Helen Geraghty, Copywriter   08 February 2020

A photo of a black pen on top of a debit card with WorldRemit purple background

In most cases, online payments are quick and convenient, but it can be frustrating when your card gets declined, and you don’t know why. 

We have written this article to help you identify the most common reasons as to why debit and credit card payments fail and what you can do to resolve this issue.

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Common debit and credit card decline messages

Most retailers around the world, whether online or offline, accept credit and debit card payments. Making a payment using a credit or debit card is usually fast, secure and convenient. You may, however, find that you run into problems and your payment fails.

Common reasons why your credit or debit card payment may fail include:

Card information entered incorrectly

Double-check that your card details are correct and that you’ve used the right postal or zip code on your billing address. 

Card expired

To ensure that your card is still valid, check the expiration date on the front of your card. 

Failed 3D secure identification

When putting a payment through online, you may have entered an incorrect password on the 3D secure pop-up.

Unusual activity

Your bank may decline your payment if your recent activity triggers their security system. The kind of activity that can trigger security includes an unexpected large purchase, an unusually high number of purchases over a short period or a purchase in a different country.

Insufficient funds or you’ve reached your credit limit

You may have miscalculated how much money you have left in your account, or an unexpected payment may have come out, leaving your balance too low to cover the payment.

Your account has been closed

Occasionally, banks close accounts without warning. This could be for several reasons including you haven’t used the account in a very long time, you’ve broken the terms of the account, or your account may even be closed in error!

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Prepaid cards 

Prepaid cards work in the same way as to store gift cards; you top up with money and use them to pay for goods in-store or online. Prepaid cards are not linked to a bank account; they are used as a safe alternative to carrying large amounts of cash.

Common reasons your prepaid card transaction failed:

Card not activated

Before you can begin using your prepaid card, you will need to register and activate it.

Incorrect address

If you’re trying to pay online using a prepaid card, make sure the address you give matches the address you’ve used to register for the prepaid card.

Prepaid cards are not accepted

Not all retailers support payments using prepaid cards.

Mobile payment apps

Mobile payment apps like PayPal One Touch, Apple Pay, Google Pay, Zelle and Venmo provide users with a range of convenient payment services that they can use on their smartphones from any location with an internet connection.

These apps can be used to quickly and conveniently pay participating merchants both online and offline, as well as transferring money between friends and family.

Each mobile payment service has its transaction limits in place, and not all apps are supported in all countries. Save

Common reasons your mobile payment app may fail include:

Your account isn’t verified

If you have recently registered with a mobile payment app, then you will need to verify your account before you can begin making payments.

Your card hasn’t been confirmed

Whenever you set up a new payment card in a mobile payment app, it needs to go through a confirmation process before you can begin using it.

Insufficient funds on your balance

You don’t have enough money left on your balance, and there are no alternative payment methods set up on your account.

Security reasons

Mobile payment apps constantly monitor their services for unusual or suspicious transactions or activity. If your recent activity triggers the security system, then your next transaction may fail. This often happens when the bank suspects that your card has been lost or stolen and is now being used by someone else.

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What can you do if your card was declined online?

Calling your bank to get the issue fixed is an obvious solution, but what else can you do if you need to complete your payment or transaction online as fast as possible?

Use an alternative payment method

Many online businesses and merchants offer more than just one payment method. The payment alternatives can be anything from direct debit to their bank account, online payment providers (such as PayPal or Amazon Pay), or money transfer services (like WorldRemit). 

Check if you can get a virtual card with your bank

Many modern-style online banks allow you to get a virtual card (to be used online only) or disposable virtual card for one-time use.

Don’t use someone else’s card

When your card gets declined, and you run out of options, it might seem like a great idea to use your husband’s or friend’s card instead. However, all secure websites (WorldRemit included), don’t let a transaction get through unless the card holder’s name matches the account’s name.

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Find out what to do if your card gets declined abroad.

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WorldRemit payment methods

Here at WorldRemit, we help millions of customers to quickly and easily transfer money to 150 countries around the world using our online money transfer service.

To make using our service simple and convenient, we offer a wide range of different payment methods. 

We offer low fees, fair exchange rates and a variety of different transfer methods including:

  • Bank transfer
  • Cash pick-up
  • Mobile money
  • Airtime top-up

Our global payment methods include:

Country-specific payment methods include:

  • POLi (New Zealand and Australia)
  • Interac (Canada)
  • iDEAL (Netherlands)
  • Klarna (Germany, Austria, Belgium, and the UK)
  • Trustly (certain European countries)

Troubleshooting failed payments on WorldRemit

Most of our money transfers are paid for and sent without a hitch. If you encounter any problems with your payment, it’s likely for the following reasons. 

Poor internet connection

If your internet connection is weak or keeps disconnecting, it can cause the payment for your money transfer to timeout or fail.

Try making the payment when connected to a different wi-fi connection or using your mobile data. We always recommend our customers to use a secure wi-fi connection.

Card used on multiple accounts

If you have registered with WorldRemit more than once and have duplicate accounts using the same card, this can cause problems. The payment gateway we use will automatically block the card for security reasons, causing payments to fail.

Our customer service team (which is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week in several languages) can help you to resolve this problem by disabling the duplicate account and unblocking your card. You will then need to login to your original account to put your payment through and complete your transfer.

Tip: You may also encounter this problem after changing your email address on your WorldRemit account. If your relative has tried to use your card on their accounts, ensure they haven’t saved your card on their account as a preferred payment method. 

a purple dot“AWondering how to send money abroad fast? You can find out in our helpful guide.

Declined by bank or card issuer

Sometimes a transaction may trigger your bank’s security and anti-fraud system to reject it. You will need to contact your bank or credit card issuer to have this problem resolved.

Tip: If you call the customer service department of your bank, the issues might not get resolved as they won’t see the block right away. To fix this issue, dial the phone number written at the back of your card and request to be transferred to the authorisation department.  

Failed 3D secure identification

Our website and mobile app use a 3D Secure technology. We accept cards issued by Visa (Verified by Visa), Mastercard and Maestro SecureCode.

What does 3D Secure mean to you in terms of using our services? When you reach the payment page, you might see a box popping up from your card issuer asking you for additional information. It is designed to confirm that it’s you who’s using your card. 

When putting your payment through, you may have entered an incorrect password on the 3D secure pop-up. Only you and your card issuer know what your code is. You will need to contact your bank if you’re having problems with your 3D secure pin code.

Tip: Sometimes, the issue isn’t at the side of your bank, but due to your pop-ups being disabled on your computer or phone. Find out how you can enable pop-ups on various browsers.

Many failed attempts in a row 

If we detect several unsuccessful payment attempts over a short time, we will also block your card. If this happened to you by accident, please contact our customer service team so that we can help you.


Sending money online with WorldRemit is fast, affordable and convenient. All you need to make a transfer is a smartphone, laptop or tablet and an internet connection.

Download our mobile app and try WorldRemit for free 

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