The last few weeks in our online advertising niche has been a very interesting time and not for good reasons.
It seems that due to (In the main) unknown reasons that our most popular payment processor has decided that it no longer wants to do business with much of this niche anymore.
This is something I thought might happen after they decided to go down the route of debit cards, small mobile terminals for shop and off line business owners and by having themselves accepted in lots of major physical shops.
Coupled with that the fact that some less than desirable site owners decided to use our industries business model as a front for some money making investment scam site.
What is even worse is that a lot of other owners promoted the site which never helps but seems to be a way they think they will make a quick buck or two.
Lets just look at how these sites work for a minute so you dont fall down that trap. If a site offers you an affiliate commission which is less than the sale and only to people you directly introduce (Example sale price $10 your affiliate commission is 30% or $3) then this is a legitimate affiliate program and legal.
If the site pays commission on multiple levels (Example you introduce someone then you get a percentage and the person that introduced you gets a percentage of it) then that is a multi level site (However still legal as long as it does not pay out more than comes in on the sale).
If the site offers you a higher return than the actual sale (Example you pay $20 and you get back $24 by bringing in a referral) then it does not take a genius to work out that somewhere along the line that is going to fail as you can not pay out more than you get in. So what happens is the new people coming in are just paying for the first people in there to get more and eventually it will fail or close as people can not get paid. Normally resulting in the owner stopping paying, banking lots of new income and running with everyones money.
Anyway back to where we are 🙂
My sites have always had a legitimate direct referral only affiliate program and they have not or ever will be multi level or investment sites and that is something I am very passionate about. Sadly it seems that because of the actions of a few all legitimate sites selling advertising space are going to have to change to a different processor as the most popular has decided it no longer wants to do business in this niche.
A lot of owners of legitimate sites have been limited and told to remove buttons from sites and while we have done nothing wrong, we have to remember that any site can decide who it wants to do business with and who it doesn’t so if they do not want to use us then that is up to them sadly. What does annoy me is the way they seem to not understand the difference between legitimate and non legitimate sites and scoop us all together instead of working with use to eliminate the bad sites.
So as a whole more and more people have been getting limited every day until buttons are removed from sites they decide they don’t like (Advertising space sites it seems) which sadly a few of my sites are in that category of advertising space if you want to call it that.
This has caused the niche to change processors to another one that has been approving our niche today and for a long time so it looks like the best option for now and the future and luckily all my sites have been approved and using them for a while 🙂
As I write this I have not yet been hit by the PP clampdown but as I use my PP account for other things and also because I think its just a matter of time I wanted to take a precaution and be pro active instead of reactive so I have removed the buttons from my advertising space sites.
The main processor we are now using is Payza and we have been using them for years since they took over the troubled Alertpay and changed the site up a bit. Payza is owned by a fairly large banking business which I have used services from for a long long time so I do not have any worries about them going away etc and I have also used the Payza part trouble free for a long time and it is easy to withdraw money to bank accounts or even add it to a card you can get from them to spend in shops or online etc.
The other good thing is you can pay with them by debit or credit card, bank transfer and the ever popular Bitcoin too. It works like a wallet so they will take and hold your money till you decide to withdraw it and however you do as there are multiple ways to withdraw too. Mine jsut goes into my business bank account within a couple of days so its very easy.
Anyone who is not a Payza member can signup for a free account by clicking the banner below..
So what does all this mean for the industry we work in.
Well big changes like this normally mean that the industry will probably not look the same in a few months to come, Some people who run these sites do not run them like a business and more like a hobby and they run just about on the bread line, some even have struggled to pay owed affiliate commissions lately too.
The actions of the last couple of weeks have really hit home and lets just say because a lot of members of these sites just used the main processor and was not a member of anything else they have been unable to buy. This will change in time as people realise that you need an account with the next most popular one now as that has become the only option on many sites so hopefully it will pick up a bit more again but I do not think it will be to the extent of how it was before.
This will be a big wake up call to those owners that was struggling and I think we will see a lot of sites closing down or being abandoned. Those of us that had a business plan, that have always ran it as a proper legitimate business and that have not spent the affiliate commissions earned by members will be sticking with this and seeing it through. We will be OK, there are always ways to change adapt and grow regardless of devastating happenings.
So for me this is a chance to put my back up plan into action and this will be very exciting going forward and we will be here in a few months time when others may have fallen.
So what have I done and what am I doing….
Well like i said I have always made sure that my sites follow the payment processors Acceptable Use Policy however no one can prepare for it when they class the sites as something they are not. We are not and never will be an investment site or MLM and have only ever been an advertising service with a legitimate direct affiliate program. Maybe the issue was some others did not come across that way with things they had on their sales pages etc.
This being said I have decided that as they seem to have grouped all my fellow owner friends into this group then it probably means me too as our sites mainly run the same way and if the market is moving to a new processor then we should too. So firstly I removed buttons, then I have made sure all options on the new processor are open to you including card and bitcoin. I have had to as we used PP mass pay for affiliate commissions put in a request commissions mod that now means you will need to request them as the mass pay part does not yet work with the alternative processor. I have also had to make a couple of changes to the FAQ pages and Terms to reflect the request commissions instead of the mass paying part.
This was considered to be the best option as it means that people can now signup for the new processor and then enter their details for that and then request any due affiliate commissions instead of having the old processor email in and them going to the wrong place etc.
We are all up to date as of this morning and I have made sure we have a reserve in both processors to cover the commissions that are currently in their 14 day hold period so people will get what they have legitimately earned.
I have also made an effort to plan for the worst and make sure backup ways have been set up to pay for server bills and the like and to cover the time it will take for me to get a dollar debit card (As being in the UK all my banking is in pounds) I have pre paid the server bill till the end of this year. By then we will be well on the way with the newly ordered cards etc.
So thats what I have done and really wanted you all to know that I have a backup plan, I have been proactive and made the changes, I am currently looking at other further options and I wanted to let you know that a little bleep will not kill us off, We are here to stay and that tings like your Just Good Traffic membership will still be there in months to come and that although we will be changing the way we do things, anyone that has paid for anything will get it and anyone buying now will also get it too.
Thanks for reading this massive post but I wanted to be clear where things have been going, where they are going and to make sure you know that while some will go, some will change in big ways, we still have a plan and we still have options and we will keep going.