The subscription business model can be a great way to generate consistent revenue for your eCommerce business, but it can also be challenging to maintain payments from satisfied customers. Credit card declines can lead to lost income, and getting customers to update their payment credentials can be difficult.

That’s why many merchants are turning to subscription billing solutions that can automate the process of recurring payments and help manage customer subscriptions. These solutions can help reduce the risk of lost revenue, and they make it easy for customers to keep their subscriptions up to date.

Risks with Recurring Billing

In any business, there are always risks associated with taking payments. When it comes to recurring billing or subscription-based payments, this is especially true, as there is a higher chance of cards being declined. This can be due to several factors, including the cardholder’s banking institution, the payment processor, or even the merchant itself.

According to Visa and Mastercard, an average of 15% of all recurring payments are declined. However, this rate can be much higher for some industries – up to 30%. 

The Most Common Reasons For This High Failure Rate

One of the most common reasons for a recurring payment decline is that the cardholder’s credit limit has been reached. If your customer’s card is declined because of this reason, you can ask them to update their credit limit information on their account.

Another common reason for recurring payment declines is when the cardholder’s payment credentials have changed. This could be because their card has been reissued, or there have been changes to their billing address or other contact information.

If you notice that many of your recurring payments are being declined, it’s a good idea to reach out to your customers and ask them to confirm their billing information, which can help prevent future payment failures.

By being prepared for when your recurring payments are declined, you can minimize the disruption to your business. Implementing some of the tips in this article can help you ensure that your payments are processed successfully every time.

Understanding the Types of Credit Card Declines

There are different types of credit card declines, and each one should be treated differently. Here’s a look at the two most common types of credit card declines:

Soft Declines

Soft declines happen when the bank approves your transaction, but something else gets in its way. In that sense, it’s like a chain of events – if one part of the chain is interrupted or unavailable, the whole thing falls apart.

Why do they happen?

There are several reasons why a transaction might fail, but some of the most common causes are problems with the customer’s card (such as a lack of funds), issues with the merchant’s account, or technical difficulties with the payment processing system.

Hard Declines

A hard decline is a payment card error when the issuing bank does not approve payment for processing. This can be due to several reasons, such as exceeding the card’s credit limit or invalid account information. Hard declines are often an indication that the payment card information needs to be updated before a successful transaction can occur, even after multiple retries.

If your business experiences a high number of hard declines, it can be costly and time-consuming to try and fix the problem. In some cases, you may need to work with your payment processor or merchant services provider to find a solution. However, there are a few things you can do to help reduce the likelihood of hard declines:

• Make sure your payment card information is up-to-date and accurate.

• Keep your credit limit within reason, and monitor your account regularly to avoid going over.

• If you’re experiencing issues with a specific card, contact the issuing bank for assistance.

How to Lower Card Decline Rates?

If your business experiences high card decline rates, you’re not alone, and the average business sees a card decline rate of around 2-3%. However, there are some things you can do to help lower your card decline rates and improve your payment processing experience.

Here are a few tips:

1. Make sure you have an updated merchant account agreement. Sometimes processors will update their policies or procedures, and if you don’t have the most recent contract in place, your business may be more likely to experience card declines.

2. Make sure your payment processing system is up-to-date. Outdated systems can lead to declines because they may not be able to support the most recent security features or fraud prevention measures.

3. Make sure you’re following best practices for payment processing. This includes verifying card information, requesting updated documentation when needed, and ensuring your staff is adequately trained on how to process payments.

4. Regularly monitor your account and payment activity. If you see any suspicious or unexpected movement, report it to your processor right away. This can help them investigate any potential fraud and help to prevent future declines.

5. Stay informed about changes in the payment processing industry. Processors are constantly updating their policies and procedures in order to stay ahead of fraudsters. Keep up with the latest news and trends to make sure your business is prepared for any potential changes that may impact your card decline rates.

If you follow these tips, you can help to reduce your card decline rates and improve your payment processing experience.


Kryptova is a company that provides payment processing solutions to businesses of all sizes. They have a team of highly experienced payment professionals passionate about helping companies become global operations.


Kryptova offers a variety of payment processing options, including credit and debit cards, cryptocurrency, mobile money wallets, bank transfers, and local payment options. This gives businesses the flexibility to choose the payment methods that work best for them and their customers. Kryptova also offers fraud protection services to help enterprises keep their payments safe and secure.