PSYCHICS

HIGH RISK MERCHANT ACCOUNTS FOR THE PSYCHIC NETWORKS.
FASTER APPROVALS. COMPETITIVE PRICING. BETTER SERVICE.

Payment Processing for the Psychic Services Industry

Online Psychic Industry and mobile psychic services’ apps have gained popularity and acceptance in the digital age. DigiPay Solutions created an Online Psychic Services Industry report with additional important information about setting up a merchant account, controlling chargebacks, managing risk and keeping merchant accounts in good standing.

DigiPay Solutions has created a “Psychic Reading 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 among leading psychic network service providers. The company’s extensive network of partner banks, payment experts and elite portfolio of tailored solutions has helped launch entrepreneurial start-ups and take enterprise organizations to 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 psychic service 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 online psychic services, can facilitate successful new company launches and help existing businesses grow and scale.

Online Psychic Service Processing Primer

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A Brief Guide to the Online Psychic Service Industry

The Online Psychic Service Industry: An Economic Overview

The online psychic service industry is a 2.1-billion-dollar industry in the United States, expanding at a rate of 2.4% between 2011 and 2016 with a projected growth of 3% over the next 5 years. The industry’s rapid growth has led to more acceptance of psychic readings, such as corporate leadership enabling intuitive counselors to advise staff, some spending up to $10,000 a month for spiritual themed counseling and psychic services for their employees.

A 2005 study by Gallop found that 55% of Americans believe in psychic powers, with over 90% of American’s believing in some type of human capability for experiencing spiritual phenomena. Psychic service providers attract consumers from all walks of life, to include a client portfolio of the financial elite such as celebrities and CEOs to people struggling with economic hardship. A prolific trend within the online psychic service client base are tech entrepreneurs seeking ways to stay ahead of competition, and people calling for financial counseling with a psychic twist.

SIC, NAICS & MCC Codes

Online psychic 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. The online psychic service industry has a specific SIC code, is grouped under “All Other Personal Services” in NAICS. or MCC codes, and can be classified according to the nature and focus of services. Following are some examples:

SIC Codes:
7299: Online Psychic Services
7299: Miscellaneous Personal Services

NAICS Codes
812990: All Other Personal Services

MCC Codes
7299: Miscellaneous Personal Services

Additional information on Visa MCC can be found in this downloadable guide.

Leaders and Rising Stars

Top performing online psychic service companies have impressively scaled their organizations by offering psychic readings in a safe and secure way through different communication mediums, such as video chats, hotlines, and chatrooms. People are able to browse psychic profiles and receive personal readings in the comfort of their own home. Here are a few leading companies in the space:

  1. Psychic Source:

    Established over 25 years ago, Psychic Source has grown to be the number one provider for psychic readings on the internet. Boasting a wide range of gifted psychics, customers have the privilege of receiving various services to include astrology predictions, tarot readings, aura cleansing, and mediumship to contact dead loved ones. Psychic Source is an innovative company in their league by adopting marketing tactics found within major online companies such as Amazon. They also nurtured partnerships with affiliate marketing companies which allows Psychic Source to stay relevant in the online psychic service world by optimizing online advertising and phone trafficking tactics for marketing purposes.

  2. Ask Now:

    Since 2004, AskNow.com has made it a priority to provide customers with highly accurate readings based on their rigorous screening procedures to avoid showcasing untalented advisors. AskNow offers Top Rated, Elite, and Master level psychic counselors so that variability is provided for customers to choose from. They offer unique introductory promotions as well as a reputation for hosting the most accurate psychics available for online psychic reading services.

  3. Hollywood Psychics:

    Rated third in the ranks of most sought after companies for online psychic services industry, Hollywood Psychics reputation is personable, friendly, and authentic toward their customers. The company seeks to establish itself as a lifestyle brand by offering membership perks, free daily, weekly, and monthly horoscope readings, and psychic articles and videos to maintain an ongoing engagement with consumers that’s relevant and fun.

  4. Kasamba:

    This company positions itself as a leader of helping people find success and happiness in their life in the areas of love, career, and self-empowerment. Since 1999, Kasamba has guided over 3 million people and grown their psychic employee network to offer 24/7 access for clients. They offer psychic, tarot, and astrology readings with psychics who specialize in each category and readings are anonymous and private.

  5. Keen:

    Their website claims they served over 14 million customers, 42 million conversations, and that they have over 11 million advisor reviews to help assure potential customers that Keen is a trustworthy company. The website offers an interactive landscape that starts by asking how people are feeling with several emoji faces that require a selection in order to move on. You can then select an icon that helps you identify what you need to speak to an advisor about, which leads to asking about a specific skill. You then are able to decide your reading style; direct or compassionate. The result is an easy and faster browsing experience that helps people find a psychic advisor who meets their mood and preferences.

  6. Oranum:

    Requires a webcam or camcorder to use which allows for psychics to broadcast live readings from their home by using the internet. Oranum establishes itself as the world’s largest spiritual community and the only webcam based platform available. They also have a more unique range of services offered to include reiki healing and spell casting. Oranum offers live streaming between a psychic and client to create a more personal reading experience.

  7. PsychicAccess:

    Since 2005, the company has grown to establish an international presence in all 195 countries. They offer rewards programs, advertise that they’re anti-fraud and scam free, and give new clients a free 6-minute introductory reading. Their hiring process is intensive; 1 of 8 psychic applicants are selected to move to a second screening phase, then only 1 in 20 go on to offer their psychic services on PsychicAccess. This positioning strategy helps PsychicAccess promote their company as a highly credible source for accurate psychic readings.

  8. 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 online psychic services process anywhere from $20,000 to millions in monthly revenue.

Interested in learning more about Publicly Traded Psychic Companies 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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Online Psychic Programs and Services

The online psychic service industry provides a safe and secure way for people to search for answers relating to their career, finance, love and relationship issues. Online psychic services statistics trend higher among women ages 25-55 and attract Americans with disposable incomes. According to the American Federation of Certified Psychics and Mediums, 71% of clients are women and 31% are men.

Following are examples of online psychic services:

Online psychic sites: Online psychic sites offer a variety of different advisors who each specialize in different services such as clairvoyance, astrology, dream interpretations, mediumship, and tarot readings. Some companies offer private online chat rooms between the psychic and client, video chats, and phone conversations, and other companies invest in direct marketing tactics to nurture client relationships. This includes mail fliers that advertise discounts, opportunities to increase points if enrolled in a reward program, and small magazines to help customers get to know a company’s psychics. The ultimate goal is to address the needs of consumers seeking psychic guidance regarding the areas of love, family, money, and career issues.

Mobile apps: Advances in smartphone technology and wireless networks help mobile psychic companies increase their opportunity to connect with consumers by branching into different psychic service territories. Apps that online psychic companies may add to their repertoire include specializing in astrology, tarot card advisory, and the ability to text psychics directly for guidance.

Hotlines: Consumers prefer connecting with a psychic through private and confidential phone services. Online networks provide this outlet for convenient access to psychic services from the comfort of a client’s home.

Opportunities and Challenges

With America’s economic circumstance on the rise, consumers have more disposable income. Many people demand answers to life issues and concerns outside of what a therapy session is capable of providing, which leads them to seek psychic advisory. The online psychic service industry revenue potential is growing at an annual rate of 3%. Entrepreneurs interested in starting an online psychic company will find opportunity to capitalize on the growing rates of psychics available in the U.S. for work. This is due to the increasing demand for services combined with American’s interest in occult practices.

American Federation of Certification Psychics and Mediums received the following industry report regarding in a 2016 analysis:

• Percentage of American female psychics/mediums who have earned an accredited college undergraduate degree: 17%.
• Percentage of American female psychics/mediums who have earned an accredited college graduate degree: 1%
• Percentage of American male psychics/mediums who have earned an accredited college undergraduate degree: 27%.
• Percentage of American male psychics/mediums who have earned an accredited college graduate degree: 1%.
• Number of psychics/mediums in the United States who have earned a Master’s degree in counseling and related field from an accredited college/university: 27%
• Number of psychics/mediums in the United States who have earned a doctorate degree from an accredited college/university: 9% data 2011-2014.
• Estimate number of American psychics who have earned a legal but unaccredited doctorate degree: 24%

Psychic services in 2016 saw an increase in the following fields:

• Auric Cleansing: 29%
• Past Life Retrieval and Analysis: 37%
• Reiki at a distance: 26%
• Spiritual Counseling: 23%
• Spiritual Guidance: 39%

Opportunity within the online psychic services industry requires developing a strategy of incentives to attract psychic talent with a graduate level education. The goal of staying ahead of competition is met by offering psychic readings that are superior in quality and leave customers feeling good from a positive experience. This is more likely to be achieved by obtaining psychic employees with a Master degree in Counseling who worked in a professional practice or psychology field. A psychic’s combination of therapy techniques with a spiritual guidance theme along with their metaphysical gifts could earn 6 them figure salaries, which results in higher revenue for an online psychic service company.

Challenges within the online psychic business world include lawsuits from customers who feel conned into paying thousands of dollars for services. The most common trend for lawsuits are people claiming that they paid gross sums of money for a psychic to remove a curse or negative entity from their presence. There’s also lawsuits from psychics toward employers regarding contracts that are unfair or illegal where payout customs and procedures are concerned. This could threaten an online psychic service company’s reputation and lead to their demise if business practices are not carefully planned and executed. Other challenges within the online psychic service industry are unsatisfied customers who report fraudulent charges to their banks because a company refuses to process a refund.

Enabling Online Psychic Service Commerce

How do I create an eCommerce merchant account?

The first step in enabling commerce is to establish a merchant account. Online psychic services are classified as high-risk, making industry service providers ineligible for merchant accounts at numerous sponsoring banks. DigiPay’s expanded network of banking relationships accepts the online psychic business category and provides competitive rates, terms and conditions.

Online psychic companies 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 psychic service lingo and practices may be less effective at managing relationships, due to their learning curves. When online psychic companies work with knowledgeable processing partners, they can save time and money, improve efficiencies and attract and retain more customers and followers.

Why are psychic service companies considered high-risk?

Many banks will not accept online psychic merchants’ due to the industry’s higher-than-average number of chargebacks. An entrepreneurial start-up company that has created a mobile app or online psychic site may not anticipate the risks involved in working with consumers whose sometimes unrealistic expectations about using psychics. Given that not every psychic is able to solve and predict a customer’s future, this unsatisfactory outcome can lead to an increase of the likelihood that they initiate a chargeback or default on a recurring subscription payment due to personal disappointment or inability to pay.

Here are some risks commonly associated with online psychic services:

  1. Subscriber Remorse:

    Consumers who opt in to a repayment plan with automatic monthly payments 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 do not receive the results they expected from online psychic reading and may initiate a chargeback. They do not even have to prove the company made an exaggerated claim. They only need to demonstrate that an online psychic company promised results they did not receive to win a dispute. Regulatory compliance regarding financial solvency and truth-in-advertising creates additional exposure for online psychic service providers.

  3. Lack of Infrastructure:

    Online psychic start-ups in the early stages of setting up their businesses may not have the appropriate levels of customer service support to deal with consumer complaints and inquiries. Consumers who are unable to communicate their concerns to merchants are at increased risk of turning to payment card issuers for refunds and chargebacks.

Can DigiPay Acquire Online Psychic Service Merchant Accounts?

Yes, at DigiPay online psychic services are in our DNA. Our financial services specialists are familiar with the industry’s unique framework and diversified 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 online psychic service industry, and have expertise in payment card brand and banking industry compliance, bring a refreshingly holistic approach to new account set-ups.

Whether an online psychic business is a subscription service, interactive website or mobile app, DigiPay Solutions will give every merchant the attention and resources they deserve and a one-stop shop for processing solutions. The online psychic 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 to obtain an Online Psychic Service Merchant Account?

Because of the higher risk associated with online psychic services, more due diligence is required during the new merchant onboarding 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 online psychic service 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.

Online psychic service companies that maintain a stable, consistent performance throughout their 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.

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. Additionally, DigiPay will preconfigure the gateway to display a merchant’s contact information and customer service number and ensure that collateral, training guides and supplemental materials are locatable by including 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. Online psychic service businesses that are responsive to customer inquiries 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 online psychic network industry. By accounting and budgeting for refunds, online psychic merchants can accommodate dissatisfied customers, avoid chargebacks and improve transaction flows.

Chargeback Mitigation Companies for Online Psychic 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
  • Chargebacks.com
  • Chargeback Guru
  • Chargebacks 911
  • Chargeback 360

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How do I choose an eCommerce gateway?

Online psychic network service providers 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 online psychic service industries:

Support multiple merchant account IDs (MIDs):

Many online psychic 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:

Online psychic service merchants 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, online psychic service 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. Online psychic service 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 expert risk management team to monitor your data, you can focus on what you do best, growing your business. Think of Tranzlytics as an online and mobile psychic Payment HUB with the IQ of Einstein and the memory of an elephant.

CRMs for Online Psychic 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 online psychic service entrepreneurs and enterprise-level service providers:

  • 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 online psychic service 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 Psychic Business

It’s a Great Time to be in Psychic Readings

Psychic Readings are a highly competitive growth industry, and DigiPay is excited to be part of it. Our extended family of psychic service provider merchants, with vastly different models and product sets, are equally committed to optimal results, performance metrics and profitability. While products and services vary, all psychic industry clients 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.

Industry Associations

The following membership organizations and trade associations represent the interests of the online psychic industry:

U.S. Travel Association: The U.S. Travel Association is a national, non-profit organization representing travel industry members that generates $2.3 trillion in economic output and supports 15.3 million jobs. The association’s mission is to increase travel to and within the United States.

Global Business Travel Association: Wash., D.C.-based Global Business Travel Association (GBTA) is a business travel and meetings trade organization with operations on six continents. Its 9,000-plus members manage more than $345 billion in global business meeting expenditures annually and provide travel professionals and contacts with world-class education, events, research, advocacy and media.

Global Business Travel Association Foundation: The GBTA Foundation is the education and research foundation of the Global Business Travel Association, established in 1997 to support GBTA’s members and the industry as a whole. As the leading education and research foundation in the business travel industry, the foundation is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. For more information, visit the GBTA.

Annual Events and Conferences

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

July 21-22, 2018: Body Mind Spirit Austin, Texas. Access to the nation’s finest psychics and alternative health presentations are demonstrated.

Nov. 03-04. Healing Body & Spirit Expo. Psychic mediums and readers from all throughout America and Canada gather to enhance spiritual gifts.

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