" class="no-js "lang="en-US"> US Businesses Lag Behind in Payment Performance
Thursday, May 23, 2024

Checkout.com Research Finds US Businesses Lag Behind in Payment Performance – Losing 2.1% of Global Revenues Annually

Checkout.com, the global payments provider, today releases its latest research on the disparities in payment performance in the digital economy. The High-Performance Payments: The hidden billion-dollar opportunity whitepaper, supported by research from Oxford Economics, finds that US businesses lose, on average, 2.1% of global revenues due to poor payment performance.

The report also highlights a correlation between payment acceptance rates, customer satisfaction, and loyalty. False declines –where a legitimate transaction is mistakenly identified as fraud and rejected– result in 45% of consumers not attempting a retry and abandoning the purchase. But worse, 42% of consumers said they would never return to the business after a failed payment attempt, seriously damaging consumer trust in the brand.

“In this economic environment, every transaction matters – especially when a competitor is just a few clicks away. Poor payment performance results not only in lost value but in potential brand damage. Our research lays out the magnitude of the opportunity for businesses and the growing regional disparities,” commented Antoine Nougué, Head of Commercial at Checkout.com. “At Checkout.com, we believe that payment performance is a strategic differentiator for businesses – and a key driver of revenue growth.”

Key findings:

  • Last year, merchants lost $50.7 billion due to false declined payments – in the US, UK, France, and Germany – a figure that has seen a staggering 140% increase in the last three years from $20 billion in 2019.
  • 70% of merchants admit to grappling with a complex layering of payments and tech providers involving a patchwork of outdated legacy players
  • 45% of consumers say that they wouldn’t  retry a second payment following a single false decline
  • 42% of consumers say they will never return to an app or website following one false decline
  • 50% of merchants don’t receive any raw response codes on failed payments from payment processors
  • 45% of merchants say that they do not receive any actionable insights or analytics from their payment service providers
  • 52% of merchants say they don’t receive advisory support from their payment partners on improving their auth rates or reducing fraud and chargeback rates, a figure unchanged since 2020.

The whitepaper, underpinned by research from the renowned economic research and forecasting firm, Oxford Economics, surveyed 1,500 businesses and over 8,000 consumers across the U.S., U.K., France, and Germany.

Ben Skelton, Lead Econometrician at Oxford Economics, commented: “Our latest research shows that the value of sales lost by merchants due to false payment declines rose by 140% when compared with 2019. Our calculations suggested that one-third of the growth could be accounted for by the overall growth in e-commerce. The fact that the majority of the increased losses could not be accounted for by market growth immediately suggested that some other forces were playing a significant role, and our conversations with industry experts at Checkout.com go a long way toward explaining the striking difference.”

The research finds that US businesses lag behind their European counterparts on payment performance – a gap widening over the past two years. Of the $50.7 billion lost across all four markets, $42.4 billion were lost in the US. While this is partially accounted for by virtue of being the largest of the four eCommerce markets, the harm is greater per individual company too. Oxford Economics calculates that on average, US businesses lost 2.1% of their revenue to false declines in 2022. That compares with British, French, and German companies, who lost 1.3%, 1.3%, and 1%, respectively. This amounts to annual losses of many millions for midmarket and enterprise firms, with the pain felt most strongly in the US.

The report identifies several factors that make the fight against false declines more challenging. Increased cross-border activity, new scheme rules and regulatory requirements all play a part. One challenge particularly impacting the US market is Strong Customer Authentication (SCA). SCA has transformed European markets for some time as they adjust to regulation that demands superior authentication of legitimate payers. In the US, merchants report that despite not being required to do so by law, they are increasingly introducing SCA-style two-factor authentication in their domestic market to reduce chargeback fraud. By effectively addressing one problem, they are unwittingly exacerbating another because US customers are encountering a huge spike in friction when they try to pay, importantly without the widespread consumer education seen in Europe. The consequence is mass cart abandonment and a switch to competitor sites. In fact the amount of money being lost to competitor brands in the US, following one false decline, has grown by 300% since 2019.

Checkout.com’s Product Director of Payment Performance, Rami Josef, commented, “For European markets where Strong Customer Authentication has been in effect since 2019, consumers are more widely educated on the process required to authenticate their transactions. However, in the US market, consumers have limited awareness of two-factor authentication and therefore are more likely to abort a transaction. Inconsistencies per market, and rapid change over time, bring complexity when attempting to improve payment performance and underscores the importance of propositions such as our Intelligent Acceptance solution.”

Our research and understanding of the problem and its significant economic impact is why Checkout.com has built an AI-powered optimization engine. Intelligent Acceptance was developed to increase acceptance rates, lower transaction fees, and operational complexity. The new product has so far achieved meaningful results for merchants during beta testing, enabling transactions that created c.$750 million of new revenue and increasing the acceptance rates by up to 9.5 percentage points for over 30 merchants, including the likes of Klarna, Ant Group, NordVPN, Reach and Sunday.

To access the complete research paper, “High-Performance Payments: The hidden billion-dollar opportunity,” please visit www.checkout.com/guides-and-reports/high-performance-payments

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