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Online shopping and credit card rejection

Posted by Michael Bloch in ecommerce (Monday December 13, 2010 )

When a credit card is declined in conjunction with an online purchase, shoppers take it seriously – sometimes going as far as to never return to that merchant again.

According to Chase Paymentech Europe Limited, a national survey of 2,047 British consumers found many merchants do not have systems in place to deal with purchasing problems efficiently; in fact 76% of ecommerce sites are unable to automatically advise consumers of the reason why their card was declined.

When faced with a decline, 1 in 20 consumers stated that they would not shop with the merchant again. It seems a credit card decline is not only frustrating, but some folks find it very embarrassing. It’s a shame to stir up those sorts of emotions and possibly lose a customer when the problem may be simple – it’s not always fraud or a maxed-out card.

According to Shane Fitzpatrick, President and Managing Director, Chase Paymentech Europe Limited, if declined card payments were dealt with promptly consumers would be more likely to return.

When I was working with back-end systems a while back, I do remember this scenario – the card would be declined and not only would the customer not know why, in non-fraud cases, we wouldn’t be able to tell why from the merchant account interface either. Obviously not much has changed.

Depending on the system involved, you might not be able to present the customer with this information; but usually error messages in shopping cart checkouts can be modified to say something other than “your credit card was declined”. Something a little friendlier like “we’ve had some problems processing this transaction – we’re eager to assist, would you like a customer service representative to contact you?.. and the appropriate function for that to happen.

Related:

Reducing shopping cart abandonment
Merchant account reviews and guide
Credit card fraud screening tips
Shopping cart software review



 

 
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