How to Accept Payments During a Credit Card Outage

A credit card outage creates one of the quickest ways for a merchant to lose potential business. An outage can bring the business to a complete halt for several hours at a stretch. Business owners who do not prepare to handle such an outage could lose out on massive business opportunities within a few short hours. Luckily, there are several ways one can address such an outage. This blog talks about how you can resume business and accept payments seamlessly, even during a credit card outage. 

If you cannot accept credit card payments from your customers, the problem may not necessarily be at the customer’s or your end. Sometimes, the credit card network might suffer an outage altogether. Check social media to see if others in your area are facing such an outage. You can also refer to this link to check whether Visa’s credit card network is suffering any problem. 


What is a Credit Card Outage?

Technology is not always reliable. Although the world’s best financial systems should run robustly and stand to handle extreme loads, unforeseen circumstances or maintenance issues can cause a problem. The credit card network is no stranger to imminent problems. Sometimes payments may fail when your customers try to process them with a credit card. They may try again and recheck the entered pin to see if it was an error on their end, only to find out that everyone’s credit card transactions are failing. Such a mass failure of systems is known as a credit card outage.

Sometimes such outages are restricted to specific states or localities. Other times, they affect the entire United States credit card network. So, what can you do if your area is facing a credit card outage?


What are the Top Alternative Modes of Payment?

Adopting alternative modes of payment can save the day. These payment methods can help you accept payments seamlessly and resume business during the outage. It can also give you a competitive advantage over the other businesses in the area that are not ready to process transactions differently. During credit card outages, customers quickly flock to the nearest store with one or more of the following ways to accept payments.


Merchants that do not want to disappoint customers and have no alternative payment modes set up quickly put up a “Cash Only” sign in front of their stores during an outage. Accepting cash payments is the quickest and safest way to resume business. However, the big problem is that most people do not carry cash with them today. Instead, they prefer cards or online methods of conducting business.

Debit Cards

The debit card network will often suffer an outage when the credit card network does too. However, it is a great idea to check if you can still process your customers’ debit cards once before asking them for cash or rejecting the transaction altogether.

Paper Checks

Collecting paper checks is not an ideal way of collecting a payment from a new customer. However, it is an option that you should keep open for your trusted long-time customers.

This transaction will process through a different vendor unless you are using an all-in-one gateway provider that accepts Remote Deposit Capture (RDC). In this situation, you take a picture of the back and front of the paper check for depositing it, and it loads into the gateway for nightly batching to the bank. Otherwise, taking paper checks in a credit card outage without the RDC tool will cause more data entry for your accounting and tax filing when reviewing transactions processed for budgetary, profit margin evaluation, and tax filing purposes.

P2P Transaction

You can also collect payments using a P2P application for smaller purchases. However, we do not recommend doing this for a long time and heavy purchases because your P2P application is tied to your personal and not your merchant account. They have an application process as well for business transactions. But do you really want to manage one more platform while settling transactions and filing taxes?

As of January 21, 2022, all transactions processed through these applications require filing at the set thresholds. Their platform sends Form 1099-K to individuals and the IRS for purchases that year. If you didn’t get one, you will still have to report in that year’s filing any taxable income you earned through any P2P platforms.

Online ACH

ACH is the best alternative payment method you can adopt today. It offers the following benefits:

  • Lower transaction fees for customers
  • Easy-to-setup cash discount program that helps you and your customers save money
  • Excellent security
  • Support with next-gen applications that help you accept payments without a card or paper checks


Online ACH is a game-changer for most businesses that want to adopt new payment methods to help them and their customers save more. With a payment gateway possessing a variety of payment solutions, businesses across the nation process credit cards and ACH on a single platform while leveraging perks like the Cash Discount Program with Every solution opens the possibility to offer ACH and credit cards, including customized mobile technology, eCommerce websites, Interactive Voice Recognition software, and more than settles to the SAME virtual terminal. This makes reconciling and filing more easily facilitated. 

Want to know more? Schedule a quick call with one of our payment processing experts!


Date originally published: February 27, 2022

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We help businesses accept and process payments with our suite of next-gen customizable fintech solutions. Our automated technologies help you carry out ACH and credit card transactions on a single easy-to-use platform.