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I get a “DECLINE” error when I try to bill a customer’s credit or debit card. What should I do?

Start by confirming that the customer’s card number, expiration date, address, and security code (CVV) have all been entered correctly. If you find an error, enter the correct card information, and try processing the transaction one more time. If you receive the “Decline” error again, there may be a problem at the customer’s bank. Your customer may not have enough credit available or the customer’s bank may think that the transaction is suspicious or “high-risk.” Please ask your customer to contact their bank directly to resolve the issue.

If a transaction declines, STOP.  Multiple attempts can be a reason a bank will lock the card holder’s account (for ALL transactions).  If it was swipe, the card holder should contact their bank to confirm the transaction.  If it was keyed or stored, verify the full card number, expiration date, CVV and address information is correct before retrying.  If correct or after a 2nd attempt, do not continue trying as it will likely lock the card holder’s account.  Ask them to contact their bank to approve the transaction before trying again.


Is CVV required (the 3 or 4 digit security number)?

No.  But it can help you and the issuing bank in confirming the information provided is authentic and assess risk.  Typically using it with the very first transaction for a new card is enough to always reduce risk considered by the issuing bank.  Use it when you have it.


If I do not provide CVV, could it affect processing fees?

No.  If you use a CVV or not, it does not affect rates.  Merchant fees are never impacted by CVV use. It’s only used for fraud verification, not rate qualification.


Can I write down or store a CVV number?

No. Be careful to never store a credit or debit card’s CVV, neither digitally nor on paper. Keeping this code on file is a significant security risk and may cause you to lose your ability to process credit and debit cards through your organization’s Flight Circle account.


Should I include a billing address when saving a customer’s card info to their account?

No.  But it can help you and the issuing bank in confirming the information provided is authentic and assess risk.  For example, a transaction may approve, even if the address is incorrect, but would you want to ship product to someone who provided an address that does not match their credit card account? (eg. fraud!)


If I do not provide an address, could it effect processing fees?

It does not if the card is swiped.  If the card is keyed in or stored, then it could.  Submit an address when able to prevent a possible downgrade.  This could account for 0.1 -1.0% in fees!


How do I refund a credit card?

Go to the user’s account: Manage > Users > (click one) > For the original credit card transaction use Options > Refund and follow the prompts to confirm the refund.  If you process the refund the same day and before the batch settles (typically near midnight), it will actually VOID the transaction, like it never happened (no fees, nothing posted to your or the card holder’s account).


What is the minimum information required to process a SALE?

Card number, expiration date, and amount.  CVV and Address are not required, but they are helpful.  If using a stored card, only the amount is required.


How does Flight Circle store credit cards?

We do not store full credit card number, only the last 4 digits for reference.  Instead, we use a token based system, much like Apple Pay.  After submitting the card information, we store only a key we use for future transactions.  This is most secure for you, and us.


What are the best practices for processing credit and debit cards in Flight Circle?

Whenever possible, please follow these guidelines:

  1. Swipe the card when able – most secure, and most likely to approve
  2. Always maintain an address for all users
  3. Always enter the billing address for a stored credit card
  4. Enter a CVV to ensure highest likelihood of approval


I stored a card on file, but when I tried to use it, it declines.  Why?

When you add a card on file, the information is only stored, not transmitted to the issuing bank for verification or approval.  It could be closed, wrong account number, wrong expiration date, etc.  The only way to ensure the account  and information is valid and has funds available is to process a real transaction for an amount of money.


I have no addresses on file for anyone, this will take forever!  How can Flight Circle help?

You can allow users to enter their own address for their user profile, or the credit card on file.  See Manage > User Settings > “Users can update their basic contact details” and “Allow users to pay online”.


Is PCI required?

PCI compliance is required by all merchants who accept credit cards.  Consider it a free risk assessment of your network and office policies.  Know that the 2nd year is easier as it stores previously entered information.  It can be frustrating though.  If you have trouble completing your assessment, please contact us for assistance or other options.


My credit card fees are high!  What can I do?

Flight Circle’s processing rates are lower than or competitive with virtually every merchant service provider on the market. If your rates are higher than expected, please follow this guide to ensure you are receiving the lowest rates possible.

Is there a way to automatically add a surcharge to all credit card transactions? 

Yes, in your Flight Circle Account go to Manage > General Settings.  On the General tab see Credit Cards and Enter surcharge percentage.

I have installed a credit card reader but it does not provide me with the option of using it online.  I only have the option of doing a manual entry for credit cards. How can I fix this issue? 

First, go into Microsoft Word or Notepad for a clear blank typing area.  Swipe your card.  If you do not see a bunch of characters on the screen try swiping it the other way (bar code other way).  If you can read the card number in the text somewhere you are all set.

There are two areas in Flight Circle you can swipe the card:

  1. During check in, on the final step you should see “Ready for card swipe” – swipe the card on this screen.
  2. From a user’s account, click the Payment button and swipe on this screen.