Tuesday, June 15, 2021

Industry Data on Visa Decline Rates

 I've heard that:

Card-present transactions have a decline rate of 1.4%.
ECI (eCommerce) transactions have a decline rate of 15%.
Recurring transactions have the highest chance  decline rate of 23.6%.

I'm not totally sure of the date for this data and whether it can be tracked on a month by month basis. Anyone?

Thursday, February 11, 2021

Recycling, Updating, and AutoMaxing

 In the card not present subscription business, there are some services that can be provided by some credit card processors that really help manage credit card declines.

Credit Card Updater - Many cards hit their expiration date or have to get replaced since they were lost or stolen. So the vendor who was doing recurring billing needs the subscriber to enter the new info right? Wrong! If you have an updater, in many cases, this update is done automatically!

Credit Card Recycler - Sometimes a credit card gets declined and has to be tried again. A recycling engine optimizes the timing on these submission to improve the likelihood of it being accepted. 

Authomaxing  - This service improves billing success rates by optimizing the category of the billing submitted. It's the newest of the services.

Tuesday, February 9, 2021

Looking for Credit Card Decline metrics (for card not present)

 We've had some indication recently that we are getting increasing numbers of credit card declines (we're a subscription business with card not present) so I'm looking thru my email to see if there are any great information sources on time series data for consumer credit card decline rates.

In my inbox I did find this, maybe they'll have something:


Hey there,

It's been a while since we've connected, and you may have not have seen this:

It's one of the most popular recently released reports — The Annual Subscription Billing Metrics Report — compiled using metrics from more than 2,000 businesses over the last year. You'll find key factors influencing churn, industry benchmarks, and actionable insights for every industry.

There's a ton of other resources like this one, and more planned, so let's keep in touch. We'll send you monthly newsletters brimming with more content like the benchmark report, as well as invite-only events, to keep you on top of industry news, tips, and trends.




Alycia Simpson

Director of Marketing 


NOTE: As a marketing guy, it does amuse me that after a company sends me an email, they ask me to fill out a form again.  They already know who I am and have me in their database.  Can't they identify thru the link who clicked thru and add that to their database?   

Saturday, July 18, 2020

LA Fitness Billing: A Horror Story

I've been a member of LA Fitness on and off since around 2001.  While their gyms are convenient, the business practices are inexecrable. (Note, "inexecrable is the adjective meaning "like excrement" or "shitty").

This time, when the pandemic hit in March, I logged into my LA Fitness App to find out how to cancel my membership. There's no way to do it. So I did five things:

  1. I used the email and contact us box provided and sent half a dozen cancellation messages.
  2. I called all the LA Fitness numbers that I could find, waited on hold, and ultimately left verbal messages that I was canceling my membership.  I left my membership ID and name etc.
  3. I changed the credit card number that they had on file to something nonsensical.  Actually, I tried to do this and I don't think I could because unless they approve the credit card info you put in, it defaults to the previous credit card record.
  4. I cancelled that credit card (which was actually an accident since I lost it).  However, somehow LA Fitness still managed in May and June to start billing my new credit credit including not just for me, but for a family member whose membership we had cancelled years ago.  So I went in thru my American Express App and ...
  5. Told Amex to NOT accept any more billing from LA Fitness.
The only phone number that LA Fitness has for me is a home number which nobody answers. They call there all the time leaving messages to call them. Just for giggles, I think I'll call them back  First, I need to put my iphone on "Hide caller ID" so they don't get my mobile number.

One of the funny things about my experiences with LA Fitness is that the people are really nice but it's the system which is so sucky. I think of times that I've walked into LA Fitness to cancel the extra family members on my account and "Nobody here is authorized to remove people from your account. You need to call corporate to make such a change."  BUT, I say, I just spoke to corporate and they said that this could be done in person at a LA Fitness location."  Oh really, let me check. Then they get on the phone and computer and work diligently for awhile but eventually come back with: "There's no way I can do this, you need be here with the General Manager is in. He's here 8-4, can you come in then?"   The people are so nice but it's a total run-around.

So now I'm on the phone, having returned one of the dozen answers on my home answering machine speaking to an extremely nice young lady.  She, after a few minutes, couldn't find my account under the phone number that they had been calling or my barcode ID. "Do you have any other phone numbers that it might listed under?"

What a sweet innocent question! Or is it? Was she really just trying to get my mobile phone number so they could further call and harass me? I suspect the latter but I don't know since I declined to give it. Eventually, she claimed that I had to be passed to a manager.  Wait wait ring ring.

I'm now talking to another lady. Experienced. Also very nice. Again, she's pointing me towards solutions that are in my case, a dead-end. In this case, she sent me the cancellation form which has to be sent it.  Actually, not the form but I link to their website to login and get the form.  But since I don't have a login and password, I need to go thru the ID Security / recovery process. It means knowing that account number is the same as barcode fitness ID.  We figured that out. Now I need the first five numbers of my "billing account". 

In my case, this is a show stopper since I no longer have that credit card. I lost it a few months ago (which I liked since I'm trying to shed a number of recurring billing accounts like LA Fitness which have proven hard-to-shake".  I know the last four numbers (which are onfile at LA Fitness but not the first five.  I explain this to Nice Experienced Lady with whom I slip from being courteous to calling her Honey.  She corrects me pointing out that it doesn't sound right to her. Good for her. I apologize and decide to be a little less of a jerk on the phone with people.  

Finally, the nice lady at LA Fitness emails me the customized cancel form which I use to cancel. I hope I do. I also urge her to stop having all those people call me to go after the $64.89 that LA Fitness claims that I owe them for June.  I ask who they are and she confides that all the front desk people can get $5 by cleaning up (collecting?) the unpaid amounts on existing accounts.  


Wednesday, January 15, 2020

Industry Standard Monthly Credit Card Decline Rate

Doesn't anyone publish each month the credit card decline rate? They should, we'd all use it.

To explain...
I run an online consumer subscription which lives in the $20 per month world. Every month, sadly, some number of credit cards get declined.

Some months it goes up, some months it goes down. I often wonder if this has to do with something about how we, or our processor, are handling credit cards. But, if there were industry standard rates being published, we could see how we are doing vis a vis the industry.

Of course, to do it right, they could get increasing granular distinguishing between decline rates for debit cards and credit cards.  And for credit cards by different categories, perhaps by credit limit. Or some other segmentation. 

Does anyone know of such a thing?

Thursday, June 6, 2019

Recurring Payment Subscription Business Optimizers

You are not alone. Here are some vendors with real expertise, and useful newsletters, on subscription based online businesses.

Recurly - Credit Card Processing for recurring

 Zuora - credit card processing for subscriptions

Chargify - Another merchant vendor with subscription expertise

Mequoda - A complete system to digitize content, build paywalls, establish pricing systems, and build a subscription business.

Optimizely - Great system for optimizing sales funnels for subscription businesses.

Chargebee - Pricing Help for Subscription Businesses
Fusebill - Another vendor of Pricing Help for Subscription Businesses

Card Not Present - Website and info service with conferences
Merchant Card on Subscription Billing from CNP

Credit Card Conferences 2019

Thursday, June 14, 2018

Credit Card Declines are LOST Revenue from failed payments

I'm reading more from Recurly's website, here's some info on loss from recurring credit cards that get declined.  There are strategies to address the likelihood of credit card declines both prior to trying to run the credit cards (ie updater) and after they've been declined (what's this called again?)