Support Services

Why am I receiving merchant timeout errors when trying to send a transaction?

Timeouts generally occur because the entire transaction message is not making it to Forte's servers. Use the following troubleshooting techniques to address timeout errors:


Checking the Sent String                  

Check that the string your application is generating and sending. It should look something like the following:


Note the ampersand at the end of the string. If the message is properly terminated and still times out, check for additional issues.

Wait Time Too Short on the Merchant Side                    

The merchant's system should wait at least 60 seconds for a response. The Forte platform will wait 60 seconds for a response from external vendors (credit card processors, verification services, etc.). During the busiest times, there may be some internal queue time as well, so Forte recommends a 90 second wait time. Through the average processing time is 2–3 seconds, an extended (maximum) timeout period will ensure the merchant loses no transactions in the worst case scenario.


Firewall Blocking at the Merchant's Site                    

This would need to be looked into by the merchant's IT staff. Generally the following ports need to be opened:

Direct Socket Integration

  • Port 6050 and 6051 for Sandbox
  • Port 5050 and 5051 for Production

COM Object, PHP Curl, T-SQL, or the POST Method

  • Port 443

General Connectivity Problems

If the merchant's internet connection is not down, the merchant should be able to browse to other sites from the machine sending the transactions.


DNS Failures                    

DNS failures can be checked with the ping command. The Forte platform does not return PIN packets, but the first thing "ping" will do is attempt to resolve the name via DNS. If it says something like "Pinging <site> [<IP addr>]" then DNS is not a factor. If it hangs, the program cannot resolve the name via DNS, which would indicate a connectivity or DNS issue.

If the merchant's timeouts are not explained by any of the above, more troubleshooting by Forte will be required. For each timed-out transaction (up to a maximum of ten), please submit the following information:

  • Originating IP address (see
  • Merchant ID
  • Time of submission
  • Name, Amount, and ecom_consumerorderid
  • Exact networking error reported by the operating system (if known)
  • Amount of time the merchant waited before timeout                    

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