Forum: Ruby on Rails OT: Displaying errors on credit-card processing

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Jacob P. (Guest)
on 2006-01-04 23:31
(Received via mailing list)
Hi,

This question isn't Rails-specific, but since Basecamp (& the family
of premium 37signals apps) have the best implementation of credit-card
processing I've seen, I'm hoping maybe DHH could lend an answer.  Of
course, anyone is welcome to chime in!

# Some background

Our nonprofit is building a Rails-driven store and donation center and
our developer is perplexed by the array of return parameters sent by
our e-commerce vendor, TrustCommerce, upon processing a transaction.

A sample of the possible return values is: approved, the transaction
was successfully authorize; accepted, the transaction has been
successfully accepted into the syste; decline, the transaction was
declined; baddata, invalid parameters passed; and error, system error
when processing transaction.

For decline types, the transaction can be declined for a number of
reason, from bad card number to insufficient funds, to bad AVS or CVV
matching, and a few other reasons.  Similarly, there are several
bad-data and error types possible.

# The question

Is there a generally accepted "best practice" regarding what level of
information should be divulged to the would-be customer if their card
is declined?  Surely, they should be let known if they simply
mis-entered their card number, but what if they have insufficient
fund?  What about AVS?

I was tempted to enter a bunch of bad info in the Basecamp signup
form--kidding, DHH!--but instead, I thought I'd check the best
resource I know: all of you!  So, do you all have anything to say
about the matter?  Any tips, links, or warnings appreciated.

Best,

Jacob

--
Jacob P.
Director of Outreach and Technology

Free the Slaves
1012 14th Street, NW, Suite 600
Washington, DC 20005

Phone: 202-638-1865
Fax: 202-638-0599
http://freetheslaves.net/
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