Welcome to WebmasterWorld Guest from

Forum Moderators: buckworks

Message Too Old, No Replies

Shadow Payments

Please someone clear this up for me

9:44 am on Jun 23, 2009 (gmt 0)

New User

10+ Year Member

joined:Sept 19, 2003
posts: 38
votes: 0

I have my online payment provider blaming the banks...

The banks blaming the online payment system

customers blaming me

If someone leaves the payment process after they have initiated the sale, but not completed all of the process

Whose fault is it that the money has been taken from their bank... worse when they go back and try again and have it taken twice

Thanks in advance for any help

9:57 am on June 23, 2009 (gmt 0)

Preferred Member

10+ Year Member

joined:Dec 9, 2003
votes: 0

About four times a year I get people who fail to see the massive text in the middle of the page shouting "YOUR TRANSACTION IS PROCESSING, DO NOT REFRESH OR REPEAT THE SUBMIT" who then mash the refresh or submit button multiple times. This then causes the same kind of problem you have.

I have been told by the banks and by my CC transaction supplier that in these cases the bank places the money in a holding area in case the buyer wants to proceed. I do not get to see the money and nor does my CC transaction supplier. The banks will usually hold onto the money for a few days and then put the money back in the buyers account.

If they mashed the button several times those several transactions will be in this holding area and there is nothing I nor my card supplier can do to get the money back into the buyers account.

In every case I get blamed even though the bank will verify (eventually) that they still have the money.

11:59 am on June 23, 2009 (gmt 0)

New User

10+ Year Member

joined:Sept 19, 2003
posts: 38
votes: 0

Thanks SimonUK

its good to know that i am not going insane and others out there are suffering the same issue

problem always is that customers never believe you!

2:00 pm on June 23, 2009 (gmt 0)

Senior Member

WebmasterWorld Senior Member rocknbil is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member

joined:Nov 28, 2004
votes: 0

If someone leaves the payment process after they have initiated the sale, but not completed all of the process

I would question your overall purchase process. Here is what I mean.

Many web sites are set up in this manner:

- Initiate process
- taken to payment page, which is off the web site, a third party location. A good example is payPal.
- When payment is complete, the user must click the back to merchant link to inform the web site that the payment is complete, and update any database entries, provide downloads, etc.

If your set up is like this, it's really on the site owner. What should happen here is a) either a silent post which performs the transaction in the background, never leaving the site, or b) an automated method of finishing the transaction so you do not rely on the customer to finish the transaction.

A good example of "b" is payPal's Instant Payment Notification. You set up a "listener" script on your site. It's job is to listen for messages from payPal, and update a web site's transactions. Once the transaction is complete payPal sends a token to your script to complete the transaction. Most processing gateways have a similar method in place to manage this if you use their "payment page."

Eliminate any possible place where you rely on the user to do, or in simonuk's example, NOT do, a particular action that can cause you grief. In his case you should have some method in place to prevent those duplicate submissions.

3:47 pm on June 23, 2009 (gmt 0)

Senior Member from GB 

WebmasterWorld Senior Member piatkow is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month

joined:Apr 5, 2006
votes: 68

Bad design can make these problems more common than they should be, but as I understand it the process, in the UK at least, should always a two step one with the transaction checked and the hold created then the account debited on completion. There is always scope for the user to do something that will leave the hold on the transaction in place.
4:13 pm on June 23, 2009 (gmt 0)


WebmasterWorld Administrator jatar_k is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member

joined:July 24, 2001
votes: 0

>> Whose fault is it

from the customer's standpoint it's yours :)

no way to tell for sure but the provider is probably the one to deal with first.

rocknbil all the important points. The thing I have always found odd is that few, or no, shopping carts start pending sales. You initiate a partial row/transaction in your database then once payment is confirmed you could fill in the missing data. This makes it a lot easier to test completed transactions. It also helps with some mess ups that users do, like stopping part way through.

at any rate, the trick is who you get the money back from, don't worry about blame, just who should initiate the transfer of one transaction back to the customer account.

2:36 am on June 24, 2009 (gmt 0)

Preferred Member

joined:Jan 12, 2009
votes: 0

The sale is initiated when the customer enters their card data, and presses the submit button.

After this it is too late to change your mind, or find fault elsewhere if you have problems changing it (although some states give the customer 24hrs to cancel an order. In this case you would have to wait 24hrs before processing the order to be safe and do a refund if asked for a cancellation within this 24hr window).

This seems pretty simple to me. Perhaps you are uncomfortable telling the customer how this works when they don't understand being the real issue?


Join The Conversation

Moderators and Top Contributors

Hot Threads This Week

Featured Threads

Free SEO Tools

Hire Expert Members