76% of merchants suffer payment outages – costing each up to €1m a year
Stage 4: Deliver
Paul Skeldon
30th March 2017
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A new study commissioned by SafeCharge, a leader in advanced payment technologies, has revealed that payment outages and downtime are causing frequent disruption to merchants bottom line and growth abilities.

The research ‘Payments, Interrupted’, conducted by WBR Digital, surveyed 200+ CFO, VP Finance, Payment Managers and Payments Controllers at large multinational retailers across Europe and found that as many as 76% of merchants in Europe experienced at least one payments outage in the last year. More troublingly, 72% of retailers admitted to financial losses ranging from €10,000 – €100,000 per outage, with 11% citing losses of €1m or more.

The study also shows that 42% of retailers in Europe have experienced six or more partial outages in the last year and that 39% of outages hit at peak time such as Black Friday, damaging reputation and customer loyalty.

The research assesses the current performance and importance of payment services in terms of availability and transparency. It shows that reliability of service, along with the clarity of financial reporting, are major factors for merchants seeking business growth. It argues that payment providers must now demonstrate reliability, as well as their integrity in delivering these services. 

The research goes on to show that 73% of respondents reported that payment outages lasted between 15 minutes and one hour and that 86% of respondents lack access to online reporting functions. 64% of respondents would like a more transparent payment reporting.

“Every second a merchant’s payments system is down means abandoned baskets, lost revenue and reputational damage. The research clearly shows that a reliable and transparent payments system is crucial to not only a merchant’s bottom line but also customer experience. It’s no surprise that customer confidence within a merchant erodes after experiencing payment friction due to downtime,” said Shemer Katz, Chief Marketing Officer at SafeCharge. “There is a compelling need to provide new payment processing capabilities which enable optimal uptime and availability. SafeCharge has developed a fully featured proprietary payment platform connected directly to payment card schemes, therefore not depending on third parties, ensuring maximum reliability of its services.

“Another finding that can’t be ignored is the increasing need for financial transparency. 50% of the merchants we spoke to have no real-time access to fees, and 14% are not receiving a clear picture of what they’re being charged by their payment providers. It’s clear from the research that a lot of work needs to be undertaken by payments providers, and that payments processes need to be vastly improved for merchants. Payments has been likened to a black box for far too long and we believe that by giving merchants comprehensive insight into payments costs they will be able to ensure business continuity, improve operations and make better business decisions,” concludes Katz. 

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Author: Paul Skeldon
Editor specialising in all things mobile.
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