It’s never ideal when a donor’s payment fails to process, for you or the donor. With Virtuous Payments, there are some cases, the transaction will automatically retry–multiple times. However, there are some failure codes (listed below) that will not automatically retry. In either case, you’re able to set up notifications for both your team and the donor if the charge fails for any reason.
Recurring Gift Error Codes Which Are Retried Automatically
If a recurring charge attempt comes back with any of the following error codes listed below, the charge will be automatically retried - following the retry logic described below.
- Generic Decline Bank: declined with generic error, typically due to a fraud check
- Insufficient Funds: Insufficient funds in account
- Limit Exceeded: The vendor has blocked any future payments after too many charges.
- Payment Provider Failure: The payment provider could not be reached or returned an unexpected response.
- Unknown: We are not accounting for this error. Please check the error description for more details.
How Many Times Does Payments Retry the Charge?
If the failed charge can be retried, Virtuous Payments will attempt multiple retries before the schedule is paused. Payments provides three initial (micro) retries in a row for the first failed payment. If these fail, the gift is then retried for the following two months (macro).
For example, if there is a monthly gift set to charge on June 1st that fails, it will look like this:
Initial charge: June 1st- payment fails (initial attempt).
- Retry: June 2nd- payment fails (retry #1)
- Retry: June 3rd- payment fails (retry #2)
- Retry: June 4th- payment fails (retry #3)
Macro retry attempt #1 (Because this is monthly schedule, it will repeat the process the following month-July).
July 1st, it fails (initial attempt).
- Retry: July 2nd- payment fails (retry #1)
- Retry: July 3rd- payment fails (retry #2)
- Retry: July 4th- payment fails (retry #3)
Macro retry attempt #2 (Because this is a monthly schedule, it will repeat the processing the following month-August)
August 1st, it fails (initial attempt).
- Retry: August 2nd- payment fails (retry #1)
- Retry: August 3rd- payment fails (retry #2)
- Retry: August 4th- payment fails (retry #3)
At this point, there have been a total of 12 tries to process the charge all failing, and the schedule is paused.
Recurring Gift Error Codes Which Are Not Retried Automatically
If a recurring charge attempt comes back with any one of the following error codes listed below, it will NOT be retried automatically with the attempts above. The schedule will pause indefinitely until the payment tender is updated or issue is resolved. Once updated, the schedule will retry a charge on the next charge date.
- Lost or Stolen: The card has been marked lost or stolen
- Expired: The account or card has expired.
- Invalid Details: Incorrect CVV, expiration, name on card or card/account numbers.
- Failed AVS: The payment provider had an issue validating the Address Verification Service for a credit card.
- Blocked: The payment was blocked by the bank or credit source.
- Does not exist: The specified payment method does not exist. This typically means you're using a payment method from one merchant to another.
- Invalid Configuration: The app fee is incorrect
- Max Transaction Total Exceeded: The payment total was greater than the max limit.
How Do I Know Why the Transaction Failed?
RaiseDonors tries to provide as much context and “why” for the declined charge. We relay the message from the Gateway, Virtuous Payments, directly to the Transaction Details field. This can be found by selecting the ID of the specific transaction.
What kind of notifications are sent to donors when the recurring gift payment fails?
In RaiseDonors, admin can be notified for create, deleted, and updated recurring schedules, and for successful and failed donations. This will be important to notify both the donor and your team when there are issues with the payment.
In the Outgoing Emails tab under System Settings, you'll find options to create Recurring donor notifications. Enabling these notifications allows admin on your team to be notified anytime a recurring schedule is created, updated/edited, suspended, or deleted. If a donor's recurring charge fails, and the schedule is paused, enabling Updated recurring schedules will notify your team.
In the Outgoing Emails tab under System Settings, you'll find options to create and edit the emails your donors receive, including the Recurring receipt settings.
In here, you're able to both set up the receipt for successful gift payments AND the alert for fail gift payments.
- Successful recurring donation: You can push email receipts to your donors (and optionally to your staff) each time a recurring schedule completes a successful charge.
- Failed recurring donation:You can push email receipts to your donors (and optionally to your staff) each time a recurring schedule fails to completes a successful charge.
It will be especially important when creating the failed donation notification to consider including the your staff's email to receive a copy of the failed payment alert.