Business owners can find it challenging to deal with problems that might be out of their control. Credit card processing outages are one such problem that fall into the category of such issues. It could even turn a normal day for a business owner into a stressful one.
Effective customer service and maximum efficiency are some of the primary factors that you need to keep in mind. Therefore, credit card processing outages can disrupt your day-to-day operations and customer experiences. Thankfully, there are some steps that can be undertaken towards addressing this type of outage towards preventing your business from a long-term adverse impact on the customer base and the overall business.
What is Credit Card Processing Outage?
Credit card processing is regarded as the system in which data from the credit card of the customer is sent over, allowing a specific amount of funds to be transferred from the account of the customer to the account of the merchant. In case the outage occurs, the system gets disrupted and it is not possible to process payments anymore.
As per a study report, it was revealed that around 30 million financial transactions keep taking place in a country like Canada -almost on a daily basis. The sheer volume implies that there will be some type of payment issues that keep taking place from time to time.
In most cases, you will not run into any problems until processing of customers’ orders is concerned. However, in some cases, the credit card processing system might stop functioning. This will make your business unable to make any sale. In most cases, the exact cause might not be clear. Therefore, you are expected to get to the primary cause to resolve the same.
What is the Impact of Credit Card Processing Outage on Your Business?
Credit card payment processing outages can bring about a major issue for business owners. In addition to losing out on the overall sales, these outages are capable of affecting the overall credibility of your business in front of the customers.
Whether payment processing outage is affecting your outlet or physical store, the online store, or even both, customers might consider leaving after they are not able to place an order. The customer might look for the same solutions in some other business. Moreover, there is a possibility that they will not return to your store in the future because of the initial poor experience. Development of a loyal customer base is pivotal to ensuring the overall success of your business. Therefore, any factor that might affect the respective reputation can turn out to be an expensive affair.
In most cases, business owners are expected to consider accepting only cash when the credit card payment processing system might malfunction. It could eventually result into the overall loss of sales -even when the payment processing outage might persist only for a shorter period of time. As the concept of using cash is falling out significantly -especially since the advent of the pandemic, you are expected to be prepared for end consumers to run away from the store to shop anywhere else.
Based on the nature and type of your business, a credit card processing outage can depict diverse levels of the overall impact. For instance, if you are operating a restaurant and a payment processing outage takes place in the middle of some meal rush, it will bring forth a wide range of short-term issues. If there are several customers waiting for their checks to get cleared, it will result into a backlog. Most customers might not have cash on hand as well.
You should aim at resolving the problem instantly -unless it becomes completely out of your control in case of a power outage.
What are the Causes of Credit Card Payment Processing Outages?
The system that is responsible for transmitting credit card-centric data of customers to the merchant account is referred to as the payment processing system. When this system will shut down or gets disrupted, payment is not able to get processed. This results into the process known as credit card payment processing outage. Some of the common causes of this problem are:
- Issues with the Internet Connection: To understand the primary cause, you are expected to troubleshoot the existing internet connection. Most terminals and gateways require access to a reliable internet connection to verify the credit or debit card while processing the transaction.
For example, you are not connected to the internet and have installed a new credit card reader. In this case, the speed of internet processing might be too slow towards processing cards. You can always consider resetting the Wi-Fi signal or router or even reaching out to the internet service provider to improve the speed or bandwidth.
- Power Outage: In case you are expected to operate through rain, strong winds, thunderstorm, or even icy conditions, there are higher chances that the respective power lines might be down. Moreover, internet services might also be affected or you can be experiencing some grid issues in the region. If you are able to reach out to the local power company, you will learn there is power outage in the area. They might also offer an estimate of when you can expect restored power services.
To solve the potential issue of payment processing outage due to power outage in the future, you should aim at getting yourself a generator or battery source of alternative power.
- Equipment Failure: If the Internet connection and power supply in your area are reliable, you might experience issues with the processing device or the terminal. If there happens to be some hardware issue or the machine might not be compatible with the software that has been installed, the existing card reader will not be able to process transactions.
Therefore, it is imperative for you to look for any software updates in the equipment. If the problem continues taking place even after rebooting, you should reach out to the payment processor. The chances are that you might require repair services or complete replacement of the device.
How to Manage Credit Card Payment Processing Outages for Your Business?
The presence of a strong payment infrastructure should aim at providing ample comfort and convenience to the merchants. Once you have determined the potential reason for the payment process outage, here are some steps you can undertake to prevent the same in the future:
- Investing in a Payment System Operating with a Non-functional Wi-Fi: Aim at getting ahead of the payment processing outage with the help of an alternative service to utilize Wi-Fi for the processing of credit card payments. With this alternative, you can have the confidence that even when the Wi-Fi connection might not be stable, you are still able to process payments successfully. Even when you might not have experienced a payment processing outage before, it is still important to consider whether or not you are using a reliable payment processor for your business.
You should aim at partnering with a service provider that is capable of addressing your business-centric needs efficiently and accurately while saving you ample troubles in the future. When you use the payment processing system with a Plan B in hand, it can be extremely useful in case the payment processing outage takes place.
- Technology Troubleshooting: It might appear obvious. However, the solution can be as simple as only restarting your router to ensure that the internet service is back up & running. In case this solution does not work even after several attempts, you can consider reaching out to the internet service provider while stating that it is an emergency.
The same principle applies to the terminals that might not be functioning properly. If the simple reboot will not work in your favor, you should reach out to the payment provider. With a reliable provider, you can get access to 24/7 customer support to provide aid with all possible card reader issues.
- Ensure the Working of the Credit Card Operators: In some cases, the problem you might be facing might not be payment processing outage at all. Instead, these could be caused by other issues with a specific payment processing provider like Mastercard or Visa.
If multiple users are reporting similar problems with the respective cards, like not able to make purchases, this implies that the primary cause of the problem can be related to the network of the credit card. In such a case, you can check online whether or not companies like Mastercard or Visa are reporting card-related problems.
While credit card payment processing outages are not common, they can still happen. As a business owner, you can aim at getting ahead of such problems. Make sure that you have access to reliable internet connection, leverage a payment processor providing alternatives to Wi-Fi, and develop a communication plan in case the problem continues.