Troubleshooting Payment Issues

Regardless of which payment method or gateway you choose to use, and in most cases even with a custom payment method/gateway that you might add yourself, the troubleshooting steps to determine why a payment isn't working are generally the same.

Please Note:  Remember that you're not the only Hotcakes client using the payment method, so chances are that the issue isn't with the payment method itself.  Troubleshooting your implementation of it will be critical to determine the exact cause of it before you open a support request or create a forum post.


1. Information Gathering

If you're experiencing any payment issues, first attempt to get as much information about the order and customer when it happened.  You'll want to know which payment method/gateway was used, and then attempt to duplicate the order conditions the best you can while you troubleshoot the possible issues.  

2. Debug Mode

All of the payment methods that communicate with offsite payment processing services offer the ability to switch it into a "debug" mode.  This may be necessary to turn on prior to attempting to duplicate the payment issue.  

When you turn on debug mode, you'll end up with more descriptive information and possibly additional messages about what happened.  In most cases, you won't know how to proceed without this information.

3. Place Test Orders

Next, you'll need to place at least one test order.  This will allow you to enter payment information, then check to see what messages and/or errors might have occurred.  

4. Check for Transaction Messages/Errors

Go into the Order Manager and look for the order you just placed.  When you find it, enter the Payment view, and look at the transactions.  If the payment issue occurred, you'll see it listed there as a red transaction, with more details about why.

In the example above, you can tell that the payment gateway is in debug mode, because it's noted in the beginning of the description.  In this case, you also are able to see the parameters being sent to the gateway, and the message that was sent back by the gateway.  In this example, the error message begins where it says "Authorize.Net Error."  

Whenever you see any message like this in your transactions, you should know that this message is coming directly from your payment processor.  You'll want to copy that message and search for its meaning on their website.  Often, this will lead you to determine what the issue might be.

5. Check for Additional Errors

Sometimes, you might not find what you're looking for in the transaction log. In these cases, you need to check the Event Viewer.  Depending on the version of Hotcakes you're running, you'll find this either in the Admin or Content menu, shown below.

In the Event Viewer, you'll want to look through any exceptions you see and especially anything categories as Hotcakes Exception or Hotcakes Info.  If you see anything relevant, it will likely contain the information you need to look up on the payment processor's website.

6. Get Support from Payment Processor

It's unlikely that the issue with the payment is with the payment integration itself, so it would usually be best to open a support ticket with the payment processor first.  They'll work with you to ensure that your account setup doesn't have anything that seems out of place.  

7. Get Support from Upendo Ventures

Your payment processor may eventually point you to our team.  If this happens, please review and/or use your available support options.

Have more questions? Submit a request

Need More Help?

Do you need more assistance with this article? Please review your support options.