Solved

Pass payment declined - bank says incomplete info from Eurorail

  • 9 September 2022
  • 14 replies
  • 845 views

Has anyone else had this problem? I’ve been trying to buy a Global Interrail Pass online for several days, but my payment keeps being declined. I contacted my bank (Triodos) and they say the following:

“The reason the payment was declined is that the merchant’s acquiring bank did not send enough data through in the authorisation request for strong customer authentication to be performed.

In the UK new legislation is being introduced to reduce fraud and as a result, you may be asked to verify your identity when making a purchase online. Retailers are having to update their systems to include specific information to card providers to enable the transactions to be authorised.

Unfortunately, this has created some challenges for retailers who haven’t yet updated their systems to include the required information, which may then result in declined transactions.

We have raised this issue with our provider, Mastercard, who have confirmed it would be an issue that the specific merchant would need to address. The merchant will have received a message from us asking them to retry the payment providing the additional information and I apologise that we cannot resolve this issue on your behalf.

The deadline for all banks and merchants to be processing payments using the updated systems was 14 March this year. We have slowly been increasing the number of transactions we require to use the new protocol in anticipation of this deadline.  For merchants that have not switched over, then all of their transaction requests will be declined thereafter.”

I need to be in Switzerland by Wednesday (5 days from now) and know that it will be more difficult to make Eurostar reservations the closer it gets. I wrote to EU customer support 48 hours ago and UK support earlier today but no response yet. I could pay in person at a station but that doesn’t seem to be an option and the UK phone helpline is just a recorded message saying to use the website. I considered asking a friend to make the payment for me, but it would still mean that I’d be unable to make reservations while I’m away. I’m seriously thinking that I might have to cancel my trip, and all the complex arrangements I’ve put into place.

Any advice or guidance?

icon

Best answer by Al_G 9 September 2022, 21:22

View original

14 replies

Userlevel 7
Badge +4

 

A UK based agency sells passes, mobile and paper, but check delivery times for paper.

 

https://www.myinterrail.co.uk/

 

You should check Eurostar availability before buying though.

 

https://www.b-europe.com/EN/Booking/Pass#TravelWish

 

 

Userlevel 7
Badge +5

There are several agents/retailers in GB also able to deliver mobile in a few mins. As always google will help, ffestiniog travel springs in my mind- Mark Smith of seat61.com probably will mention a few more.

Actually I thought Triodos was only here (NL), but now I see they are more widespread.

And no-this is the very 1st time someone reports this prob on this forum

Thanks for replying @Al_G, but I tried booking through this site too. It had the same result and that was the telephone helpline that does not take calls. 

 

Thanks for the b-europe link though. Yes, I can see that the train I was hoping for, which was still showing availability on the Eurorail site, is now sold out. I now have to re-arrange my whole trip. It is incredibly frustrating but yes, good to know before I was able to buy the pass. 

I would still appreciate feedback from anyone else who has had this experience with their bank though.

Thanks @mcadv I did google it but all the first level info points only to the 2 sites I’d already tried, including Seat61’s info https://www.seat61.com/how-to-use-an-interrail-pass.htm#buy-a-pass-online

I hadn’t heard of Ffestiniog Travel before. They only accept email communication and this is a bad day and bad time to try to get anything done in the UK… I suspect also that agency fees will make it not financially viable for me - the point of getting the pass is to stick to a tight budget. But I will try them, thanks for the suggestion. 

Good to know also about the banking issue, that it hasn’t come up before. I will pass this on to Triodos

Userlevel 7
Badge +4

If you are having multiple authorisation failures then it is going to be a issue with the card/bank.

I have been round in circles with my mother’s credit card which for nearly a year has been unusable for online transactions and just as you posted their response has been to blame the merchants, all of them, the same ones that worked perfectly for years before and accept my cards from other banks now.

Userlevel 7
Badge +10

I am amazed at this problem.

I use a visa card and many purchases require a second verification, usually by the app or by sending a One Time code. I have never had a purchase declined from any seller (Yet).

Userlevel 7
Badge +9

The banks are playing the blame game and there's hardly any way for us to say if what they say is correct.

Please post all information to customer support via their form:

https://eurail.zendesk.com/hc/en-001/requests/new

Further, you can perfectly buy Eurostar and other reservations before buying a pass. E.g. via the B-Europe website, by calling SNCF or NS or SNCB etc.

As to buying a mobile pass online, have you tried:

https://www.myinterrail.co.uk/

That's the RDG website. They may have another payment provider so maybe it will work.

@Nanja, you may be interested to know that Triodos bank (UK) is blaming Eurail's bank of not sending enough information in the authorisation request for payment.

Userlevel 7
Badge +4

As to buying a mobile pass online, have you tried:

https://www.myinterrail.co.uk/

That's the RDG website. They may have another payment provider so maybe it will work.

I already suggested that, apparently they had the same issue with that site as well.

FYI, myinterrail.co.uk is not run by RDG, they do not retail tickets, it is run by independent agency International Rail https://www.internationalrail.com with endorsement/on behalf of RDG/nationalrail.

Thanks everyone, I’m oddly reassured that no-one else has experienced this with their bank - I tried telling them that it’s not normal for a bank to do this to customers but they’re adamant that this is only legal compliance.

I hadn’t found https://www.internationalrail.com/ so thanks for that link, but they don’t seem to do mobile tickets - I’d be nervous about it only being a physical ticket that I’d have to wait for home delivery of - so many services are suspended in the UK at the moment. 

@rvdborgt you said that “Further, you can perfectly buy Eurostar and other reservations before buying a pass” - really? You mean that you can buy tickets with the benefit of the pass, without having bought it yet? I just want to clarify that point as of course I could buy a ticket, but I want the pass for the cost savings (and flexibility). 

I raised a support ticket already, but @Nanja‘s help would be very much appreciated. 

Userlevel 7
Badge +9

 you said that “Further, you can perfectly buy Eurostar and other reservations before buying a pass” - really? You mean that you can buy tickets with the benefit of the pass, without having bought it yet?

Sure, you can buy reservations (note: your pass will be your ticket) without having a pass. On the B-Europe website, you can give a fake pass cover number - it isn't printed on the reservation. If you book by phone via SNCF, NS or SNCB, they don't ask for any proof, they just sell you the reservation.

Userlevel 7
Badge +10

Thanks everyone, I’m oddly reassured that no-one else has experienced this with their bank - I tried telling them that it’s not normal for a bank to do this to customers but they’re adamant that this is only legal compliance.

I hadn’t found https://www.internationalrail.com/ so thanks for that link, but they don’t seem to do mobile tickets - I’d be nervous about it only being a physical ticket that I’d have to wait for home delivery of - so many services are suspended in the UK at the moment. 

@rvdborgt you said that “Further, you can perfectly buy Eurostar and other reservations before buying a pass” - really? You mean that you can buy tickets with the benefit of the pass, without having bought it yet? I just want to clarify that point as of course I could buy a ticket, but I want the pass for the cost savings (and flexibility). 

I raised a support ticket already, but @Nanja‘s help would be very much appreciated. 

It is a regular confusion - reservations v tickets.

A ticket is a voucher to travel from A to B. For mobile pass holders the train has to be added to your travel day to create a QR code for that day and that is your your “ticket”.

A reservation is a separate voucher for a guaranteed seat on that train. Often these have to be purchased for a fee and shown along with your pass. 

Reservations can be mandatory, in which case you need both vouchers to board the train.

Some trains, such as the ICE trains in Germany have optional reservations so you can board and travel and just show your pass with the journey added to the travel day as your ticket, but you may need to stand if all seats have been reserved or already have a seated passenger. 

Then many regional trains cannot be reserved and, again, you only need your updated pass as a ticket to travel.

Userlevel 7
Badge +8

Hi Gillian, thanks for flagging. You did the right thing by created a support ticket. I see it has been forwarded to the technical agents to look into it. I will follow the process and will let you know once I have more information. 

Hi Everyone, thanks so much for replying - special thanks to those who gave me guidance on the difference between buying the pass and making reservations, so helpful. 

I have now purchased my Interrail pass, but only after a lot of stress and actually having to open a new bank account in order to do so. I think that I can put the ultimate blame (as with so many issues in the UK...) on Brexit. It seems that there IS a new UK law to force vendors to provide information to banks in a specific way, and if they don’t the payment is rejected.

I called the customer service helpline at my bank (Triodos UK) and asked why (anecdotally) only they seem to be refusing payment on this basis. In what might have been an off-the-record comment (though she didn’t say so), the assistant said that the bigger banks have multiple methods and resources to confirm or bypass this step, but they don’t and have to comply with the law to its full effect. In the official message, my bank sent the same message as pasted in above about the UK new legislation brought in on March 14th, ending with the same ”We have raised this issue with our provider, Mastercard, who have confirmed it would be an issue that the specific merchant would need to address. I am sorry that we cannot resolve this issue on your behalf.”

I did contact Eurail directly about this and frustratingly, got mixed messages in reply. In the first message, the assistant said that “your case has been forwarded to our technical agents department and tomorrow morning we are going to be changing our payment system”, which was great, perfect! Then 20 hours later, another message saying “I'm afraid that the issue at hand has to do with an error that occurs on your bank's side”. It was at this point that I realised that both sides were blaming the other and that I had exhausted all options with my current banking situation and that I had no other option but to open an entirely new bank account, just so I could make this payment.

Ultimately, I do think that companies will have to get round to updating their information in the way that complies with UK law if they want to have UK customers. But I can understand that there may be little understanding of this, or motivation to change it when only smaller banks are currently having problems with it. Like I say, brexit...

I did have to cancel the first few days of my trip and it was generally a stressful and unpleasant experience, but I now have my pass (and a new bank account) and so I’m looking forward to the journey around wonderful Europe and all is well.

Hope this information is helpful. 

Userlevel 7
Badge +8

Hi Gillian, thanks for your full update. I have monitored the conversation you had with our agent and thereafter with a technical agent. I'm glad you have been able to purchase the pass but can imagine it has been stressful and inconvenient. Our financial department is already aware of your case and will further investigate. Although this will not be solved instantly and won't be of help to you at this moment, we can hopefully find a solution that prevents payment declines from happening in the near future. I add an update to the post once I know more. 

Update: according to our financial department everything seems to be set up like it should. If anyone has a similar issue, please submit a ticket with as much payment details as possible. We will keep an eye on such tickets and act accordingly.

Have a great trip ahead, Gillian!  

Reply