What Subscription, Membership & Continuity Merchants Need to Know About Recurring Billing Declines

A few of my notes from Insider’s webinar featuring Paul Larsen (credit card processing guru for subscription site industry) yesterday: #1. More than half

A few of my notes from Insider’s webinar featuring Paul Larsen (credit card processing guru for subscription site industry) yesterday:#1. More than half of US consumers do NOT use a “real” card when signing up for subscriptions or memberships online. 52% are using a debit card. 15% (and growing) are using prepaid cards.This means more than half of your accounts may hit limits and be harder to retain than you suspected… unless you know how to handle things. It also means eChecks and Amex may be worth promoting.#2. You should take 4-specific steps with all accounts when you have an expired card. If you do this, you can gain back up to 80% of those accounts. (If you use a gateway such as AuthorizeNet, you’ll only get about 40% of accounts back, but it’s still way better than losing all of your expires willy nilly.)#3. There are two major types of declines — “soft” and “hard”. Your accounting department needs to be able to spot the differences between them and treat them accordingly. If you treat all declines the same way, you may hurt your reputation with the card companies… and wind up with more processing problems.BTW: The final webinar was just over 90-minutes, and included some really on-target Q&A from publishers on topic including dealing with chargebacks, and how to handle AuthorizeNet. The on-demand video is really worth viewing carefully – and I’d recommend you ask both your retention marketer and your bookkeeper to view it with you so you can all discuss what actions to take afterwards.

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