Double and triple charges in Customer Bank Accounts on Shopify Store

Sam_NZ
New Member
3 0 0

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?

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June
Shopify Staff
Shopify Staff
289 86 50

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 1

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

 

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Joshkiwi1
Tourist
9 0 1

Hi June,

 

No update to my query below?

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June
Shopify Staff
Shopify Staff
289 86 50

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 
 - Was my reply helpful? Click Like to let me know! 
 - Was your question answered? Mark it as an Accepted Solution
 - To learn more visit the Shopify Help Center or the Shopify Blog

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