Optimize Authorizations to Boost Conversions and Profits During the Holidays

No one likes card declines. For customers, it often results in shock, embarrassment and anger. For merchants, it results in valuable lost sales, decreased lifetime value and lowered conversions. So what can merchants do to insulate themselves against erroneous card declines during the high volume holiday season and optimize authorizations? We scoured the internet for the top insights.


Here’s what several experts say:

  • Omni-channel is big this holiday season. Consumers are enjoying the increased ease with which they can complete holiday shopping online – whether on a smartphone, tablet, desktop or laptop. What consumers don’t enjoy is seeing their card erroneously and unexpectedly declined on a legitimate transaction. These declines have quantifiable consequences for merchants and especially Omni-channel retailers: blocked purchases cost merchants $40 billion every year. 
  • Card declines can have a lasting impact on consumer sentiment and loyalty to retailers. According to TrustInsight, 83% of people surveyed reported feeling frustrated or upset after a credit card decline. These sentiments can be enough to push consumers to shop elsewhere, decreasing customer lifetime value.
  • MasterCard also cautions about the overall cost of card declines as legitimate transactions get caught in the security web meant to stop true fraud.  It suggests asking the question “at what cost” when establishing thresholds between allowable legitimate consumer declines and the associated financial impact from false positive declines.
  • Card declines and churn are especially harmful for recurring billing merchants. Properly managing “card declined by processor” declines can decrease churn, increase authorization and boost profits. Verifi has some tips for recurring billing companies to recover revenue that they might otherwise have lost – a helpful guide for the peak selling season.


Merchants experience the financial ramifications of declines on a very real level – a level that is amplified during the holidays when volume is at an all-year high.

  • Consider the cost of declines and measure your business’ threshold for false positives.
  • Also ask yourself how much business you’re willing to lose to unnecessary card declines that can be salvaged.
  • Take advantage of best practices merchants can implement to decrease erroneous or unnecessary declines, which can help to boost conversions and profits this holiday season.

Verifi can help now and through the holidays with our award-winning Cardholder Dispute Resolution Network™ and authorization-boosting Decline Salvage services. What are your thoughts? Ping us on twitter (@verifi) with #paymentstips and let us know what you think.