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unusually high number of Stripe declines?


SJ77
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Just to put some numbers behind this

Prior to June 16th I had a consistent fail rate of 7% Starting June 16th it shot up to 25% and I didn't change a thing. I'm so lost and confused.
  • Pre June 16 Stripe fails of 7%
  • POST June 16 Stripe fails of 25%
This is killing me and causing me to rapidly shrink the business I have worked so hard to build.
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Is there any reason for the fails?  Does your dashboard allow you to see a reason for a fail? Have you contacted Stripe support to get their assessment of why there are so many fails?  I would presume that a fail is due to someone's card not being authorised, I would contact Stripe support and see what they say.

I set up Stripe for a client and when we had an issue they were extremely helpful.  Hope you get it sorted soon as I feel your pain.

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5 minutes ago, Davyc said:

Is there any reason for the fails?  Does your dashboard allow you to see a reason for a fail? Have you contacted Stripe support to get their assessment of why there are so many fails?  I would presume that a fail is due to someone's card not being authorised, I would contact Stripe support and see what they say.

I set up Stripe for a client and when we had an issue they were extremely helpful.  Hope you get it sorted soon as I feel your pain.

Yeah it's all this "do_Not_honor" bank code stuff. Stripe thinks they are bank declines. Why would it suddenly shoot up like that though is what is confusing to me. I didn't change anything on my side.

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8 minutes ago, SJ77 said:

Yeah it's all this "do_Not_honor" bank code stuff. Stripe thinks they are bank declines. Why would it suddenly shoot up like that though is what is confusing to me. I didn't change anything on my side.

If they are bank declines then it is possible that it may have something to do with people's fiances being troubled due to this pandemic we are going through; it's a possibility, but I would investigate further if you can with Stripe.  Can you see where these declines are located - for example are they all coming from one place, or even one account?  I'm not sure whether you can dig that deep, but you could as Stripe, unless they are inclined not to offer you that kind of info due to privacy concerns.  It just seem strange that this high volume of declines coincides with what's happening with the pandemic and how it is affecting people's finances.

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I am thinking maybe there was some legal change that is causing banks to decline more aggressively. I do HIGH number of very small transactions so I am usually distinctly aware of issues before others notice.

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Here's more information on Stripe's decline codes and how to interpret them:

https://stripe.com/docs/declines/codes#do_not_honor

do_not_honor

The card has been declined for an unknown reason. The customer needs to contact their card issuer for more information.

Typically, this would be for fraud alerts or insufficient funds for banks that don't report that information back to the processor.

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1 minute ago, Paul E. said:

Here's more information on Stripe's decline codes and how to interpret them:

https://stripe.com/docs/declines/codes#do_not_honor

do_not_honor

The card has been declined for an unknown reason. The customer needs to contact their card issuer for more information.

Typically, this would be for fraud alerts or insufficient funds for banks that don't report that information back to the processor.

Yes thank you.

But what would cause these FAILS to go from 7% to 25% all of a sudden? That's a big jump.

A lot of the cards being declined are cards that have a history success. Repeat customers being turned away.

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1 minute ago, SJ77 said:

But what would cause these FAILS to go from 7% to 25% all of a sudden? That's a big jump.

I'd suggest reaching out to Stripe and see if they can shed light on that. Per their documentation, that's a bank-level decline, so they may not be in a position to even be able to get that information or share it. In other words, they're accepting what they're getting from IPS and passing it along to the processor rather than stopping it because of a bad API call, or their own fraud checks.

I imagine if a processor marked your site as a place where fraudulent purchases are more likely to be made (would that make sense for your purchasable content?), then you may be getting stopped by fraud checks more frequently as another possible scenario. The customers may be getting a phone call or alert from their banks that purchases were blocked as potentially fraudulent and ask the customer to verify that the purchase was intentional. This would be different from Stripe identifying it as fraudulent.

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2 minutes ago, Paul E. said:

I'd suggest reaching out to Stripe and see if they can shed light on that. Per their documentation, that's a bank-level decline, so they may not be in a position to even be able to get that information or share it. In other words, they're accepting what they're getting from IPS and passing it along to the processor rather than stopping it because of a bad API call, or their own fraud checks.

I imagine if a processor marked your site as a place where fraudulent purchases are more likely to be made (would that make sense for your purchasable content?), then you may be getting stopped by fraud checks more frequently as another possible scenario. The customers may be getting a phone call or alert from their banks that purchases were blocked as potentially fraudulent and ask the customer to verify that the purchase was intentional. This would be different from Stripe identifying it as fraudulent.

This is insightful. Yes, Stripe doesn't know what do_not_honor really means. I think logically though you're pointing out that it doesn't seem like an error in the Stripe.php file.

My dispute activity is 0.02%   Seems pretty good to me. Not sure if something was reported to the banks or not.

I feel like a few months ago, like right before the pandemic (Feb I think?) this happened. Decline rates shot up for a week or two. I was freaked out by it but it seemed to resolve itself on it's out. Which is really weird. And now it's happening again.

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It may also be wise to make sure nothing is skimming cards from your site as another avenue that would account for suspicious activity being associated with the payments. Verify all IPS files are intact and unmodified, check plugins and applications, server filesystem, logs, etc.

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3 minutes ago, Paul E. said:

It may also be wise to make sure nothing is skimming cards from your site as another avenue that would account for suspicious activity being associated with the payments. Verify all IPS files are intact and unmodified, check plugins and applications, server filesystem, logs, etc.

Great thought. And always good to do. I think it's not this because my actual sales volume is down about 25%

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I'd keep an eye on times and dates to see if any kind of a pattern emerges as to when a lot of fails happen - it could be something to do with the way people are being paid as a result of the pandemic and their monthly pay checks may be erratic and without realising it their accounts may be overdrawn or empty.  If nothing else appears to be untoward then it may be down to something like this. Keep a close watch and keep your own logs too. 

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