The key to fixing failed transactions

When most retailers think of growing their earnings, the first and most obvious way of doing this is generally to gain new customers and, therefore, sales. 

But gaining new customers can be a difficult and expensive endeavour, and the efforts made through marketing and sales events aren’t guaranteed to lead a customer to buy something. 

And in the worst-case scenario, a customer does want to buy something, attempts to, and the transaction fails. 

Why did it fail? Was the issue on the customer’s side, or the retailer’s side? And how likely are they to try again? 

It can be difficult to tell, since many payment providers don’t provide that level of detailed information when something goes wrong. 

According to, 41 per cent of businesses say they get no actionable insights from their payments data – information which could be the difference between success and failure. 

The payments space tends to be one of high-tech innovation built atop of clunky, outdated underlying systems according to Checkout’s latest report, Optimising authorisation rates with access to meaningful payments data

Below a shiny veneer lies a patchwork of sub-optimal integrations which can actually get in the way of providing that necessary data: such as how often a business’ payments are failing, and why. 

“The key metric nowadays is authorisation rate,” said Checkout.coms’ SVP of Commercial for APAC Matthieu Barral.

“If out of 100 transactions you have 92 approved or 88 approved: that’s a 4-per-cent difference. That adds up when it happens every day, and can lead to millions of dollars in more revenue.”

And the authorisation rate is directly tied to a system’s response codes: A code that is spat out at the moment a transaction fails to tell the merchant why. 

This information is invaluable, said Barral, though most payment providers tend to lump many failures together into fewer codes which makes them difficult to action: If a code could mean one of ten things, how do you help the customer to pay?

“The user can’t know if it’s insufficient funds, they can’t know if it’s fraud or just a miscommunication,” Barral said. 

Checkout Systems supplies its customers with over 150 separate response codes to ensure if something goes wrong, they will be able to see what the issue is, rectify it, and keep that customers’ business. 

And, based on its work with a number of high-profile businesses across APAC, such as HelloFresh, Grab, Deliveroo, Shein, Nespresso, and Swarovski, has been able to improve authorisation rates by giving businesses access to precise and actionable data.

To better understand how your business can improve authorisation rates, and better utilise response codes, download Checkout System’s payments performance guide to find out more.

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