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Unusual CBA Amex decline

lowan74

Intern
Joined
Dec 4, 2009
Messages
51
Hello,

I wanted to share an experience of an unusual "declined" transaction and see if anyone else had experienced similar issues.

I recently received a CBA Amex Platinum card (to enjoy the fee free overseas transactions with the points, and to avoid any DCC worries that have previously affected my visa and mc transactions), and have had successful transactions so far in AUD, USD and Chinese RMB.

This afternoon I went to check into a hotel (Shangri La hotel, Baotou, China) and when doing the pre-auth the only response their terminal could receive was declined (it was for RMB 2000). I wanted to ensure that it wasn't an Amex acceptance issue (as can be common in China), so I checked in using my Amex issued Amex card and it went through with no issues.

Tonight I called CBA and asked why the transaction was declined, and they stated that it had never hit their account for approval, and had not been declined by them, which I believe.

My question to members of this board is do you know if there is anything fundamentally different between the way a bank issued amex card would be processed compared to and Amex issued card, which would cause this problem when the cards are submitted through authorisation through the same terminal? Keen to get any thoughts and insight here..

Thanks

Matt
 

N860CR

AFF Supporter
Joined
Nov 30, 2004
Messages
3,330
Had this same issue with the Hilton in Helsinki and Helsinki airport. CBA sees the transaction as OK, however the merchant says "declined". CBA claim it means the merchant software is out of date.

My thoughts reflect yours, that it's an issue with the bank issued Amex.
 

lowan74

Intern
Joined
Dec 4, 2009
Messages
51
Had this same issue with the Hilton in Helsinki and Helsinki airport. CBA sees the transaction as OK, however the merchant says "declined". CBA claim it means the merchant software is out of date.

My thoughts reflect yours, that it's an issue with the bank issued Amex.
I've done some more trials over the past week (all in Chinese RMB) and found the following with the CBA card..

When the terminal prompts for a PIN, if I enter the pin the card automatically declines (and it never seems to hit my account or the back records even as an attempted transaction). If I just press the enter/green button on the terminal (without entering a PIN) then the transaction goes through correctly.

Very strange, not sure if it is a Chinese banking quirk, but I am now successfully enjoying use of the card in larger businesses in China.
 

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