December 8, 2010, 5:14 PM

British shoppers want to know why when a card is rejected

25% of shoppers won’t return to a retailer’s site where their card was declined.

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Online retailers that do not have systems in place to deal with payment problems efficiently are at risk for driving away consumers for good, according to a new survey by Dynamic Markets Ltd., commissioned by merchant acquirer and payment processor Chase Paymentech Europe Ltd.

That could be troubling to many British retailers because 76% of U.K. e-commerce sites do not automatically advise consumers of the reason why their cards are declined. And, since consumers are not advised on the next steps required to complete the transaction, those retailers lose sales, says Shane Fitzpatrick, Chase Paymentech Europe president and managing director.

Indeed, 25% of consumers say they will never return to a retailer’s site where their card was rejected.

The survey found differences between men and women's reactions to having a card declined for no apparent reason. The most common reaction for both sexes, at 37%, was concern over fraud. Beyond fraud  concerns, women were more likely to express embarrassment, anger and frustration, while men were more open to continue shopping with the merchant if the situation could be resolved and they received an explanation why their card had been declined.

“With such a high percentage of consumers reacting negatively to the experience it reiterates the need for merchants to put in place systems to manage a range of challenges that can cause cards to be declined,” says Fitzpatrick.

Moreover, he adds, retailers need to keep their payments processes straightforward.

“The key to maximizing your cart conversion rate is clearly simplicity—a simple customer journey, a simple way to authorize card payments and a simple, wholly compliant way of managing customer data,” says Fitzpatrick.

The results are based on a survey of 2,047 British consumers.

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