Credit card reader declining payment

Rewrite Your Soft and Hard Decline Strategy 

Payment declines are expensive, time consuming and nearly impossible to eradicate. These declined transactions can lead to a huge range of issues for Merchants like subscriber churn, negative customer experiences, compliance threshold issues, fraud and more.

For ISOs and MSPs, drilling into payment declines gives valuable insight into Merchant health. This granular level of insight can help increase ROI, protect against fraud and save your reputation.

The Current Narrative

ISOs and MSPs gain the most margin through working with high-risk, low-volume Merchants. The more risk that’s underwritten, the more revenue that can be earned per transaction. But underwriting risk is a numbers game, as more Merchants means more disputes, fraud and potential compliance breeches. That’s why increased risk is often offset by onboarding safer MCCs that process safer transactions. But more transactions mean more declines.

Declines are not always fraudulent or malicious, but may simply be a communication error or an out-of-date card. When the cardholder is present, the clerk might ask the cardholder to re-swipe the card or use another payment method. With ecommerce and recurring payments, cases where the cardholder isn’t present, the Merchant will resubmit declines with their Processor, but they don’t always have the time, resources, or knowledge to unveil every single payment issue. To the Processor, finding the root cause of every decline isn’t considered to be worth the effort, which leaves it to the Merchant to monitor.

Merchants receive both hard and soft declines. Soft declines are usually temporary errors that resolve on their own by the Merchant’s next authorization attempt. These generally do not require further action or intense research (these are your insufficient funds, exceeded credit limits, technical problems, temporary holds, etc). Hard declines are permanent failures that won’t be fixed by simply retrying the payment (think of fraud, expired card, stolen card, etc).

The Problem With Not Tracking Your Merchants’ Decline Codes

When vouching for a portfolio of Merchants, ISOs and MSPs are exposing themselves to risk.

Revenue is left on the table with each and every decline. Though it’s a fast and easy fix, Merchants often won’t always retry soft declines. To the Merchant, those declines may not be worth the effort. But every soft decline compounded over hundreds of Merchants ads up to a lot of lost revenue.

Another case for tracking declines is to mitigate a Merchant’s risk. The Merchant’s reputation, adherence to regulations, compliance and risk of litigation are all on the line. The volume of authorization attempts and the types of decline codes received are easy to monitor and give valuable insight into Merchant activity. Namely, spotting fraudulent activity that could uncover a compliance breach.

Rewrite the Story

Slyce360’s dispute and fraud management tool integrates with Merchant’s CRMs, Gateway and Processor data. That means you get the metrics from set custom dates ranges, filtered declines and a real-time holistic understanding of your portfolio.

Stop leaving money on the table.

Learn more about Slyce360

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