GAMING AND INTERACTIVE ENTERTAINMENT INDUSTRY

HIGH RISK MERCHANT ACCOUNTS FOR THE ONLINE GAMING AND INTERACTIVE ENTERTAINMENT INDUSTRY.
FASTER APPROVALS. COMPETITIVE PRICING. BETTER SERVICE.

Payment Processing for the Gaming and Interactive Entertainment Industry

Video gaming, also known as interactive entertainment, is a multi-billion-dollar industry in the United States alone. Global competition is fierce among game developers and publishers, whose imaginations and advanced technologies drive continuous process improvement across gaming design, programming and computer animation technologies.

DigiPay Solutions has created a “Gaming Industry Primer” with important information about setting up a merchant account, controlling chargebacks, managing risk and keeping merchant accounts in good standing.

Who is DigiPay Solutions?

DigiPay Solutions is a recognized payment processing brand throughout the gaming industry. The company’s extensive network of partner banks, payment experts and elite portfolio of tailored solutions has helped entrepreneurs launch start-ups and enterprise organizations achieve the next level of corporate growth.

Thousands of merchants, from start-ups to enterprise-scale organizations, leverage DigiPay’s curated knowledge of high-risk payments to securely process hundreds of millions across an array of vertical industries. DigiPay works closely with gaming industry partners, providing tailored solutions and timely advice to national and regional service providers, while helping them maintain the highest standards of banking and payment card industry compliance.

DigiPay’s team of experts, combined with our partners’ proven record of successful gaming industry products and services, can facilitate successful new company launches, while helping existing businesses grow and scale.

DigiPay’s team of payment experts, combined with our professional partners’ proven record of successful coaching programs and services, facilitates successful new company launches while helping existing businesses grow and scale.

A Gaming & Entertainment Payment Processing Primer

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A Brief Guide to the Gaming and Interactive Entertainment Industry

The Gaming Industry: An Economic Overview

A 2017 study by The Entertainment Software Association found more than 24.5 billion games were sold in 2016, generating more than $34.4 billion. Game sales included online subscriptions, downloadable content, mobile apps and social networking games. More than 150 Americans play video games, according to the association. Following are some additional facts from the report:

U.S. computer and video game companies employ more than 220,000 in all 50 states. The average gamer is 35 years old; 72 percent are 18 and older. Women age 18 and older represent 31 of overall U.S. gamers.

  • 71 percent of parents surveyed credit video games for positive contributions to their child’s life.
  • 67 percent of survey participants play video games with their children at least once a week.
  • 94 percent of survey participants pay attention to the video games their children play.

The Entertainment Software Association’s 2017 Essential Facts guide is available here, or download a copy of the complete report here.

SIC, NAICS & MCC Codes

Gaming industry consultants and service providers are categorized by SIC Code, NAICS Code and Visa Merchant Category Code (MCC) to comply with payment card industry requirements.

Proper classification is vitally important to prevent funds from being held in reserve for misrepresentation. Due to the close correlation of gaming and some forms of gambling, SIC, NAICS or MCC code can be found under different general industry codes, depending on the nature and focus of services. Following are some examples:

  • SIC Code: 7372
  • NAICS Code: 511210
  • MCC Codes for Skilled Gaming: 7999, 7994 or 7995, depending on monetary rewards and license requirements.
  • MCC Codes for Gambling: 7995

Leaders and Rising Stars

The diversified video game market provides gamers of all ages with abundant choices in interactive entertainment. Here are some examples of leading companies in the space:

  1. Sony Interactive Entertainment LLC

    A global leader in interactive and digital entertainment, Sony Interactive Entertainment (SIE) and its Worldwide Studios division develop games for the PlayStation brand and product family, which includes PlayStation 4, PlayStation VR, PlayStation Store, PlayStation Now and PlayStation Vue. SIE was established as a wholly-owned subsidiary of Sony Corporation in 2016. Headquartered in San Mateo, California, the company has regional offices in London and Tokyo.

  2. Microsoft’s Xbox One X

    Xbox One X, designed by Seattle-based software developer Microsoft, is a gaming console designed to provide an immersive 4K gaming experience. The console’s expanded graphical processing memory and built-in 4K Blu-ray player provide clarity for movies, gaming and streaming 4K video on Netflix, Amazon, and other service platforms. Xbox One X is backward-compatible with Xbox One games, series and accessories. Microsoft’s Xbox Live provides access to a real-time, advanced gaming network.

  3. Nintendo

    Nintendo Co., Ltd of Kyoto, Japan, launched the Nintendo Entertainment System in 1983. The company added the Nintendo Switch and Nintendo 3DS portable system to its extended family of hardware and software. The company has sold more than 4.4 billion video games and 700 million hardware units, including Nintendo Switch, Nintendo 3DS, Game Boy, Game Boy Advance, Nintendo DS family of systems, Super NES, Nintendo 64, Nintendo GameCube, Wii and Wii U systems. Redmond, Wash.-based Nintendo of America Inc., Nintendo’s wholly-owned subsidiary, manages operations in the Americas.

  4. Your Name Here:

    With your great brand story and DigiPay Solutions as your processing partner, there’s no limit to how far you can scale your company. DigiPay’s diverse, extended family of gaming and interactive entertainment providers process anywhere from $20,000 to millions in monthly revenue.

Interested in learning more about Publicly Traded Gaming and Entertainment Companies listed on Major U.S. Exchanges? Use this link to view by Large-Cap Stocks, Mid-Cap Stocks and Small-Cap Stocks.

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Gaming Products and Services

The origins of interactive entertainment can be traced to the 1970s, when coin-operated video games first appeared in public arcades. Large gaming consoles, modeled after pinball machines, were soon followed by home-based consoles like Atari and Mattel’s Intellivision, which led to a new generation of personal computers with high-speed microprocessors in the 1980s. The Nintendo Entertainment System was introduced in 1986, a closed-loop ecosystem with a strict set of qualifying criteria to control gaming authorship, quality and content and promote a brand message that Nintendo games were safe for kids. Nintendo’s brand message and success became a role model for other console manufacturers in the space, each with its own proprietary operating system, rules of engagement and brand followers.

PC gaming adoption soared in the 1990s, when CD ROMs brought efficiencies of scale to the market. Their enhanced storage, high-definition video and sound capabilities enabled CDs to deliver a superior gaming experience. Despite these enhancements, CDs were soon replaced by 3-D graphics. Continuing demand for fast, immersive gaming experiences led to innovations in virtual reality, which many analysts consider the next big trend in interactive entertainment.

Today, high-speed communications technologies facilitate interactive games, via the internet and mobile web. The ubiquity of smartphone technology has helped drive global adoption of mobile gaming, rapidly becoming the platform of choice for consumers and gamers of all ages and demographic groups. PC gaming continues to evolve and has opened the field to independent game developers and publishers, who must meet established criteria to participate in the space.

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Opportunities and Challenges

Similarities between gaming and gambling have led financial institutions and payment card brands to classify the interactive entertainment niche as a high-risk industry. The International Organization of Standardization (ISO), the regulatory body that issues merchant category codes (MCCs), assigned the gaming MCC to a range of ancillary businesses, such lotteries, casinos, and horse and dog racing, lumping gaming with other forms of legal gambling, for games played for money or solely for entertainment purposes.

Gaming advocates object to classifying games with gambling, especially due to Federal and State laws restricting the practice in many U.S. states and territories. In some cases, forms of interstate gambling allow electronic data from intrastate transactions to flow freely between locations in which bets are initiated, received and otherwise made. The laxity of these regulations further complicate compliance and oversight, prompting numerous issuers and acquirers to restrict MCC 7995-coded transactions due to the uncertainty about transaction legitimacy.
For example, some merchant agreements restrict all 7995-coded activities, stating, “We may also refuse any transaction that we reasonably believe may involve illegal or suspicious activity.”

Additionally, studies have shown the gaming industry has higher-than-average default and chargeback rates. Many processors require gaming companies to maintain a high account balance in their bank accounts, due to the volatility of credit card activity in merchant accounts.

Enabling Commerce for Gaming Industry Professionals

How do I create an eCommerce merchant account?

The first step in enabling commerce is establishing a merchant account. Gaming and interactive entertainment are considered high-risk businesses, which means service providers are frequently ineligible for merchant accounts at numerous sponsoring banks. DigiPay’s expanded network of banking relationships processes payments for the gaming industry at competitive rates, terms and conditions.

Gaming merchants find it advantageous to work with processing partners who are familiar with their industry, jargon and common business practices. Payment processing sales representatives who are not familiar with gaming and interactive entertainment may be less effective at managing relationships, due to their learning curves. When gaming, mobile and online entertainment companies work with knowledgeable processing partners, they save time and money, improve efficiencies and attract and retain more customers and followers.

Why Is Gaming Considered High-Risk?

Many banks will not process for gaming merchants due to industry’s higher-than-average number of chargebacks. Interactive gaming companies, especially entrepreneurial start-ups, may be unfamiliar with related risks of working with consumers whose high debt ratios and credit challenges increase the likelihood that they will default on payments, file for bankruptcy or initiate chargebacks on a recurring game subscription payment. Clients who become overly dependent on gaming may not recognize the extent of their involvement, or the impact it may have on their families, lives and careers.

Here are some risks commonly associated with gaming consumers and subscribers:

  1. Subscriber Remorse:

    Consumers who opt in for recurring billing may forget that their credit card will automatically be billed every month. They will then dispute the charge that appears on their credit card statement. Many card issuing banks require consumers to contact the merchant before they process a chargeback request.

  2. Exaggerated Claims:

    Consumers who devote time and money to gaming, expecting to improve their skill level, may initiate a chargeback out. They do not even have to prove the company made an exaggerated claim. They only need to demonstrate that a gaming company suggested that they could win or improve their skill through practice. Gaming companies must comply with truth-in-advertising laws.

  3. Lack of Infrastructure:

    Gaming start-up companies may not have appropriate levels of customer support to deal with consumer complaints and inquiries. Consumers who are unable to voice concerns to merchants may turn to payment card issuers for refunds and chargebacks.

Can DigiPay Acquire Gaming and Interactive Entertainment Merchant Accounts?

Yes, at DigiPay, gaming is in our DNA. As financial services specialists, we are familiar with the industry’s unique framework and diversity of categories, business models, SIC and NAIC codes and VISA MCC. We underwrite our merchants before sending their applications to our sponsor bank.

Once new merchants establish credibility and trust with DigiPay banking partners, they receive personalized attention and ongoing risk management from DigiPay’s team of payment specialists. This personalized service, coupled with the sheer volume of transactions we process through multiple banks, ensures our merchants receive the highest level of service and support.

Choosing the right payment processing partner is critical, because without the ability to accept payments, merchants are out of business. DigiPay’s merchant onboarding process combines sophisticated technology with human oversight. Experienced underwriters who understand the gaming and interactive entertainment industry, and have expertise in payment card brand and banking industry compliance, bring a refreshingly holistic approach to new account set-ups.

Whether gaming businesses specialize in downloadable software, mobile app, subscription or home consoles, DigiPay Solutions give merchants the attention and resources they deserve and a one-stop shop for processing solutions. The gaming industry is growing and DigiPay can accelerate that growth. The first order of business is eliminating any barriers to progress. Look no further than DigiPay Solutions, where getting a merchant account will open doors to a bright and prosperous future.

Why is so much information required for a Gaming Merchant Account?

Due to the higher risk associated with gaming and interactive entertainment, more due diligence is required during the new merchant on-boarding process. This means underwriters need to review a range of documents to assure the business is compliant, financially sound, and a good credit risk. DigiPay is unique because we underwrite merchants in-house before we submit their applications to the bank. Because our team of underwriters is experienced in high-risk, your business is presented to the bank with all required documents and full disclosure, to engender trust and stability.

Presenting your business in the best possible light from point of first contact is important because merchant accounts are essentially a line of credit from a processor. Because high-risk merchants have higher chargeback ratios and regulatory exposure, financial institutions are concerned they may violate card brand rules, laws and regulations. Complaints to the FDA and the FTC against a merchant create liability not only for merchants, but can also hold processors accountable under Know Your Customer (KYC) regulations.

DigiPay’s in-house team of underwriters and risk managers have curated knowledge in all areas of high risk. We are best qualified to guide you through the process efficiently and painlessly while helping to present your business to increase approval and gain credibility.

How do I increase my processing limits?

Once a high-risk gaming industry merchant account is approved, payment processors set monthly processing limits, typically between $10,000 and $30,000 per month, for the first three-to-six-months. This gives processors time to develop a customer risk profile by evaluating payment flows, average ticket sizes, processing levels and chargeback ratios.

Gaming companies that maintain a stable, consistent performance throughout initial trial periods can usually increase their processing limits. DigiPay’s risk management team works with merchants and sponsoring banks to shorten trial periods and raise processing limits.

Managing Alerts, Refunds and Chargebacks

Maintaining a low chargeback ratio is key to maintaining a healthy merchant account. When chargebacks exceed card brand maximums, your merchant account is at risk of being shut down. If a merchant category has consistently excessive chargebacks, banks will sometimes shut down an entire vertical industry. For this reason, it is critical for high risk verticals to self-regulate and work collaboratively to establish industry best practices.

Ryan Fritzsche, a payments industry veteran who has served as President and Founder of successful chargeback management organizations, leads DigiPay’s Gaming and Interactive Business division. Ryan brings a deep level of understanding and expertise to chargeback management. Keep reading for his expert advice.

How can I track my chargeback and refund ratios?

Keeping track of your Transaction Chargeback Ratio as well as your Volume Chargeback Ratio is critical because this is what Visa, Mastercard and payment processors monitor. Payment processors with high chargeback ratios in their merchant portfolios can trigger unannounced audits by Visa or Mastercard. For this reason, DigiPay, powered by TranZlytics, closely monitors chargeback and refund ratios, reacting quickly to spikes in activity. Excessive refunds, frequently the result of alerts, can be a sign of fraud or poor business practices, information the card brands and banks may consider when assessing risk.

The formulas shown below use simple math to derive Transaction Chargeback, Volume Chargeback and Refund Ratios:

  1. Transaction Chargeback Ratio:

    Add total monthly number of chargebacks and divide by total monthly number of transaction. For example – if during a month you processed 500 sales, and there were 10 chargebacks, your chargeback ratio would equal 10/500, or 2.00%.

  2. Volume Chargeback Ratio:

    Add total monthly dollar amount of all chargebacks and divide by the total monthly sales volume.
    For example – if during a month, you processed 500k in sales, and your chargebacks were 10k, your chargeback ratio would equal 10/500, or 2.00%.

  3. Transaction Refund Ratio:

    Add total monthly number of refunds and divide by total monthly number of transactions.
    For example – if during a month you processed 500 sales, and there were 10 refunds, your refund ratio would equal 10/500, or 2.00%.

  4. Volume Refund Ratio:

    Add total monthly dollar amount of all refunds and divide by the total monthly sales volume.
    For example – if during a month, you processed 500k in sales, and your refunds were 10k, your refund ratio would equal 10/500, or 2.00%.

How do I maintain low chargeback and refund ratios?

It is important not to ignore chargebacks, because win/loss ratios matter. Visa and Mastercard can impose penalties and fines in the tens of thousands on payment processors and their sponsoring banks for continuing to process transactions for merchants that exceed the permissible 2 percent chargeback ratio. Non-compliant processors and banks may also be subjected to further scrutiny and potential shut-down by card brands and regulators.

Here are some recommended ways to maintain low chargeback and refund volume ratios:

  • Stop fraud before it happens:

    Proactively identify fraudulent and stolen cards and suspicious behavior when possible. Having items like an SSL certificate, additional billing details, and other fraud detection tools.

  • Be accessible to customers:

    Dissatisfied customers who have access to live support will frequently be satisfied that they had the opportunity to air their grievances. They may be satisfied with a simple return or refund and find it unnecessary or initiate a dispute or chargeback.

  • Maintain a high transaction count:

    Companies with high levels of credit card transactions are in a better position to absorb chargebacks. Low-volume merchants can find themselves in the dubious position of having a high chargeback ratio with just a few chargebacks.

  • Maintain excellent logistics and fulfillment:

    In the always-on, always-connected world, customers expect immediate confirmations and emailed receipts when they place orders online. A good CRM program can automate this process. The DigiPay TranZlytics Gateway is preconfigured to display a merchant’s contact information and customer service number to ensure that gaming merchants are locatable, and include tracking information with each shipment notification.

  • Use email marketing:

    Follow product orders and shipments with a simple survey or thank you email. This simple gesture will improve brand recognition when customers receive their credit card statements and make it easy for them to contact your company to complain or request a refund.

  • Initiate pre-chargeback and refund alerts:

    Create instant notifications of incoming requests for refunds, chargebacks and assorted customer inquiries. These services can be implemented in-house or outsourced to third-party providers. Merchants have a small window to react to customer disputes before card brands rule in favor of consumers. Automated chargeback and refund alert systems help merchants mitigate risk.

  • Implement a billing support hotline:

    Providing customers with a dedicated, toll-free number and email address will alleviate their concerns and build good will. Gaming and Entertainment businesses that are highly accessible to customers have been shown to increase customer loyalty and decrease chargeback and refund ratios.

  • Create an easy refund process:

    Refunds are a reality of life and a cost of doing business in the gaming and entertainment industry. By accounting and budgeting for refunds, gaming merchants can accommodate dissatisfied customers, avoid chargebacks and improve transaction flows.

Chargeback Mitigation Companies for Gaming Businesses

Merchants can handle chargebacks in-house or outsource to a Chargeback Mitigation Specialist. The following companies are experienced in identifying all forms of fraud, including friendly fraud. They will investigate chargeback claims and retrieval requests on behalf of merchants:

Chargeback Mitigation Companies:

  • MIDigator*
  • Chargeback Guru*
  • Chargebacks.com
  • Chargebacks 911
  • Chargeback 360

*DigiPay Preferred Provider

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How do I choose an eCommerce gateway?

Many gaming merchants rely on ecommerce and Mail Order/Telephone Order (MOTO) sales to scale their businesses. Credit card payments transacted online or by phone are called Card Not Present (CNP) transactions. Online CNP transactions involve credit card gateways that transmit payments from merchants to their payment processors.

Following is a list of recommended attributes of payment gateways that address the unique requirements of the gaming and interactive entertainment industry:

Support multiple merchant account IDs (MIDs):

Many gaming companies need multiple merchant accounts to support their diversified array of training programs. Gateways should ideally be able to manage multiple merchant I.D.s organized under one master MID relationship.

Simple integration:

Payment gateways need to seamlessly integrate into CRMs, POS systems, third-party software, and eCommerce shopping carts to facilitate all forms of online, MOTO and in-store commerce.

Enhanced reporting tools:

Professional coaches need access to a variety of real-time reports and transaction data to grow and scale their businesses and manage chargebacks and refunds.

Merchant Dashboard, with permission levels:

In addition to enhanced reporting, gaming merchants need secure access to transaction data from anywhere they happen to be working, with built-in permission levels to facilitate all levels of employees and management.

Payment gateways must comply with the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS). Ask your gateway provider if they are PCI DSS compliant and verify their certificate annually. Gaming and Entertainment merchants also need a gateway with a data vault for tokenization of credit card numbers and encryption of customer personally identifiable information (PII).

Tokenization replaces a Primary Account Number (PAN) with a randomly generated set of numbers and records this in the data vault. This is to prevent hackers from accessing customer data. By storing PII and PAN in a highly secure, offsite location merchants shift their liability to the gateway provider. Encryption and tokenization keep your customer’s information safe while allowing merchants access to the data for future transactions.

TranZlytics Gateway:
Choosing the right gateway provider is critical for high-risk merchants and their processors. DigiPay’s chosen gateway is TranZlytics. TranZlytics offers high risk merchants a Gateway and HUB built from the ground up for high-risk and CNP merchants. The solution includes transaction analytics and fraud prevention and built-in advanced chargeback management.

TranZlytics also offers advanced real-time reporting for faster and better use of CRM data. Payment descriptors are registered with a Chargeback Alerts program; re-presentments are pre-integrated with the gateway.

With a single HUB for transaction management and an expert risk management team to monitor your data, you can focus on what you do best, growing your business. Think of Tranzlytics as a Gaming Payment HUB with the IQ of Einstein and the memory of an elephant.

CRMs for Gaming Businesses

Customer Relations Management (CRM) software is a basic requirement, both for large enterprises and small companies that want to scale and grow their businesses. These systems are designed to automate the lifecycle of product offerings and to facilitate payments. As with payment gateways, it is vitally important to validate the CRM is PCI DSS compliant if it is touching customer information. Unlike payment gateways, CRM’s are not rigorously monitored for PCI DSS compliance; a security breach can devastate your business and erode customer trust.

Below are examples of CRMs used by professional gaming entrepreneurs and enterprise-level service providers:

  • Infusionsoft CRM:

    Infusionsoft CRM is a popular choice for coaching businesses. They offer customer tracking software, marketing automation, sales automation, analytics, and a mobile solution to access the Infusionsoft platform any time, anywhere, on every screen.

  • Zoho CRM:

    Zoho, a generic and inexpensive CRM program provides tools for recurring billing, customer tracking, customer satisfaction emails and a customizable database. While the service is not specifically designed for the coaching industry, it is affordable and supports multiple MIDs.

  • Google Sheets:

    Google Sheets is a free service that provides a basic spreadsheet for start-ups. Its biggest asset is that it is free.

Growing and Scaling Your Gaming Business

It’s a Great Time to be in Gaming

The gaming industry is a fast-growing business and DigiPay is excited to be part of it. Our extended family of interactive entertainment merchants, with vastly different models and product sets, are equally committed to optimal results, performance metrics and profitability. Some offer subscription services; others provide hardware and downloadable software. All want affordable and easy high-risk payment card processing, which is our specialty.

Mike Ackerman
Co-Founder, CEO, DigiPay Solutions

Affiliate Marketing

What is affiliate marketing? Affiliate marketing is a partnership between merchants and affiliated individuals and companies that sell for them on the internet. Companies of all sizes, from leading global brands to start-up entrepreneurs, use the affiliate marketing model to great advantage, finding it an effective and lucrative ecommerce strategy. For example, thousands of Amazon.com affiliates promote products on their websites, redirecting buyers to Amazon’s site where they can check out and complete the sale. These sales are tracked by unique URLs that enable affiliates to earn commissions.

Creating an effective affiliate marketing plan begins with identifying trusted and reputable affiliates with extensive networks and followers, retail analysts have noted. These sources can help introduce products and services to markets outside a company’s traditional marketing footprint. Some examples might be a blogger with thousands of followers, or an e-zine with a strong vertical industry focus.

Because affiliate marketers are ideally an extension of a company’s brand and salesforce, it is crucial for organizations to create an affiliate program with clearly articulated terms and conditions, leaving nothing to chance. Some companies may outsource most of their promotional efforts to affiliate marketers. Others may supplement their traditional salesforce with a few affiliate partners.

Companies need to consider their primary objectives and corporate culture when creating an affiliate marketing program. Companies that manage more than one sales force, such as telemarketers and outside sales, have learned to structure sales programs to ensure that different teams are not competing against each other. This principle is equally relevant when working with affiliate marketers, who have proven to be most effective when they are not in direct competition with internal sales teams.

What are Five Essential Components of an Affiliate Marketing Plan?

Payment acceptance: Affiliate marketing takes place on the internet, where payment methods vary. Merchants that only accept traditional credit cards will miss the opportunity to scale their businesses globally, by not accepting the most popular payment methods of other countries. Partnering with a company that specializes in cross-border payments and understands the unique regulatory environments of different countries around the world, will solve this issue.

Establish dedicated URL links: Targeted, accurate URLs are directly tied to affiliate marketers’ commissions and need to directly link to landing pages and product codes. Companies need to work with IT specialists to accurately track and promptly commission affiliate sales.

Create a coupon program: Considering how many consumers search for coupons and offers online, doesn’t it make sense to create coupon programs that help affiliate partners attract prospective buyers? Discount codes are one of the biggest growth hacks on the internet and show no sign of slowing down.

Stay in touch with affiliate partners: Establishing deep ties with affiliate partners means notifying them in real-time of any changes in inventory, pricing models and promotions. No company can afford the embarrassment of having an affiliate learn of a discontinued item or clearance sale through a third party. As sales representatives on the front lines of selling a company’s products, affiliate marketers deserve real-time alerts to keep them agile and motivated.

KPIs, banners: Affiliate marketers, like any sales professionals, need to know their key performance indicators, not only to track their closing rates but to be inspired to reach even greater heights. While there are multiple ways to do this, establishing a secure portal where they can log in and view their activity, commission status and current promotions will help them stay on track and cut down on customer service calls.

How can Merchants Prevent Affiliate Fraud?

  • Know Your Affiliate (KYA):

    Before you approve a new affiliate, your first step in preventing fraud is to fully vet them. Ask them about their current brand relationships and how they promote their products. Their responses will help you evaluate if their values and culture are consistent with your company’s image and brand. Ask how the affiliate will drive traffic & sales to your offer. Check to see if the affiliate has behaved fraudulently in other programs

  • Review the Affiliate Site to See:

    • Is their website(s) compatible with your brand standards?
    • What visual impression are they creating?
    • Is the copy written in a way that will enhance or cheapen your brand?
    • Are the product descriptions accurate?
    • How well are they promoting their site?
    • How well do they integrate with social sharing options?

  • Enforce Affiliate T&C and keep them updated:

    To stay apace with ever-changing rules and regulations, it is necessary to periodically update your affiliate terms and conditions. Let your affiliates know how these updates will be broadcast and request confirmation. Be sure to include a due date for compliance to the new terms as well as an enforcement strategy.

  • What is the best way to enforce Affiliate Terms?

    Monitor for violations using technology and human intelligence. Consider contracting with third-party service providers that use technology to monitor websites, or build those capabilities in-house. Ideally, machine learning coupled with human intelligence is the best way to ensure compliance.

  • Can Enforcement Be Outsourced?

    Yes, DigiPay powered by Tranzlytics provides high-risk merchants with Pro Managed Services to ensure compliance and to detect and prevent fraud. Tranzlytics fraud detection includes daily screen shots that identify changes to a website. In addition to monitoring for key word violations, Tranzlytics can monitor affiliates and sub-affiliates traffic to ensure compliance.

What is the best way to spot affiliate fraud?

The adage, trust but verify, applies when monitoring affiliates. The following guidelines can help identify potential fraud:

  • URLS’s with multiple redirects: It is important to know if the affiliate is using an approved site for your offer or unapproved sites to send fraudulent traffic.
  • Look at referring URL’s for the original source of leads and sales. Check for trends to identify sub-affiliates associated with fraud and high chargeback ratios.
  • Multiple transactions from a single IP address. This could indicate an affiliate or sub-affiliate is running stolen credit cards to place multiple orders.
  • Use transaction history and trends to Investigate spikes in leads or sales.

What are common affiliate marketing words, expressions and phrases?

Affiliate software: Unique applications developed by companies to track and manage their affiliate marketing programs.

Affiliate link: This distinct URL, created for each affiliate marketer, enables companies to recognize, track and pay commissions to affiliates.

Affiliate ID: These unique IDs are sometimes used in addition to unique URLs on websites to identify affiliate marketers and ensure that they are compensated for sales.

Payment Mode: Pertains to the method of payment used by a consumer to complete an affiliate-referred sale. Most affiliate programs offer payment methods beyond traditional credit cards to appeal to global consumers.

Affiliate Manager/OPM: Affiliate managers, who specialize in all aspects of affiliate marketing, provide expert guidance on establishing and maintaining affiliate programs.

Commission percentage/amount: This refers to the percentage of each sale that companies provide in commissions to their affiliate marketers.

2-tier, or multi-tier, affiliate marketing: Like multi-level marketing schemes, this method rewards affiliate partners for referrals and recommendations, creating a second tier of sub-affiliates who can also earn sub-affiliate commissions.

Landing pages: This web page is used to promote a specific product and is frequently used to test a market’s receptivity to a product or service.

Custom affiliate income/account: Some companies reward top-producing affiliates by creating an elite sales program with higher-tiered commissions.

Link clocking: Link clocking shortens affiliate-identifying links, keeping them short and easy on the eyes.

Custom coupons: Custom coupon programs, directly linked to specific affiliates, help companies track and analyze affiliate sales.

A growing number of companies are working with DigiPay and TranZlytics to optimize and grow their affiliate programs. Contact us today for a no-obligation review.

Gaming & Entertainment Industry Associations and Memberships

The following membership and trade associations represent gaming industry interests:

The Entertainment Software Association (ESA): Wash., D.C.-based ESA serves companies that publish computer and video games for video game consoles, handheld devices, personal computers, and the Internet. ESA provides a range of services to interactive entertainment software publishers, including a global content protection program, business and consumer research, government relations and intellectual property protection efforts.

The Gaming Standards Association (GSA): GSA is an international trade association for gaming manufacturers, suppliers, operators and regulators. Among its responsibilities are defining, developing, promoting and implementing an international standard for the gaming industry designed to facilitate interoperability, innovation, education and communication.
GSA’s award-winning standard is used throughout the world, driving innovation and growth. The association has offices in Fremont, Calif., Malta and Macau.

The International Game Developers Association (IGDA): IGDA is a U.S.-based 501(c)6 non-profit professional association that provides a global network for game development professionals engaged in all forms of development. IGDA hosts industry conferences in over 90 Chapters and in Special Interest Groups (SIGs).

The Georgia Game Developers Association (GGDA): GGDA is a trade association dedicated to promoting the growth and success of game manufacturers in Georgia by providing oversight and guidance through government and academic involvement, to create industry certifications and best practices.

Gaming Annual Events and Conferences

Annual conferences and events provide gaming professionals with networking and educational opportunities. Here are some examples:

July 13, 2018.  Brains Eden 2018 Cambridge, United Kingdom. Brains Eden is the United Kingdom’s largest international student game jam. Students have 48 hours to create a video game from scratch. Teams compete for prizes from the industry. This is sure to be a fun and exciting competition!

July 19, 2018. Dublin Games Summit Dublin, Ireland. This new event is aimed at targeting the games industry in Ireland. If your gaming business is located in Ireland or you’re looking to branch out internationally, then this event should provide a wonderful networking opportunity!

Aug. 31, 2018. PAX West Seattle, Washington. This wonderful festival is a place for all gamers to come to and enjoy! Unreleased games from massive gaming companies and huge booths are available! With all this awesome gaming taking place in one huge convention, you have to go to this event if you want to know more or are involved with the gaming industry!

Upcoming Events and Conferences

Name Date City Venue
S.I.E.G.E Oct. 5-8, 2017 Atlanta, GA Atlanta Marriott Northwest
E3 June 13-15, 2018 Los Angeles, CA Los Angeles Convention Center

Join the growing community of gaming companies that process with DigiPay Solutions

Thank you for taking the time to review this compendium to learn about available opportunities and solutions in the gaming and interactive entertainment industry. We look forward to welcoming you to our growing merchant community.

Our online application takes minutes to complete. Once approved, our relationship managers will help you personalize your business management portal and leverage our full complement of secure payment gateway and chargeback management tools. They’ll help provision your processing account, ecommerce website and POS systems in brick-and-mortar stores.

DigiPay will also make it easy for your customers to find you, by helping you create an engaging online and in-store presence and seamless customer checkout experience. Take your gaming and interactive entertainment business to the next level today at digipayinc.com

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