Credit Card Processing Outages – What to Do About Them and Why They Happen

As a business owner, some of the most challenging obstacles to overcome are beyond your control. This includes credit card outages, which can make an ordinary day hectic.

Business owners place a high priority on efficiency and excellent customer service. Therefore a payment processing outage can completely disrupt your business. Fortunately, there are actions you can take to handle such a Visa and Mastercard outage and stop it from having a long-lasting lousy influence on your client.

What are Credit Card Processing Outages?

The procedure by which information from a customer’s card is conveyed to enable a certain amount of money to be transferred from their account to the merchant’s account is known as credit card processing.

This system is hampered by credit card outages, which prevent payments from being completed.

Sometimes, processing customer orders will be easy. However, if your credit card processing system occasionally stops functioning, which will prevent you from taking more orders. The cause is typically obscure, which means you must immediately address the source of the problem.

Reasons for Outage in Credit Card Processing

credit card processing

A payment processing system sends the customer’s credit card information to your merchant account. An outage in processing credit cards occurs when that system crashes or is otherwise affected and prevents payment from being processed. Credit card processing lapses can be brought on by a variety of factors, including:

Equipment Failure

You might experience problems with your particular terminal or processing device even if your internet connection and power supply are stable. The card reader will stop all transactions if there is a hardware issue or the machine’s software is incompatible. Check for any software updates you might have missed. Contact your payment processor if the issue still exists after rebooting; you might need to have your machine repaired or replaced.

Power Outage

Imagine operating in a rainstorm, torrential downpour, strong winds, or freezing conditions. In that instance, there might be a problem with the local power system, downed power lines, or poor satellite service. If you can get in touch with your power provider, they can let you know if there are any power outages nearby and give you an idea of when they’ll be able to resume service.

You should purchase a battery or generator power source for your internet router, terminal, and computer system at your workplace to address the issue of potential power outages in the future.

Internet Connection Issues

You will need to investigate internet connections to determine the underlying cause. Most gateways and terminals need an internet connection to authenticate a user’s debit or credit card and complete the transaction. Assume you have a more recent credit card reader and must be online. If so, your internet connection speed might need to be improved to accept credit cards. You can reset your WiFi signal or router. Also, you can contact your internet service provider to increase the speed or bandwidth.

How does Credit Card Outage Negatively Influence Your Business?

credit card processing failure and customers
Retail merchant trends are rapidly evolving in 2024.

Outages in payment processing can cause retailers a serious problem. Along with the potential loss of sales, these disruptions may harm your company’s reputation among clients.

Customers may leave if they cannot place an order, regardless of whether the outage impacts your physical store, online store, or both. The customer may locate what they need at another establishment, and their negative experience will discourage them from revisiting your store. A successful firm depends on cultivating a loyal customer base, so anything that damages that reputation could be expensive.

Only accepting cash is a common solution businesses use when their payment processing systems fail. Even if the outage only lasts a short while, this can lead to a loss of revenues.

You need to be ready for people to stop shopping at your store and go elsewhere because cash is becoming less and less popular—especially since the epidemic outbreak.

An outage of your credit card processor might have varying degrees of impact on your organization, depending on its type. For instance, there would be many immediate issues if you run a restaurant and an outage happens in the middle of the evening rush.

A backlog will develop if several clients are waiting to cash their checks. Likely, most clients won’t have any cash on hand, either.

It’s the last thing you want to deal with on a busy night, but you’ll probably be able to fix it quickly—unless it’s totally beyond your control because of a power outage.

Credit Card Down? How to Resolve this Problem?

Surviving the MATCH List

Now that you know the potential causes, it is crucial to identify the issue and take the appropriate action. A program called Down Detector might assist you in identifying the issue if you cannot figure out what it is. It is a useful tool that provides real-time notifications if there is a problem with the internet provider, the payment processing business, or various credit card firms such as Visa or Mastercard. This method allows businesses to identify the issue without considering every cause. They might also find it comfortable and easy to resume their business without spending countless hours.

Once the issue has been located, the following step is to speak with your clients. Companies must contact their customers during a blackout. Before making any online or in-store purchases in this way, customers will be informed. The business owner should inform customers about the outage by posting on social media platforms so they may also tell their stories or inform their friends about store changes. Customers that need to be correctly communicated with will become irate and never visit your store again.

You may always provide your customers with alternate payment options if your payment processor is down. Offer Amazon Pay, PayPal, and other simple payment options that customers can use to pay wirelessly. There are numerous ways to encourage customers to continue making purchases at your store. You can overcome a credit card outage if you keep these recommendations in mind and know how to resolve them.

What to Do When Credit Card Processing Outages Occur

Everyone finds it frustrating when there are delays in card processing. The organization must take a few key actions to troubleshoot and explain the issue during an outage.

Identify the Reason

Determining the cause should be the first step for any firm experiencing problems processing payments because payment processing outages are uncommon. A smart initial approach to identify the disturbance is to investigate whether there is a problem with the internet service provider.

Connectivity problems caused by wireless internet failures can be quickly fixed with a backup option such as a hard-wired internet connection or DSL. Since businesses typically use WiFi to run their point-of-sale terminals, troubleshooting should begin here.

Card payments can immediately restart if the problem is simply a WiFi connection problem that produces difficulties in processing the cards. In this situation, it’s crucial for management and on-duty employees to know how to fix WiFi connectivity issues and to have information on hand for re-establishing internet access for point-of-sale terminals.

Manage Credit Card Down Issue

Down Detector is a helpful tool that provides real-time alerts if there is a broad problem with an internet service provider, a payment processing business, or even certain credit card firms like Visa or Mastercard. When there is an outage, it is crucial to determine whether the issue is restricted to ISPs, payment processors, financial institutions, or card issuers.

Communicate with Clients

If there are no problems with the power supply, physical terminals, or internet access, the problem with card processing is probably a problem with the card processing firm. When that happens, the first person to contact should be customer service to find out the problem and how long it will take to fix it.

Additionally, firms need to contact clients during credit card processing outages. Social media announcements are a crucial method of reaching clients for this.

Although companies might be hesitant to use social media to communicate something as unpleasant as their inability to accept debit and credit card payments, proactive and open communication can help address many customer service issues.


Outages in the processing of credit cards do occur. However, they are uncommon and usually resolved relatively quickly. Make sure your internet is dependable, pick a payment processor that offers WiFi alternatives, and if the issue persists, develop a communication strategy in order to let you customers know what is going on as soon as you know.

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