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85% Approval Ratio

Acceptable approval rates vary merchant to merchant and from industry sector to industry sector. However, generally speaking to be in good standing in a Card Not Present space you should aim for over 85%. The risk of declines increase usually with subscription-based services, like Netflix, or those that offer recurring payments, like phone, internet and cable companies. The acquisition cost for a solid customer base can be quite substantial, so it's important to manage declines effectively to increase subscriber lifetime value.


Make it easier for your team by using automated options, like Card Account Updater if you have card on file services or recurring payments. Pay heed to decline reason codes to determine if there are any trends you should react to and have a process in place to handle soft declines and resubmit, or recycle, transactions. If you have the proper systems in place and take the necessary precautions , you can avoid many of your declines and be in the preferred situation of a higher approval rate and less money lost.

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