| 7 min read

Why Virtual Cards Make Sense for Advertisers

Many credit card providers today offer virtual cards to manage expenses and allocate funds, but virtual cards are incredibly valuable for advertisers. Online advertisers face some unique challenges that a virtual card can help overcome.

Why you need virtual cards for advertising

Digital platforms like Google, Facebook, or TikTok all depend on an algorithm to not only serve up the content their users see, algorithms also control which ads do well and which don’t. What’s more, those algorithms pay the most attention to the freshest and most recent data. In other words, should a credit card payment fail in the middle of a campaign, the algorithm stops.

Even if you are able to reactivate your credit card, it won’t pick up where you left off. In fact, there’s a 70% chance it won’t work the same way it was workinbefore.

For example, if Facebook shuts down your ad account and you have one payment method shared with other ad accounts, it can shut down all your ads. What’s more, even if you catch it early, it can take days, or even weeks, to get a new card up and running. By then, you’re completely out of the auction and any chance of catching up are gone.

Card failure is a huge challenge for ecommerce brands allocating funds to dozens of different ad accounts, but it’s not entirely caused by the card. “There are a lot of policy issues,” says Jame Van Elswyk of Purple Leads. “Poor A.I., platforms like Facebook are too big to fail … and they all have compliance issues. It’s not the fault of advertisers—it’s just glitches in their systems.”

Sometimes it can feel like credit card providers who don’t understand advertising or advertisers and the glitches in the technology that runs the digital ad networks are conspiring against advertisers trying to maximize the value of successful advertising.

Virtual cards can help alleviate some of the challenges associated with ramping up successful ads.

How can virtual cards help my advertising?

“The way we run our ads is pretty complicated because of the way Facebook's algorithm works,” says Jim Crimella of ShineOn. “We run one product, one pixel, and one URL for every ad. If you want to run 10 products, you need to do that for each one of them or you run the risk of topping out your spending limit and bringing the whole thing down.”

Additionally, because a lot of advertisers try to use multiple cards to avoid maxing out the spending limit of any single card, the virtual card model can be much easier.

When the bank sees what they consider a sudden ramp in spend during a busy season is often interpreted as “suspicious activity” by card providers. If they see something they think looks suspicious, they’ll shut down the card—and kill the campaign. In reality, an ecommerce brand can exceed the limit on their credit card during a busy holiday weekend like Black Friday, in an afternoon.

“The virtual cards offered by dash.fi just work,” says Crimella. “From the perspective of a media buyer, dash.fi makes my life easier. It’s very straightforward. They really kick butt at what they do. I never have to worry about hitting a limit”

Advertisers need an easy-to-use solution that keeps ads running without hitting arbitrary limits associated with a single credit card.

What’s more, ad networks often decline cards on file with another ad account if the card authorization data doesn’t match up perfectly with the brand (company name, address, zip code, card number, etc.). For example, if the ad account is generated from a different address than the company’s home address (by an agency, for example) it could be declined. 

If you are running multiple ads for multiple products, you need a provider that can offer virtual cards for each ad account, network, agency, and product line.

Virtual cards are part of a bigger solution

I wish I could say that once you have a handful of virtual cards all your problems are solved, but it takes more than that. Even with virtual cards we can’t forget that banks and traditional credit card providers just don’t understand advertisers, advertising, or how they unwittingly make it difficult for eCommerce brands to successfully advertise online.

Advertisers need a card provider with a solution that can help ramp up spend when it makes sense without throwing the brakes on profitability.

What’s the solution?

Not all credit cards are created equal when considering the best credit card to meet your advertising needs. If you need a credit card to advertise online, you need a card provider that offers:

  1. Multiple paths to approval/appropriate spending limits: They need to look beyond your credit profile and consider a number of other factors into a full credit review—your anticipated ad spend is just one of them.

  2. An understanding of the unique needs of digital advertisers: A credit card provider that understands the advertising business will help you capitalize on seasonal opportunities with spending limits designed to maximize revenue-producing opportunities during those busy times of the year.

  3. Competitive cash back: A card provider that is able to offer more than the typical 1% to 1-½% cash back without caps on spend is optimal.

If you’re interested in learning how dash.fi can help your business optimize digital ad spend with the world’s first card designed for advertisers, visit www.dash.fi to schedule a demo.

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