Declined Payments: The Other Green Of The Payments World

Declined Payments: The Other Green Of The Payments World

By Sara Perry
Published On Dec 03, 2020

It’s always a headache when payments decline. But during the holidays the time-consuming task of tracking down members for missed payments can easily feel like the Grinch is robbing you of precious engagement with your community. Even more upsetting is that 1 in 3 members terminate due to a decline. You shouldn’t have to worry that declined payments will lead to members walking out the door. With new rounds of mandated closures to protect against COVID-19 across the country, your members need you to stay physically, mentally, and emotionally healthy.

The good news is that there are solutions to avoid these uncomfortable conversations and maintain positive cash flow. Learn why payments decline and how you can save time and money recovering missed payments. This way, you can recharge your spirit and share with your community during these times that inspire us to reflect and connect.


You process a lot of payments. It may surprise you that each successful online payment, while taking at most 2.6 seconds, involves at least 10 steps of communication between 6-8 different entities. So it’s not remarkable with so much back-and-forth that payments sometimes get stuck in limbo. This broad umbrella- the headache on top of your migraine-  the feared Grinch of the payments world-  is referred to as the declined payment.

Hard and Soft Declines

But remember in the story when the Grinch actually just needs some love and support? You can choose to Cindy Lou Who your payment declines by understanding them. The first important distinction is between a hard and soft decline.  A hard decline occurs when the issuing bank (the one connected to the customer’s card) does not approve the payment processing. A soft decline means an error occurred at some other point in the 10-step communication between merchants, processors, banks, or even the website connection. Often, simply trying again on a soft decline will help the payment go through.

Declines Around the Holidays

At this point, with some Cindy Lou Who-ing we understand payment declines. But what if we could deal with fewer of them? The financial strain and end-of-year dash have us all bouncing between the excitement of holiday spirit, and becoming the Grinch. Choosing simple and actionable procedures for your business will help you maintain revenue and your members through these difficult times.

One action you can choose to ease your headaches around payment declines is to find an integrated software solution that tracks down missed payments for you. Full Service Billing does just that, all to increase your bottom line, reduce terminations, and take back your valuable time. Give yourself the gift of 75% declined payment recovery, give your time back to your community, and teach the Grinch all about love this holiday season. Happy Holidays!

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