What’s the ultimate secret to guaranteeing a substantial 10-50% increase in ROI? It’s all about cost reduction. The meticulous process of sourcing and selecting resources for affiliate marketing is just as critical as finding the perfect offer and the most effective combination.
While the notions of “trustworthiness” and “quality” in payment methods often stir debates, the palpable impact of fees cannot be ignored. In this article, we’ll delve into the realm of digital and affiliate marketing cards and unveil how choosing the right payment instrument can supercharge your ROI by 10-50%.
Increasing ROI with Virtual Cards
Savvy marketers understand that maintaining a steady 30% ROI, especially on extensive campaigns, is a commendable achievement. To illustrate the profound impact of selecting the right payment option, let’s consider an average scenario.
ROI, short for Return on Investment, serves as the barometer of your campaign’s profitability. It is calculated using the formula ((Income – Costs) / Costs) x 100%.
With this ROI formula in mind, it becomes clear that a 30% ROI can translate into substantial profit growth. A mere 5% reduction in costs can trigger a remarkable 20% profit surge. Take cost optimization a step further, targeting a 10% reduction, and you’re looking at a remarkable ROI increase of nearly 1.5 times. Let’s break it down.
|Without optimization||Optimizing costs by 5%||Optimizing costs by 10%|
Now that we’ve touched upon the fundamental ROI principles, let’s dive into the exciting developments that virtual cards have brought us in 2023 and how these innovations directly influence your ROI.
The potential for ROI augmentation is intrinsically linked to the magnitude of Virtual Credit Card (VCC) fees, which can vary widely, ranging from 1-2% to as high as 14% of your budget.
Here, we place the spotlight on four key categories of commissions:
- Account/card top-up fees,
- The cost of the cards themselves
- Cashback, if available.
- Transaction fees (excluding international taxes, as this depends on each specific setup and affiliate strategy and can be mitigated if it’s part of the strategy).
To assess the benefits and fees comprehensively, we’ve harnessed an interactive calculator, offering a clear view of the total commission amount across various variables. Notably, one player has demonstrated outstanding results in boosting ROI – PST.NET with their Private program. This program boasts a meager total commission rate of 0.4%, as opposed to the 5-13% charged by other services. In the subsequent sections, we’ll delve deeper into the specifics of this game-changer.
Private has transitioned to a subscription model and now offers a 3% cashback on advertising and a package of free cards (from 10 to 100) every month.
The service offers three plans, each of which includes:
- A package of cards (up to 100, renewed monthly),
- A top-up discount of up to 3% (more favorable than any other service we compared),
- And, as a sweet bonus, a 3% cashback.
Cost for any plan will be the same as card issuance on other services. Plus, you get the lowest crypto top-up fee and cashback from up to $100k.
Of course, the benefits will depend directly on a number of conditions, but we have tried to account for all of them in the comparison table. You can play with the numbers yourself, and below, we provide a detailed breakdown of all three subscription packages.
- With a $10k spend and 10 issued cards, ROI will increase by 14% compared to other services.
- With a $15k spend and 50 issued cards, ROI will increase by 18%.
- With a $100k spend and 100 issued cards, the ROI growth will be a whopping 19%.
All program participants will also have access to a familiar but important set of perks: teamwork functions, API access (otherwise you would have to pay $500 for it), and, of course, a Private manager.
If we consider extreme scenarios instead of average cases the results of fees optimization may be even more dramatic. Brocard doesn’t forgive a high decline rate and charges $0.5 for each declined transaction. This fee alone can account for 5-10% of the advertising budget due to low advertising responsibility and an incorrect strategy.
Regarding other smaller services, it’s essential not to forget about the risk of BIN (Bank Identification Number) attrition. In 2023, we’ve seen that only a few payment providers on the market don’t face this issue.
In conclusion, PSTNET is our favorite in terms of fees, so let’s delve into other significant aspects of their product.
2. Limits, BINs and security
Alright, ROI’s growing yet what about the overall product features? Virtual payment services have various limitations, such as minimum top-up amounts, maximum transaction amounts, and spending limits over time. Let’s take a closer look at what today’s candidates have, and examine the pros and cons of each. We’ll start with the downsides.
At PSTNET, unlike many affiliate payment providers, there is a KYC verification process. Although, when we purchased the subscription, the verification was done automatically. It might be a temporary bug, or perhaps it’s a hidden feature; we couldn’t confirm for sure. Additionally, there is an additional $5 fee when topping up to $50. The support team informed us that this is due to transaction fees for small crypto amounts. Furthermore, users are provided with a list of prohibited MCC (Merchant Category Code) categories, such as financial products and services, that the service’s virtual cards cannot be used with. Also, currently, only cards in dollars are available.
For other services, there is typically no verification process, and it is usually replaced by a technologically simpler interview or monthly spend confirmation. Almost all of them offer some form of 2FA, either through Google Authenticator or their own Telegram bot.
Now, let’s move on to BINs (Bank Identification Numbers), as the usage variability of cards makes the situation a bit more interesting. These are the first 6 (or 8) digits in a card number, often attributed with magical properties, from getting into Zuckerberg’s personal whitelist to being permanently banned on Google. Unfortunately, you can’t know in advance how a particular BIN will work in combination with the rest of your setup. But the more BINs a payment provider has, and the more frequently new ones are added, the better. More BINs mean more opportunities for experiments and tests.
|How many BIN||8||23||25||5||2|
|When was the last update||Several months ago||September 2023||July 2023||Couldn’t identify (long ago)||Couldn’t identify (long ago)|
Many services are expanding beyond just offering cards for advertising platforms and are providing customers with tools for payment of a “Basic Affiliate Kit,” including proxies, design service subscriptions, neural networks, VPS, and more. However, the use cases for these cards, even those that support 3Ds, often remain within the realm of marketing. But not for everyone. If PSTNET restricts certain MCCs, other services more often provide lists of permitted ones. Surprisingly, it turns out that the only licensed product on the market offers not only specialized cards for affiliate marketing but also for everyday expenses.
A few words about the number of BINs. Most services have product lines that don’t exceed a dozen positions, but PST.NET offers users a whopping 25 BINs. Three of them have 3Ds, two operate in automatic mode and are categorized under “for TikTok.” The 3Ds codes for the third category are available in the interface, on Telegram, and via email. The service last updated its product line in July 2023, and at that time, they removed several Euro BINs. The PST BIN checker Pulse allows users to check the Decline Rate themselves.
MyBroCard offers both cards for service payments and specialized ones for advertising, and BINs and cards are not separated by platforms. They have a total of 23 cards, all in dollars, and some have 3Ds enabled. However, it’s mostly in auto-mode: the card will pass verification through AWS, but you won’t be asked for a code. New positions are added regularly, with the latest one released just a few days ago. They don’t advertise restrictions on merchants, but they are certainly present: some payments are declined due to “Unknown Merchant,” even though there is a balance on the card.
As we draw the curtains on the year 2023, the virtual card market is experiencing a transformative shift. What was once considered a mere tool for media buyers has evolved into a robust income source from web traffic. In this digital era, every affiliate marketer seeks that golden formula to boost ROI and enhance profitability. Across the spectrum, services now extend virtual cards to users, but their trustworthiness often remains shrouded in the myths of affiliate marketing. To discover which cards align best with your unique setup and objectives, only real-world tests can reveal the winning combination.
When it comes to virtual cards, the choices you make are pivotal to your strategy’s success. Will these tools merely consume up to 13% of your advertising budget, or can they be harnessed to substantially increase your profitability? The decision now lies in your hands, dear readers.
Affiliate Disclosure: This post may contain some affiliate links, which means we may receive a commission if you purchase something that we recommend at no additional cost for you (none whatsoever!)