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💶 Questions regarding payments
Failed payments
⇲ Your payment was refused by a merchant
⇲ Your payment was refused by a merchant

This article applies to all Roles. Learn about common issues in refused payments.

Updated over a week ago

There are several reasons to explain a payment failure.

Important: if it is an online payment, check that your number is filled in on the page "My profile > Security phone number". This will allow the 3DS-verification to work, either by text or on your Spendesk mobile app.

Here are some other reasons why a payment may fail.

  • Insufficient funds

You may not have enough funds on your Spendesk card or, for debit cards, on your company's wallet (then, contact your Controller to make a transfer to Spendesk).

  • You can request a top-up on your physical card, in your Cards tab > load.

  • If you're using a single-use virtual card, cancel the single-use card request and make a new one with a sufficient amount to cover your expense + an eventual authorization. The amount that hasn't been used will be back to the company's wallet very quickly.

  • If you're using a recurring virtual card, you can ask for a budget raise in Subscriptions > the subscription you want to edit > Action > Edit budget.

👉🏻 Be sure to add enough on your card to handle currency conversion fees if you're paying in a different currency.

  • Wrong card information

Card information

The card information may be wrong. Please make sure to double-check that the 16 card numbers, expiration date, CVV, and card type (Mastercard or Visa depending on the account) are properly filled out on the supplier's website.

Card name

If your name has an apostrophe, do not fill it in the field, the payment can be refused for this by some merchants.

Billing address

Your billing address may not match the billing address associated with your Spendesk card. In order to check the correct billing address, you can always create a new request and generate a virtual card: the billing address appears below the card. See screenshot below:

☝🏻 You can also check this address on one of your payments by clicking on "Get card info".

Billing country

If the supplier's country doesn't match your billing country or the origin of your card, your payment can fail.

  • Maximum amount spent / Cap reached

Your transaction may exceed the maximum amount that you can spend with a Spendesk card (example, you have a subscription card with a monthly budget of 400 and you have spent 327, you cannot make an expense of 100).

If you're using a single-use card, then once you've made an expense it's not possible to make another one with the same card.

  • Type of card

Prepaid cards

Some of our cards are still prepaid cards. Some merchants are not accepting them (ex: cards starting with 5591 are not accepted on Google).

Foreign cards

Our cards are issued in the UK. Some merchants do not accept them as they consider foreign cards as a potential risk.

Virtual cards

Very few merchants do not accept virtual cards.


Some countries will favor VISA or other 'big' payment providers.

  • Card status

Card blocked

Check the status of your physical card on your account in the Cards tab. If your card is blocked, then you will not be able to proceed to payment.

You can check a subscription card's status in the Subscriptions tab : it might be paused.

If a single-use card was used for verification and the merchant then attempts to authorize a payment on it several days later, it will no longer be available for use and you will need to create a new one. Also, if an authorization happened and then the payment failed you must either create a single-use card to proceed to payment, or a recurring card if there's over 1 article in your order.

Card marked as suspicious

If you try to make a payment and it's refused several times, the merchant might flag your card as suspicious. We recommend using payment with PIN code and trying once only, especially with physical cards.

Time of the day / Day of the week

You might have a limitation to use your card during the week. Contact your account owner for more information.

  • Physical card issues

Card use

On your side:

  • The chip of your card might be damaged. Contact our support team to check, or ask your account owner to order a new one.

  • The PIN code might be wrong.

  • You have exceeded your contactless payments and need to do at least 1 payment by pin to proceed to a new payment by contactless.

  • You must fill in your details online or enter the card into a POS: payment by phone is not an option.

On the merchant's side:

There's also always a slight chance that the supplier may have set-up their payment system incorrectly. The transaction could fail if:

The merchant's payment terminal is not connected to the Internet (often the case for some hotels, restaurants, airplanes, trains, toll booths, and parking lots.)

The merchant's payment terminal is set-up on a wrong mode (check out this article for more information.)

The merchant didn't use the card correctly, making the transaction fail: you need to enter your card into the payment terminal and then type in your PIN code. If the card is swiped or not entered into the payment terminal correctly, the payment will automatically be declined!

  • 3DS issues

If you think you are having 3DS issues, read our article on the subject "You have 3DS issues" and/or contact our support team ! Note that 3DS codes are only valid for 10 minutes.

Your phone number needs to be filled on Spendesk and correct for the payment to be verified! Add your phone number from the "Avatar > My profile" tab.

  • Payment processors

You can have issues with payments if the website is using a payment processor such as Oney (which only accepts cards issued by French banks).

  • Temporary issue on the website

If none of the above reasons match your payment attempt, then maybe the supplier had an issue with their payment processor, and it's best to retry later.

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