Failed payments

Helpdesk -

Payment collection can fail for a number of reasons, including insufficient funds, pre-approval expired, not linking the correct funding source to a PayPal account, expired debit/credit card etc.

When a payment fails, an email alert is sent to the member giving them instructions of what they need to do.  Administrators with full access rights are c.c. into this alert.

The failed payment will also show in the payment table of the member's payment history which is at the bottom of their record. Clicking on 'Details' alongside the failed payment will display the reason for the failure.

The reasons for failure are passed straight through from our payment partners, PayPal and GoCardless and can sometimes be a little cryptic!

The failed payment will also be shown in the Cancelled/Failed Transaction Report under the menu option Financials > Payment Reports.  The failed payment will be shown as a red 0.00.  Clicking on the 0.00 will display a pop-up with the detail of the failed payment.

You can acknowledge a failed payment (in order to clear it from your failed transaction list) by ticking the Acknowledge box in the pop-up.   

When a member is pre-authorised and payment fails, the system will continually try to collect payment at midnight (GMT) each day until successful.

A member without pre-authorised payments will see the payment as outstanding in the payment basket of their members' online account.  They will need to log into their account in order to initiate payment again.

If a member logs into their Pay Subs Online account and goes to their Payment page following a failed payment alert, they will see a message that gives them instructions on what to do. 

Example failure messages:

Payment Cancelled:

This is likely done by the member not recognising the payment, if there is a pre-authorisation set-up, then you will need to purge the cancelled attempt for the system to try and request payment again. 

Webhook Validation:

This can be one of two things, unfortunately, we cannot tell which one. The first is that it was a banking error which means a technical error occurred during the transaction or the payment has been blocked by the bank. The second is that there were insufficient funds in the contacts account to fulfil the transaction.

If this has been displayed, then the payment will automatically start processing again the next day if the member has a pre-authorisation, if not the member will need to enter their details again. 

If a pre-authorised payment displays this message more than once, you can advise your member to contact their bank to make sure that it has not been blocked by them.

When a failed payment is resubmitted, it will show in the system as 'pending' until the system receives a call back from GoCardles.  The system will only try to take payment again after receiving the call back from GoCardless that the payment has failed. Each attempt will take into account GoCardless’ transaction time.

Mandate not found:

This error occurs when the payer bank is unable to process the payment for various reason such as account closed, mandate cancelled, done outside of the system.

The payment cannot be processed because no payment source is available:

This PayPal error message appears if the member has not linked a valid credit or debit card to their PayPal account.  

The preapproval key hasn’t been authorised yet:

This is a PayPal error message which means the customer has not accepted the PayPal preapproval key that allows PayPal to bill the customer. This could happen if a customer goes to the PayPal checkout page (where they log in to their PayPal account) but do not complete the purchase.

Unprocessable Entity message:

This usually appears for one of two reasons:

1. The member has reached the limit for the year.  You will need to contact GoCardless and, with the payer's permission, they will increase this limit so we can continue taking payments. You can contact Gocardless at   Alternatively, if the member has pre-authorised payments set up, cancelling the pre-authorisation will enable them to enter their bank details again which will solve this issue.

2. The amount you are trying to process is too low - any payments under £1 will not be able to be processed by GoCardless 


If you see this message as the reason for failure, we have been advised that this is likely due to the bank not authorising the direct debit set up. You should advise your member to contact their back so they are allowed to accept direct debits from GoCardless. It could also be that they have given details of an account that does not allow the set-up of direct debits.


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