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Card Declined? How To Get That Ecommerce Sale Back

21 Jul 2016

According to PayPal it's not unusual for between 5-10% of ecommerce store payments to be declined. This can happen for more reasons than just because a customer doesn't have enough funds on their card - for instance the customer may have tripped a bank's fraud warning for making more purchases than normal or for an unusual overseas transaction, or there could be a temporary issue with the payment gateway which is preventing them from successfully charging the card.

The good news is most customers assume that the fault initially lies with the details that they've entered, so they'll often try again a second or third time and these attempts will normally be successful. But any unsuccessful attempts after that are quickly written off as an ecommerce store fault and the customer will subsequently abandon their cart.

Typically 2-5% of all your ecommerce store sales are being completely abandoned because a customer declined and they thought it was your site's fault.

What can you do to get these sales back on track?

The good news is there's a very simple fix that you can put in place which can help get some of these sales back on track. For any transaction that fails due to a 'declined' message simply prompt the customer to use a different credit card or payment gateway on their second attempt.

For instance your main checkout collects credit card payments via DPS, get your account extended so that you can also provide Account2Account (a secure bank to bank transfer system similar to POLI) and if a credit card declines, direct your customers to using A2A instead - this is a great way to overcome any blocks due to too many online purchases, but doesn't solve the issue if the card is being declined due to a payment gateway experiencing issues.

To resolve this, you could create an account with an alternative payment gateway (like PayPal) and show this as an alternative payment option should the card be declined. The downside is that you are paying higher transaction fees compared to DPS, but you're also getting a sale that might have otherwise been abandoned back on track.

If you have any questions regarding reducing cart abandonment, feel free to contact us directly or have a read of our earlier blog articles that address this topic directly.