Payment Acceptance

Date created: Oct 12, 2022  •   Last updated: Oct 12, 2022

What is Payment Acceptance

Payment acceptance is the percentage of payments that are successful out of those payments that are attempted. In credit card language, this is often called the “authorization rate”. Failed payments are the menace of selling anything online and payment acceptance rates are significantly lower than buying something in-person.

Payment Acceptance Formula

ƒ Count (Successful Payments) / Count (Attempted Payments)

How to calculate Payment Acceptance

The final step in the payment funnel sees 5,000 payment attempts, but only 4,500 successful payment authorizations. Payment Acceptance = 4,500 authorizations / 5,000 attempts = 90%

Start tracking your Payment Acceptance data

Use Klipfolio PowerMetrics, our free analytics tool, to monitor your data. Choose one of the following available services to start tracking your Payment Acceptance instantly.

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What is a good Payment Acceptance benchmark?

Credit card acceptance rates range from 78% to 88%, while rates for PayPal and bank transfer payment types range from 77% to 94%, according to a 2016 study from MRC Global.

How to visualize Payment Acceptance?

Payment Acceptance data is more meaningful when segmented by payment type or billing cycle, for example. Use a bar chart to easily segment your data. Take a look at the example:

Payment Acceptance visualization example

Payment Acceptance

Bar Chart

Here's an example of how to visualize your Payment Acceptance data in a bar chart to observe segmented data.
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Payment Acceptance


Measuring Payment Acceptance

More about Payment Acceptance

Even with the best signup funnel, lead scoring, and subscription billing workflows imaginable, low payment acceptance will dramatically decrease your revenue. Successful selling does not guarantee money in the bank.

You can calculate this by pulling data from your payment processor (most tools allow you to export payment data as a CSV for all payment attempts - failed and successful).

You need to account for retried payments (say, due to lack of funds or incorrect card details), failed payments over different billing periods (like annual subscriptions paid by card vs. monthly), different payment methods (where credit cards aren’t a direct source of funds but a bank wire transfer is), country, and so on.

Here are five useful ways to segment payment acceptance in a meaningful way.

  1. Unique payment acceptance Count based on checkout attempts vs. individual payment attempts. Sometimes called “net” payment acceptance.
  2. Payment acceptance by payment type Comparing payments through “checkout”, automated subscription payments, and updating card payments. This is especially important for SaaS businesses.
  3. Payment acceptance by billing cycle How do annual subscription payments compare to monthly or 1-time payments.
  4. Payment acceptance by payment method Comparing payment methods like PayPal, direct debit, and card.
  5. Payment acceptance by country Comparing payment acceptance rates across different countries.

Recommended resources related to Payment Acceptance

Ed Fry at Paddle dives into Payment Acceptance problems and fixes

Metric Toolkit