Sunday, May 11, 2014

How to cope up with Online Transactions that have failed midway

Sunday, May 11, 2014
Failed Online transactions are quite common, the reasons may be numerous, right from providing wrong login credentials of your Internet banking Account or Credit/Debit card , failed internet connection, insufficient funds, expired Debit/Credit card and many more.But, what is most frustrating when the transaction amount gets debited from your Account, but still the transaction fails to complete.
           Well, it's natural to feel miserable but we need to understand in simple terms, what may have gone wrong, so that appropriate actions could be initiated to resolve the issue at the earliest.Online transactions involve a complex set of processes.Let's take a look at the simplified version of process flow involved.
Simplified Flow Diagram of an E-commerce transaction (Arrows in red show the processes, one or more of which might have failed to complete after successful fund transfer)
The flow diagram above depicts the entire transaction processes along with the special case of failed transaction when funds have been transferred from your Account to Merchant's Account.The failure could be anywhere between Bank Confirmation processes, Payment Gateway response, Merchant's server response that usually presents a money receipt or any undesirable activity in the User's computer that might hinder completion of the transaction.

How such partial transactions involving funds debited from User Accounts completed generally ?
In most cases the issue is settled either with a settlement and update at Merchant's server in 3-4 working days (as in the case of most online Bill payments) or else with a reverse settlement i.e, the deducted amount is credited back to your Bank Account in 3-4 working days(as done in IRCTC ).
 In the former,Transaction is completed when the information along with the bank confirmation is updated on Merchant's server through back-up channels which may take 3-4 days or more.

What initiatives are to be taken ?
 To be doubly sure you might take the following initiatives.
  • Contact the Merchant to confirm whether they have received the payment.If they have they will issue a receipt and deliver the Product/service intended.
  • If the Merchant claims it hasn't received the amount, contact the Helpdesk of the Payment Gateway with the Transaction details like, Transaction ID, Amount, date and Merchant name to whom payments were made.They have logs of the transaction status and can initiate the rest of settlement process with the Merchant.
Usually, they are sufficient for solving your issue, if not you have to prepare for further escalations.

How to avoid such situations ?
  • The user has little to do than just be a patient spectator.A prudent stance would be to avoid any browser activity while the transaction is in process even if it seems to hang for few minutes.In many cases the "Payment Successful" notification pops up after minutes of wait.
  • Try to do your transactions on a stable and reliable internet connection.
  • Avoid online payments during peak hours if not urgent.(For instance if you book railway Tickets on IRCTC right after 8 am when booking starts and traffic load on the servers are high , you are more likely to have a failed transaction)
  • Make your Bill Payments at least a week in advance, so that even if something like this occurs it gets resolved before the Due date.
  • Don't make repeat payment before consulting the Payment Gateway or Merchant.
Toggle Footer