In our digital world, every connection to the internet opens a gateway for potential threats that could compromise our data privacy. One in five people has been a victim of cybercrime, while hacker attacks happen every 39 seconds. NordVPN, part of the offering from Nord Security and established in 2012 by a group of tech enthusiasts, promises a solution — offering safe and secure access to the internet by protecting online data, IP addresses, and locations of its users. NordVPN's mission extends beyond business goals and covers social causes, donating VPN accounts to various Non-Governmental Organizations and promoting digital human rights worldwide.
NordVPN can’t risk failed transactions affecting its end-users. Access to its service must be seamless, fast, and safe, or its customers could suffer from malware, trackers, and intrusive ads. This need for uninterrupted subscriptions led them to Checkout.com's Intelligent Acceptance product. This innovative solution promises to optimize payment efficiency for its monthly or annual online security packages, ensuring NordVPN can deliver on its mission to help users protect its digital world 24/7.
The payment landscape can be complex, especially when regulations are considered. And, while regulations are working hard to keep fraud in check, an unoptimized Strong Customer Authentication (SCA) strategy can lead to declines.
For a business like NordVPN which is operating in a highly competitive landscape, this can have real impacts on its bottom line if customers drop off in the face of too much friction in the authentication experience.
NordVPN realized, through rigorous testing across multiple countries with different providers, the necessity of a nuanced approach to 3DS implementation. They wanted to provide a more frictionless service to their customers without liability shift. They needed a payments provider that could offer this, and, with Intelligent Acceptance, Checkout.com could identify modifications to the challenger indicator in the authentication request that could be made. As well as being able to identify and fix issues in the payment flow.
"In our continuous pursuit to elevate payment efficiency and improve customer offerings, Checkout.com's Intelligent Acceptance emerged as an invaluable tool, especially with SCA," said Kestas Saulis, Head of Payments from Nord Security.
"We wanted to fine-tune our payment flow to achieve maximum efficiency, emphasizing reducing customer friction. Our primary goal was to strike a delicate balance between maintaining robust fraud prevention measures and facilitating a seamless user experience with 3DS," said Kestas.
Data already shows positive improvements. NordVPN has already seen a 1.9% Acceptance Rate uplift in SCA-managed traffic since using Intelligent Acceptance.
As well as safer internet browsing, NordVPN offers its customers smoother and faster online access. This needs to extend to the payment experience, as NordVPN's business model heavily relies on stored payment data for recurring transactions.
With Intelligent Acceptance, NordVPN was able to recover 12.9% on expired cards within the first month of onboarding in the case of cardholder-related declines thanks to various optimizations on the ISO message that maximized the chances of success at authorization. Ultimately this reduced the friction that was experienced by customers making a payment.
Optimizing the payment process is crucial for NordVPN for both increasing revenue and enhancing customer experience. They deliver seamless cybersecurity to its customers and, if a payment is declined when it shouldn't be, this could leave a customer exposed to malware attacks or compromised accounts.
“Delivering a better customer experience through improved transaction success rates is important if we keep giving our customers secure and smooth access to the digital world", Kestas Saulis stated. “To deliver this better experience, we needed to minimize the proportion of transactions we were losing due to technical glitches— but also enhance cardholder security – for example, conflicts between using Network Tokens and card credentials for the right issuer. These optimizations are dynamic and responsive even if issuer preferences or regulations change, reducing false declines”
“Checkout.com's Intelligent Acceptance promised to deliver exactly that, and, from what we have seen so far, it is making good on that promise.”
Intelligent Acceptance uses millions of data points and continual experimentation to accurately implement Network Tokens only when the issuer supports them. Through the implementation of Network Tokens, NordVPN can take advantage of lower scheme fees where these can be applied but, thanks to Intelligent Acceptance, they were able to avoid false declines from issuers that do not support them.
However, transactions can be declined even after they have been optimized. That is why a solution needs built-in retry capabilities to automatically recover transactions with a high probability of success. All of this happens in real-time, without the end customer noticing.
Thanks to Checkout.com's solutions, NordVPN saw a 15% recovery rate on false declines. The introduction of Network Tokens has further led to a 1.5% uplift in Acceptance Rate.
NordVPN is a business that is at the forefront of online security solutions. Integration with partners needs to be swift and responsive to change as the digital landscape shifts so rapidly.
“Our onboarding experience with Checkout.com was notably smooth. Compared to other partners, the process was far less cumbersome thanks to the Intelligent Acceptance team and the service that they provided where they were able to deep dive into our setup. We particularly appreciated the rapid response times and diligent efforts from the team, fostering a healthy partnership. Overall, we rate our onboarding experience highly and anticipate this positive dynamic will continue in our ongoing relationship.”
“As we look to the future, we are excited about the easy application of additional features without needing further integrations that Checkout.com promises. The initial successes provide a robust foundation for a long-term, successful partnership. We’re confident in the potential of Intelligent Acceptance to continually enhance its services and further our mission of protecting the digital world.”