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Wednesday , March , 22 2023
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Website Help

 Please use the FAQ below to help with your enquiry

Problems with electronic payments

If you do encounter any problems with our electronic payment service please check the list below.

Common problems and error messages

Why is my card not accepted?

The Council can accept Debit and Credit card payments from most common card providers. However, there are some card types, including American Express, Diner's Club, and JCB, which cannot be used to make payments through any Council payment route.

Also, some card providers prevent certain cards from making payments via the Internet. For instance, some Visa Electron cards have this limitation. If this is the case, you may still make payments in person at the Civic Centre.

Some commercial 'purchasing card' schemes prevent the card from being used to pay certain types of supplier. It is possible that a card may be blocked from making payments to the Council. This would have to be checked with your card supplier.

Why is my card number invalid?

A card number usually has 16 or 19 digits. Although it is printed on most cards with the figures grouped in fours, the spaces between are not part of the card number. The number should be typed in without the spaces.

What do I do if my card has no Start Date or no Issue Number?

Not all cards have a Start Date or an Issue Number. Leave those entries blank on the payment screen. The validation process will not require it.

What is the Security Code?

It is usually a 3-digit number printed on the signature strip on the back of the card.

Why does it say "You do not have access to the requested page"?

There is a 20-minute timeout on each of the payment pages. If you do not enter a response to each page within that time, the system will assume you have left. To preserve the security of your data, and particularly your card data, the system will discard anything you have entered. You will need to go back to the beginning and start again.

I entered all my details but there is no record of my payment

Once you have entered all your details you are shown a "Payment Confirmation" page. This is only a summary and no payment has been taken. To make your payment you must click the "Confirm Payment" button.

What do these error messages mean?

Invalid reference for

The reference number has either been mis-typed, or you have selected the wrong type of payment. Choose the payment type first, from the list on the left, then enter the reference. You must include any letters that are part of the reference.

Please enter a valid amount, e.g. £50 must be entered as 50.00

The amount must be typed with no currency symbol, a full stop for decimal point, and two digits for pence, even if they are zero. If you are entering a large amount, do not use commas to separate thousands (enter 1234.00, not 1,234.00)

That account does not exist

The account has not been found in the lookup table, however you can still proceed and your payment will be accepted.

Please either complete or cancel the currently entered payment

You have tried to go to the next step with a partly entered payment. Either complete the payment details and add it to the list, or delete all the details. Then you can proceed to the next step.

A valid card expiry date in the format MM YYYY must be selected from the dropdown lists.

All cards have an expiry date, usually displayed as mm/yy. For instance, 06/12 represents June 2012. The two drop-down boxes are for month and year.

A valid card security number must be entered, this is the last group of three digits printed within the signature strip on the back of the card. If your card does not have a security code enter the text 'NONE'. Failure to enter the code could result in a declined card payment.

The card security code, or CSC, is an important way of confirming that the person making the payment has the physical card. This is because the CSC is not held electronically on the card, so it cannot be read - and potentially stolen - by a swipe reader or Chip & Pin machine..

A valid numeric card number must be entered

The card number is the big number across the middle of the card. Do not enter the spaces, just the digits.

A valid card holder name must be entered

Enter the name as it appears on the card

A house number must be entered.
A street name must be entered.
A town name must be entered.
A post code must be entered.

Please enter your full address details

Failure Reason: Authorisation Failed. The payment has been declined.

The issuing bank has not allowed us to take a payment from this card. Please refer to your card issuer for further details.

What is Card Security Verification or 3D-Secure?


3D-Secure is an additional security measure used by some card issuers. During an on-line payment, you may be re-directed to the card issuer's web site, and asked additional security questions to confirm you are the person the card was issued to. If you fail to complete the 3D-Secure process successfully, your payment will not be accepted. This protects you if your card is stolen, and protects the Council from fraudulent payments.


The details of the 3D-Secure process depend on the card issuer. It is not under the Council's control. If you have any questions about this process, you should ask your card issuer.


How else can I make a payment to the council?


If you are unable, or prefer not to pay, using the internet, you can use one of the methods below.


Why have I been charged for using my Card to make a payment?


The council charges a small fee for all payments made by Credit Card (except on Penalty Charge Notices). The payment system can tell from your card number whether it is a credit or debit card and will apply the charge appropriately. If you think you may have been charged incorrectly please contact Customer Services on 01228 817200.


How do I get more help?


Please send an email to the following address with as much of the information outline below as possible:

[email protected]


Which browser are you using?

Internet Explorer, Chrome, Firefox etc? and which version are you using?


Which web page is giving you an error?

We need to know what appears in the address bar of your browser; it will usually start






What is the error message?

The message may be part of the main web page, or appear in a separate window.


When did the error occur?

The date and time that an attempt to pay failed. If you use the time from your computer, please check that it is accurate to within a minute or two. This will help us find the event in our log files.


What were you paying for?

The payment type (eg Council Tax) and reference (eg account or invoice number) may help us identify your payment attempt.


What are the first eight digits of your card number?

This will let us determine exactly what sort of card you are using, and how our system will try to process it. It will not leave you open to fraud, as the first eight digits will be common to many cards.


At what stage did you encounter a problem?

Had you entered your items to pay for got to the payment details page. If you can tell us what stage you were at it will help us to establish what has happened.

This A to Z of services list provides links to service pages alphabetically