My partner is now in the US and offered to bring me a new phone. Due to COVID restrictions she can't buy it in store, I have to order it in the online store so she can pickup later. My card is being rejected saying "payment authorization failed", my guess is because I'm not able to select billing address in Argentina to match the address of my card (only a handful of countries are available in the selection list). Is there any way around this restriction? All my cards, debit or credit are of course issued in Arg.
TLDR: Call your bank, they're likely the source of the decline.
As an online merchant, I have specific experience with investigating declines, mostly when users complain that they cannot pay me for the (digital) good they want to buy. They have always been from outside the U.S., but not always developing countries - one was from the U.K. It would help if you could get the decline code from Apple. The one that I always ran into was 2046. From my payment processor, when I squeezed them for answers:
This is a generic decline that states, "The customer's bank is unwilling to accept the transaction. For credit/debit card transactions, the customer will need to contact their bank for more details regarding this generic decline." While a bit vague, it is important to note that this decline response is coming directly from the customer’s card-issuing bank and not due to an error with your (payment processor) account. Unfortunately, we have little insight as to why a transaction was declined outside of these decline codes.
The most common reasons for declines are: Incorrect credit card number or expiration date, Insufficient funds, The bank declined based on location, The bank's fraud rules blocked the transaction
Since banks typically do not share specific decline information with anyone but their customers, I recommend you have the customer reach out to the Tier II Technical Support team at their bank, as the frontline agents may not have access to the necessary tools for further insight.
Since Apple phones have high value-density and are highly sought-after in developing countries, it could be that the banks are blocking all Apple transactions if they are not first approved. (Particularly in Argentina, based on the things I've read about iPhones-in-the-socks smugglers vs. the Tierra del Fuego authorized Blackberry factory. But that was a long time ago... have they loosened the draconian import laws since then?)
I have never asked my customers to go through the trouble of working their their bank; instead I just give them their order for free so they're happy. Apple probably won't do that for you. So, I don't know how much trouble your bank will give you for letting you make the payment.