Double and triple charges in Customer Bank Accounts on Shopify Store

Sam_NZ
Tourist
3 0 2

Hi, We're a New Zealand Shopify store and a few of our customers are being charged double and sometimes triple transactions or pending charges in their bank account. These are a combination of payment types, Shopify Pay, PayPal, Afterpay, LayBuy etc

There are no declined messages or errors in the payment process from the transaction record and the banks are saying it is our fault and we don't handle the money directly so can someone from Shopify answer this question then follow through to provide a permanent fix for us?

I can see people have this problem elsewhere but there are no full resolutions to the issue, just answers saying they are pending transactions that should disappear in a few days but customers cannot access the funds in their account so the responsible thing to do is to solve the problem once and for all for everyone who is having the same issue. Can someone assist?

Replies 6 (6)
June
Shopify Staff
314 86 53

Hi @Sam_NZ, thanks for getting in touch! I'd love to gather a little more information here to better understand why this seems to be a commonly occurring experience for your customers. 

It's true that typically when a customer is seeing multiple "charges" on their end for a payment that you only received once, what they're actually seeing is an authorization (a request we make to the credit card company whenever a transaction is attempted to see if X amount of funds are available). When the final bill of sale is not submitted (which it won't be in this case because you never received the payment), the authorization ultimately disappears. When an authorization is created, that amount is deducted from an individual's available credit, as you've said. 

I'm curious to know why your customers seem to be (regularly) unable to complete their payment on the first attempt. You've mentioned that there are no decline codes available, but do you see any corresponding orders listed under Orders > Abandoned checkouts at all?

How often would you say that you receive reports from customers of unexpected authorizations? 

June | Social Care @ Shopify 
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Joshkiwi1
Tourist
9 0 2

Hi There,

See recent screenshot below from a client of ours. This problem has been occurring for a year now (1 in 20 orders). Seems to be no fix to the issue. You are right the Pending charge does not drop after a day or 2, However this can cause peoples credit card to decline. We have orders of $5000 being charged twice. We have thought this may be an issue with one bank but it seems to be 6 different banks in New Zealand.

This time the pending charge is the day after the transaction. Sometimes its at the same time.

 

Joshkiwi1_0-1632178270461.jpeg

 

Joshkiwi1
Tourist
9 0 2

Hi June,

 

No update to my query below?

June
Shopify Staff
314 86 53

Hi @Joshkiwi1, thanks for following up and sorry for the delay. Without knowing the details of each transaction, it's difficult to say exactly why your customers are seeing pending authorizations from time to time - apart from the fact that this is fairly common with online card payments. A couple of things to keep in mind:

  • Certain banks or card issuers are more prone than others to displaying pending authorizations. This means that sometimes a charge will show up twice - once as a charge, and once as an authorization.
  • Mobile banking apps can also have more difficulty displaying authorizations accurately. You might recommend that customers check a full desktop version or hard copy of their bank statement.
  • Customers can always contact their banks to confirm that no additional funds have been removed from their accounts.
All of this said, I do appreciate that this can be a challenging topic to discuss with your customers (who naturally just want to make sure they're not being double-charged). We're here to help you navigate those conversations however we can so please don't hesitate to follow up with any questions.
Thanks again!

June | Social Care @ Shopify 
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ThePartyRoom
New Member
8 0 0

We are also experiencing the same issue.  NZ Shopify store, customers reporting that they have been double charged. 

One of the two charges shows as pending but then falls away after a few days (so customer isnt actually double charged). This does however cause concern from customers and ties up their funds for a few days.

Can anyone from Shopify please look into resolving this for New Zealand customers?

June
Shopify Staff
314 86 53

Hi @ThePartyRoom, I hope you're doing well today!

I definitely see how what you're describing could be quite inconvenient for customers, though this is something we can and should expect from time to time when we're accepting online card payments - or placing an online order ourselves. If it helps, I encourage you to lean on the information I shared above whenever you do find yourself discussing this topic with your customers. If a buyer is ever concerned that they have been double-charged (when you can see on your end that they haven't), I would encourage them to reach out to their individual bank for reassurance.

I do want to clarify that while we are aware that authorizations do occur and are more than happy to help you navigate them, Shopify does not have the ability to reverse or remove authorization requests, as these are generated by the cardholder's bank. 

June | Social Care @ Shopify 
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 - To learn more visit the Shopify Help Center or the Shopify Blog