How to Deal with Payment Errors when Buying Online in Kuwait

Buy Online, all the cool kids are doing it...

Lets face it, we all have a nasty habit of buying things online, be they trinkets that are not available in Kuwait at affordable, smart prices (i.e. iPod Nano Running Arm bands for under 5KD as they are worth under $5 on Amazon)

Altho useful for travelling, Credit Cards can be potentially dangerous for identity theft

So, we venture out into the online world, armed with a credit card…

Wait, before we delve into that, lets hash out the other available options mein freunds.

Credit Cards, albeit offering easy payment online, are also dangerous. Why? Credit Card theft is not all to uncommon in Kuwait, TRUST ME, I know. I’ve seen amounts as small as $10 deducted from friend’s Mastercards from sites they never visited, nothing is foolproof, and you can lose quite a bit if your security is somehow compromised.

Enter Internet Shopping Cards.

An internet shopping card is a debit card (in that its spending money you own, not an overdraft of money you do not have) hence it is safer than a credit card (which has a limit but is still not entirely foolproof) in that you can transfer the exact amount of money you wish to spend to purchase a product online, and even if by some cruel machination your data was compromised, the hacker would have nothing to remove from the account except the cost of that transaction, or the loose change remaining.

Now, how often is it that you see an error citing “Cannot Complete Transaction, Please Check Details”.

This error has cropped up onto my screen more often than once, and it was frustrating, especially when purchasing tickets from an airline and having to re-enter the entire data if the webpage expires.

Unfortunately, only local airlines like Kuwait Airways & Jazeera Airways will accept K-Net payments, few regional ones accept it, all the rest require you to use Visa Electron, Diners Club, Mastercard or American Express.

More often than not, the solution is extremely simple: You have not transfered enough into your account, and hence the transaction will not go through, or you merely entered your details incorrectly (credit card number: 16 digits, CVV number: 3 digits, Expiry date: Month/year).

The latter is simple to correct, simply re-enter the data once more, if the error persists, then it is the former.

I've shopped for everything online; from T-shirts, to iPods, to Books, to even Candles for that special someone in my life

Remember how we said with Internet shopping cards you transfer the exact amount of money you require to purchase? Since the world does not pay in KD, your money in your account (which will be in KD) will need to be converted into Dollars, the universal lubricant for all transactions, or any equivalent, for the transaction to be accepted.

Luckily, there is (link) which is an up-to-date currency exchange site, for you to know exactly how much you have to pay.

Well not exactly.

Unfortunately for us banks do not use the same exchange rate as we do. When you want to buy currency from them, they will set a high price, when you wish to sell currency to them, they will set a low price, profiting on the difference between their rate and the normal going rate (aka arbitration).

So if you are told that your transaction has been refused, simply go back to your online banking account and add a marginal 10KD to cover for exchange rate differences.

Once the transaction has been OK’ed, you can transfer the remaining balance back into your current account.

And you’re done.


(This advice is for people using NBKs Internet Shopping Card)

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