Card Failures Crash Ad Campaigns

Many businesses today, both large and small, spend a significant amount of capital every month advertising online. In fact, the average business ad budget is roughly 30 percent of monthly revenue. Businesses are spending millions of dollars every month, but banks and other traditional business credit card providers don’t understand the day-to-day challenges faced by online advertisers, and are handicapping these businesses' ability to scale and grow.

Your card provider could unwittingly slam the brakes on a successful ad campaign

Because they aren’t equipped to accommodate the seasonal needs of most advertisers in the middle of a particularly busy season or profitable ad campaign, denying a transaction because  the business has maxed out their spending limit can ring the death knell for profits. What’s more, networks like Google, Facebook, and others often shut everything down when a card is declined, basically throttling a business’ ability to scale and grow.

Scaling your business often means scaling your advertising

There are fundamentally two different ways most businesses approach increasing their revenue:

  1. Find new customers

  2. Get current customers to buy more

Either way, a business trying to grow needs to spend money on marketing their goods or services. In other words, scaling your business often means scaling your advertising. Sometimes this means ramping up advertising faster than general business expenses. Even for a business with a track record of success, relying on an annual spending review can handicap their ability to grow because it will limit their ability to access the borrowed capital they need to advertise.

What should businesses look for in a card purpose-built for advertisers?

Many banks and a number of business credit cards are courting advertisers to win their credit card business. They recognize that a business’ credit card transaction volume with Google, Facebook, and other online platforms is substantial. In fact, global ad spend is fast approaching $1 trillion dollars—attractive potential business for card providers all over the world. The trick is finding a credit card provider that has a good enough understanding of the day-to-day operational challenges faced by an advertiser and doesn’t throw up roadblocks that will handicap success.

There are a handful of very important considerations you should examine before you decide on the credit card provider you want to use for ad spend, here are a few of them. 

  • Do they consider your monthly ad spend at least as much as your credit profile? Don’t get me wrong, your credit profile matters, but there are other factors to evaluate that will help you qualify for the credit card you need. Because scaling ad spend is a big part of scaling revenue (and your ability to pay your credit card bill), exclusively using your credit profile to determine whether or not you qualify for the spending limit you’re looking for could be a non-starter. If your business is spending $500,000. $1 million,  or more each month in digital ad spend, for example, very few businesses will qualify to that limit based solely on the business’ business credit profile.

  • How often is your credit limit reviewed? An annual credit review probably works for most small businesses, but if you’re trying to ramp up your ad spend it just isn’t going to be enough. You need a credit card partner willing to regularly look at your requirements, reevaluate your spending limits as needed, and offer flexibility to help you meet your advertising goals. If you are paying off your credit cards every day or turning to a debit card on the weekends to keep ad campaigns working, maybe you should be considering something new. Unless you are a multi-billion dollar enterprise, you simply aren’t going to get that level of service from your bank or a traditional credit card provider (and, you likely won’t even get it then). Look for a provider with payment terms and a review cycle based on your payback period and seasonality rather than a specific calendar month.

  • Does your provider offer easy access to virtual cards? It’s not uncommon for advertisers spending millions of dollars to run up against the standard terms of service networks like Google, Facebook, and other networks require when advertising on their platforms. When a network shuts down an ad account because of a card failure, they also ban the payment source for that account. Of course you can dispute a wrongful termination, but you’ll also need to request a new card from the card issuer, which could take anywhere between a few days to several weeks. Quick access to new virtual cards is something a merchant can do to protect themselves in this situation.

  • Does your card provider offer virtual cards for each ad account? Many brands leverage multiple credit card accounts for each product line to optimize network algorithms at the product level. It can be a good strategy, but ad networks sometimes decline cards on file with another ad account or 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 who can offer virtual cards for each ad account, network, agency, and product line.

Traditional credit card providers don’t think in these terms. They simply don’t understand the needs of their customers who do a lot of advertising and aren’t equipped to accommodate what they need to scale and grow their businesses. Your card provider may offer you a $100,000 spending limit, that sounds pretty good, unless your daily ad spend is likely to exceed it.

What’s the solution?

Although you have options, not all credit cards are created equal when considering the best credit card to meet your advertising needs. The credit card you use to book a flight or make a hotel reservation might not be the best choice to pay for a big Facebook campaign. This becomes an even bigger challenge for brands spending millions of dollars every month on advertising.

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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