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TinyWiking

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Greetings everyone!
Sometimes when you place an order at Paradoxplaza you may experience a "Payment: REFUSED" error message resulting in your order not going through. Unfortunately the message is tremendously vague and doesn't actually provide any useful information that can be used to troubleshot the cause. I'd like to take a moment and explain a little bit more about this error and hopefully share some insight that can help you in the future.

What causes the error in the first place?
A whole bunch of things actually but the most common causes have been identified as:

  • Using a VPN or other tool to mask/change your IP
    Quite a common problem, many customers who use laptops for work tend to have a VPN running and most of the time not even thinking about it.

  • Incorrectly entering details
    Another very common cause. A single digit will cause the payment to be refused and multiple failed attempts will increase your fraud rating.

  • Not filling out all the details
    For some payment methods (PayPal in particular) not filling out all the details can cause it to be refused as the payment looks like a fraudulent transaction.

  • Banks not allowing international payments
    More often than not banks have an anti-fraud system in place preventing users from making purchases from out of country vendors.

  • Trying multiple payment methods
    This only happens after the payment has been refused once. We often see customers try again with another card, another method etc but they will all most likely be refused IF they are from the same bank.
"This can't be right, my card works with other online vendors!"
I understand that and I'm not surprised. There are dozens of payment providers used by online vendors and not all of them work the same. This is why, for example, a payment could go through perfectly on Steam but get refused on Paradoxplaza. Another reason for this is that many online vendors have payment affiliates in countries around the world which means that an international payment actually gets paid domestically and then the money is sent via an affiliate. Paradox doesn't have this.

"Well alright then, how do I prevent this from happening in the first place?"
There are a few things you should make sure of before placing an order:

  • Disable your VPN
  • Double and triple check the details you entered
  • Fill out all the details
  • Make sure your bank allows international payments
  • Make sure you are using a card from the country you are in
  • Add money to your PayPal account instead of just connecting your CC
    The reason for this particular suggestion is that if you have a balance on it before placing the order the payment system doesn't have to check your PP account AND your CC, only your PP account
I've had my payment refused, am I out of luck?
Not neccecirly. What we recommend is that you contact support as soon as you experience a Refused payment error and let us know. We can check our backend and see if the error message is a bit more specific and provide you with this information.

We strongly recommend that you call your bank and ask them for information pertaining to international online payments should your payment be refused. They may have a security feature that you have not been informed of and this could be the cause for the refusal. Only after you've spoken with your bank and confirmed that the card is acceptable to use online should you attempt a purchase as you will otherwise be stuck in a continuous loop of payment refused error messages.

As time goes by and questions arise I'll update this short FAQ but as long as you follow the steps above you shouldn't have any problems with your payments.
 
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Do laptops use VPN by default? I'm using my laptop from home and have never knowlingly set up a VPN, but my payment is being rejected, and none of the other possibilities seem to apply in my case.
 

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Do laptops use VPN by default? I'm using my laptop from home and have never knowlingly set up a VPN, but my payment is being rejected, and none of the other possibilities seem to apply in my case.
No, you need to install a VPN, the reason I mentioned laptops is that people that work from home tend to use a company laptop and they usually have them installed per default. Sometimes routers have built in IP "scramblers" to mask where users access the internet from so it is possible that could be the cause. If you get rejected you can always send us a support ticket (link in my signature) and we can check it in our payment records as sometimes we are able to extract more information.
 
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Payment refused?



Fyi, I've never had this problem, but seeing this thread brought this to mind.
 
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Palmetto

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I had this issue yesterday (new computer, excitedly buying HOI4 for it) and instantly got a unusual credit card activity alert email from my bank. I quickly responded to the bank that all the activity was recognized, but noted that I was still getting the "refused" message yesterday even though the bank said the card was still immediately usable after my response.

This morning I tested the card at a gas station and it worked, but I still got the "refused" message on my card and a second card.

Presumably I'm still in the 24 hour window mentioned, and now have to wait another 24 hours to try again. Annoying....:(
 

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I had this issue yesterday (new computer, excitedly buying HOI4 for it) and instantly got a unusual credit card activity alert email from my bank. I quickly responded to the bank that all the activity was recognized, but noted that I was still getting the "refused" message yesterday even though the bank said the card was still immediately usable after my response.

This morning I tested the card at a gas station and it worked, but I still got the "refused" message on my card and a second card.

Presumably I'm still in the 24 hour window mentioned, and now have to wait another 24 hours to try again. Annoying....:(
This is a good point actually! Some banks need you to authorize computers for making purchases (kind of like iTunes) so if you change computer (or even computer parts, sounds odd, I know, but trust me on this one) you may need to re-authorize it!
 

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I'm not sure about this...I've tried to by DLC for Crusader Kings 2 and just now, EU 4 extreme edition getting the same message despite the attempted purchases being well separated. The one time I got through with a purchase was for Crusader Kings 2. All in all, very frustrating.
 

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I had a particularly bizarre experience with the checkout today. I was trying to buy a few things in your store, and once I hit "confirm" some little window opened on top of my screen, but I don't remember what it said. Tried confirming the purchase a few more times, at some point the window showed a different message - this time something concerning "client side encryption". The next time I'd tried to purchase... it actually moved me to my bank's site where I could put a transaction authentication number. After writing down the numbers and clicking "confirm"... I was redirected to the checkout again! Nothing in the checkout was filled, I still had three items in my cart, and no error to be seen. I checked my bank accout - the same amount of money as before the transaction. I had tried a few more times, every time it's gone the same way. I didn't get the games but fortunately the only thing I lost were three TAN codes.

I have to add, I'm not too experience with buying things online. Normally I do it through transfer or by PayPal. I'd rather not use PayPal though, and I gather it's not possible to simply transfer you money for games in the store?
 

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I'd rather not use PayPal though, and I gather it's not possible to simply transfer you money for games in the store?
I'm afraid not. The store takes PP, Visa or MasterCard only.
 

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Glad to see this thread... though I'm not sure it will help me with my issue. My details are correct. I've tried from 2 different systems. 2 different completely unrelated cards. No VPN.

Looks like I just won't be making any purchases. I tried this morning, and again just now, so the "cooldown" doesn't seem to be a thing for me. Oh well.
 
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Question: will entering your name(under "name") incorrectly cause your payment to be refused? Just checking, since I think that's what caused mine to be refused but I don't want to wait ANOTHER 24 hours.
 

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Question: will entering your name(under "name") incorrectly cause your payment to be refused? Just checking, since I think that's what caused mine to be refused but I don't want to wait ANOTHER 24 hours.
Possibly yes. Think of it like this, if you walked into a store and made a purchase with a credit card, was asked for ID and then the name on the card wasn't the same as on your ID, the store would probably not allow the purchase. In short, make sure every detail is correct, including the name ;).
 

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I waited the 24 hours (25 actually) and tried again. Still denied. I suppose maybe I'll try again tomorrow, perhaps with another card.

I appreciate Paradox's need to avoid fraud, but this is frustrating to long time customers. Some sort of notification of what the exact issue for the denial is would be helpful, instead of just "payment refused".
 
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No VPN, all digits correct, all info filled out, can definitely make international transactions everywhere else.
Nope - doesn't work. Mastercard payment refused (debit card).

It didn't work back when I was trying to preorder HOI4 a couple of months ago either - ended up doing it via Steam instead. It was also a debit Mastercard, albeit a different one.

I'll try using Paypal tomorrow, but I'm not holding my breath. A shame, really. Would've loved some EU4 DLC at a discount.
 

TotallyNotSatan

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I entered anything correctly and it said "Missing the encrypted data value. Make sure the Client Side Encryption(CSE) script did encrypt the Credit Card details". I've been trying this for 2 days. I have no idea what the reason is for it not working; can someone help?
 

TinyWiking

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I waited the 24 hours (25 actually) and tried again. Still denied. I suppose maybe I'll try again tomorrow, perhaps with another card.

I appreciate Paradox's need to avoid fraud, but this is frustrating to long time customers. Some sort of notification of what the exact issue for the denial is would be helpful, instead of just "payment refused".
Unfortunately the error message is generated by the payment provider and we can't modify it. I agree that it would make sense for it to be more detailed alas it's out of our hands.

No VPN, all digits correct, all info filled out, can definitely make international transactions everywhere else.
Nope - doesn't work. Mastercard payment refused (debit card).

It didn't work back when I was trying to preorder HOI4 a couple of months ago either - ended up doing it via Steam instead. It was also a debit Mastercard, albeit a different one.

I'll try using Paypal tomorrow, but I'm not holding my breath. A shame, really. Would've loved some EU4 DLC at a discount.
Sometimes you need to activate security features that are dependent on your card:
  • Verified by VISA (for VISA)
  • Mastercard Secure (for Mastercard)
These are not active per default and you need to ask your bank to help you do this. This would lower the fraud rating and reduce the chance of the payment getting denied.