So unless you have been hiding under a rock for the last month you will know that a major Payment Processor decided to stop doing business with the advertising industry but what caused this?

Firstly I spoke to a lady from Payza who pointed out a few things when they categorised a couple of my sites as multi level sites when they are all strictly one level direct referral programs so I asked why.

It turns out that Payment Processors and Credit Card companies have decided this area of business is high risk and therefore the reason for Payza categorising us as M L M was because that category has higher fees and thats whats applicable now to sites with higher risk. 

She basically said we know you are not M L M but your business model is now classed as high risk and thats the name of the high risk category.

So why the high risk?

Well most people here will recall a website using the name something Monsoon and I believe that was the major part of the issue. You see what the owner there did was create an illegal ponzi scheme and use a traffic generating site similar to what we do as a front for it and this has basically drawn attention to the fact that our kind of sites can be easily turned into a ponzi. 

In theory any site could but sadly it was our area of business that tis big one decided to use.

This coupled with the fact that they advertised that site and also members advertised that site in our niche too made these payment companies see us as supporting it when in reality owners like myself have been against these type of businesses for years.

Anyway you can read more about the scam site and what drew attention to our niche by reading this report.

So the lady at Payza mentioned that when a account is frozen by the government then the processor is liable for any charges etc so you can imagine how many people that invested in this ponzi tried to get their money back and the charges they incurred so really you cant blame them for covering their backs. 

The point now is our industry is tarnished with a bad though and called high risk as there is no physical good just online services involved. So where do we go from here?

I am a big believer we have not helped the situation in many ways by things like focusing on the fact you can be an affiliate and earn from promoting us. Although a direct referral affiliate program is totally legal and ethical to some it seems to appear as an income opportunity. 

Also other sites (Not us as I have been against this for ages) have given out cash prizes for surfing and this then becomes an income opportunity for some who surf for money albeit pennies a day.

Then there are the things inside that make us seem not like serious advertising sites like lots of games and collectables where people surf to collect trinkets etc for collections. In my view that has made us appeal to people that want to make a few bucks surfing and surf for fun rather than for advertising. Because in reality that is all we are, an advertising service that allows people to trade viewing other peoples ads in exchange for people viewing theirs. Money and bribes might have increased surfing numbers but it has diluted the serious advertising power of these things.

Remember, when your doing the same online as someone else in trying to build a business then if you was to view 50 sites of others doing the same and then in return others seen your sites there would be a good chance that you probably could work together or have products that others might find useful or compliment what you do. That is the power of traffic exchange and that is what we need to get back to. 

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  1. Faiza Anees says:

    You are so right Steve.. The penny surfing might look good, but it decrease The advertising power, sales, signups rates! Sadly majority are now doing this.

    • Steve Ayling says:

      🙂 A lot of big owners used the line “It is all about activity” I have been saying for years, Activity does not matter. I would rather get 2 good hits that take action than 2000 useless ones that are just pages being seen by those collecting pennies. Sadly penny surfing does not pay the bills and will only ever be a hobby.

  2. rahmark says:

    Excellent post. Fortunately there are some good TEs out there that have your success in mind. Like yours.

  3. Hey Steve.

    Very nice post. Thanks for the explanation part, the one Payza gave you. It is very nice to know that a payment processor is taking sometime to explain things. Very different than my experience with Paypal.

    You are also totally right about cash for surfing. My sites does not have those and I’ll stick with it.

    I had cash on some surf event with other exchange for who it was important to give cash, but planning to remove those in the future.

    Thanks a lot for this post.

  4. I think you hit it right on the head. Great article based on the truth. I predict most of the sites that you described will no longer exist shortly. I just wonder how long, if ever, the industry will back to when safelists really worked. I am thinking as long as the pay processors are willing to accept these scam sites it will never end. So lets hope people wake up to the simple fact. If they are not clicking for trade you will not get any signups.

  5. keithbutterworth says:

    Well said Steve…I have been despairing of penny surfing for a long time! Just bought you a beer! 😉

  6. A good insight into the current state of affairs, Steve. I have never invested in any ‘revenue share’ site, because relying on the future investment of others to pay interest on your investment is the dictionary definition of a Ponzi scheme. I believe that aspect of their business is what caused the downfall of the site you are referring to. And I agree it may well be their association with online advertising that brought this industry into that payment processor’s firing line.

  7. We are perhaps fortunate that Payza has taken this view rather than the one of other payment processors out there. I approached one to get approval (one that is being used on other sites already) and was told this:

    “We’d love to help but unfortunately we aren’t able to provide our service to that type of business at the moment–our financial partners impose some fairly strict limitations on the type of businesses we can work with, and affiliate marketing, though not technically MLM, still falls under similar guidelines as far as how they are viewed.

    To be clear, this is not because there’s a problem with your business. A few bad actors in the sector can unfortunately result in our financial partners being unwilling to accept the risk of providing credit services to this category of business. I’m sorry we can’t do better for you, and I wish you the best success in finding a payment processor that will be able to meet your business’s needs.”

    I’m happy that I checked first rather than taking the risk of adding it.

  8. Bo Tipton says:

    I totally agree Steve. For a long time the sites have been a vicious circle. You join this site and I will join your site. The advertising has been all about joining other traffic sites. Even owners telling you to not advertise any other sites but traffic sites using splash pages.

    I remember when TE’s and Safelist first started and you could use them to get traffic to any good site you wanted to promote. It needs to return to that.

  9. Thanks for explaining the pay pal issue clearly

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