Published: April 5, 2021
Reading time: 2 minute read
Written by: Forter Team

As an e-commerce business owner, there’s a good chance that you’re missing out on more potential business than you might think.

Why is this?

Two words: False declines.

We’ve previously gone in-depth explaining what false declines are.  However, for those not familiar with them, a false decline is a legitimate transaction that ends up being blocked by anti-fraud systems. In many cases, these systems often end up catching many legitimate transactions along with genuinely fraudulent ones, which is how businesses end up having higher numbers of false declines.

False declines don’t only mean that you’re missing out on business, either. They also affect your reputation, considering that customers likely spent a significant amount of time researching products or services before settling on yours, only to have their legitimate transaction blocked.

The question then remains: If false declines are so detrimental, how can you reduce them?

Reducing False Declines

With false declines having such an adverse effect on a business’s finances and reputation, keeping them to a minimum is a priority. However, there are a few steps involved in reducing false declines.

Assessing your business for false declines

This process begins with figuring out if your business has a problem with false declines. To do this, you’ll need to analyze your blocked transactions. Which ones are actually fraudulent? Which ones were wrongfully canceled? Without this information, you won’t be able to start reducing the number of false declines that your business experiences.

Adding context to blocked transactions

Many of the transactions that are identified as legitimate and wrongfully blocked are the result of legacy fraud prevention systems. Many of these systems lack the ability to provide context based on robust data stores in order to more accurately distinguish between legitimate customer interactions and fraudulent ones.

With added context surrounding these events, fraud prevention tools are able to more accurately block fraudulent transactions without catching legitimate ones in the same net.

There are tools and services that allow you to easily create context surrounding different anti-fraud events  For example, Forter’s Payment Protection service uses machine learning based on customer feedback to more effectively combat fraud and consistently approve legitimate customer transactions.

Improving communications between merchants and banks

Since merchants have little visibility into the transaction process, their ability to influence individual transactions is flawed. Because of this, a more open line of communication between merchants and banks is necessary to boost overall authorization rates.

The market isn’t exactly flooded with tools to help with this scenario, which is where Forter’s Trusted Authorization solution comes in. With it, merchants have a more direct line of communication with banks and have more insight into fraud data, reducing false declines by up to 85%.


Reducing false declines can be a daunting task. However, with the proper knowledge and tools at your disposal, you can ensure that your business keeps them to a minimum and your good reputation remains intact.

How Are False Declines Affecting Your Business?

Forter has created a report designed specifically to educate you on how false declines affect your business. Be sure to grab it and find out just how much revenue you could be missing out on.

2 minute read