting the payment under certain conditions. When we re-try, the payment then succeeds.

Similarly, if the customer manually retries, it can then succeed.

That said, we do have some payments that still fail when re-tried.

Do you have an example of a declined payment and then a payment that succeeded shortly their after? :slightly_smiling_face:

Failed payment ID: rTrWil1zlRjnFcjPuGvheGUHF7JZY - 2022-12-19T02:27:35.543Z

Successful payment ID: FwHcqa7cCTHOGC9PrbxDT5ZeVr5YY - 2022-12-19T08:00:58.864Z

No bank intervention.

Another example with two failed and then a successful attempt within one minute.

Failed: FCav9SmXszsOPgjtwlRNbyR7NCPZY - 2022-12-19T00:32:37.530Z

Failed: 3L61uImtuhynKXcIEN0fRB0u2W8YY - 2022-12-19T01:41:20.715Z

Successful: hsmqzeis2jlypEYpXrX2c9tTuMaZY - 2022-12-19T01:42:17.571Z

Both failed attempts were declined by the card holders bank. For more information as to why they were declined they’ll need to contact the bank. It wasn’t Square that was blocking the payments. :slightly_smiling_face:

I would have expected a more proactive response given Square’s position in the market and its dependence on these finance institutions for doing business. Our merchants don’t see this as a reflection on the banks but on Square. Our position has been to defend that view through having our own understanding of the various links in the payments cycle chain and its complexities.

Given my post, and others recently, I suspect your analytics might tell a story that these types of declines are increasing. Perhaps it’s due to recent cyber data breaches and banks tightening their security profiles - I’m not sure - but I would have thought Square might be more interested in understanding these changes to better support their customers.

With Square we facilitate the request of funds from the customer to the merchant. The actual approval for the release of funds is entirely up to the customers card issuing bank. They along with risk models in place to determine if they approve or deny the requests. Given the transactions that you provided we see that they were declined by the card holders bank. Banks don’t share the exact reason as to why a card is declined and the only way to find out more information about a decline payment is to have the customer contact the bank. :slightly_smiling_face: