February 28, 2014, 4:03 PM

Nearly a fifth of web shoppers report having their credit cards declined

And a third of those consumers blame online merchants when that happens.

Lead Photo

17% of online shoppers in the United States report having their credit cards declined while attempting to make web purchases, according to a recent survey by 41st Parameter. The online fraud prevention company bases its findings on an online survey of 1,056 consumers conducted in December.

Among consumers who said they have had their web purchases declined, 66% report knowing why. The top reasons are financial issues (36%), suspicious activity or presumed fraud (16%) and invalid or incorrect account information (16%). Still, 83% of the consumers whose transactions were declined report being upset about it.

Faced with a declined transaction, 48% of consumers say they would call their card issuers, while 14% would skip the purchase and 10% would try a different e-retailer. The rest would take such actions as using different cards or payment methods.

“It’s in the best interest of all stakeholders to reduce the number of declines, because declines translate to real costs,” the report says. “Credit card companies miss out on fees, issuing banks see call center volume increases and merchants watch as customers make their purchases elsewhere.”

31% of consumers whose transactions were declined blame the e-retailer, the report says. By comparison, 65% blame the issuer or credit card company, with 32% blaming themselves (respondents could choose more than one party to blame). 

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