Are online merchants really losing €60 billion from declines?

  • PSE estimates that declined card transactions cost EU merchants around EUR 60 million per year
  • Some declines are legitimate, for example when the card has insufficient funds, but others are avoidable, caused by minor technical issues, slightly stale data, and failure to implement best practices
  • Analysis of transaction data can indicate areas for improvement, but is difficult because issuers, schemes and acquirers are inconsistent in their use of codes indicating the reason for the decline
  • PSE has performed this type of analysis for some of the biggest global merchants and marketplaces and produced recommendations for improvement
  • One subscription merchant implemented recommendations to make some small enhancements to the contents of their payment request messages resulted in a 6% uplift in transaction approval rate over a three-month period, representing an estimated monthly saving of over £1 million.

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