Although magazine retail sales have dropped from about 103 million in 2014 to about 75 million 2016, the number of magazine readers in the U.S. has ticked up slightly each year since 2012, according to Statista. In 2012, there were 210.7 million magazine readers in the U.S. That number climbed to 221.9 million in 2016.
Realizing that the internet was killing the need for print media, popular magazines strengthened their presence on digital platforms to maintain a steady pool of readers. Magazines have managed to not only survive but thrive through the revenue generated from online ads and by charging readers to subscribe to their content.
Why You Need a Magazine Sales Merchant Account
If your business sells magazines, you must get a magazine sales merchant account to keep up with the times. Without a merchant account, you cannot accept and process electronic, recurring, or scheduled payments. Accepting debit and credit card payments on a monthly, quarterly, or yearly basis is essential to magazine subscription businesses. This is an obvious deal breaker if you are an exclusive online or mobile business. Merchant accounts are available for businesses that sell magazines through outbound telemarketing, door-to-door selling, and mail order sales.
Reasons Magazine Sales Businesses Can’t Get Merchant Accounts
Traditional banks or other payment processors consider magazine subscription businesses “high risk” because the transactions are contactless, and the sector is riddled with fulfillment issues and fraud. No lender wants to risk the loss of payments because customers mistakenly clicked to subscribe or the order was placed with a stolen credit card.
Additionally, in general, merchants that handle scheduled payments and recurring billing have a higher likelihood of chargebacks and friendly fraud, which is when a shopper has buyer’s remorse and decides they no longer want to pay for a product or service after they have received it and decide to initiate a chargeback. Chargebacks are when credit card companies force retailers to repay the costs of disputed or fraudulent purchases.
Ways to Prevent Chargebacks
The best way to prevent chargebacks is to address the most common reasons for them in the magazine sales industry. Typical chargeback reason codes found in this sector are “canceled recurring transaction” and “transaction not recognized.” These reasons indicate customer service and billing descriptor issues. To minimize these types of chargebacks, you need to ensure your company is using a clear billing description. A descriptor should include your full business name, address, and phone number, so when customers see your name on their credit card statements, they recognize the charge.
As for customer service, you need to make sure your team is responding promptly to inquiries and emails and that you offer a simple, streamlined cancellation process. Also, it’s not a bad idea to offer a live chat option, so representatives can address some questions or complaints immediately.
Most importantly, you need to make sure customers know how to reach you, pause billing or memberships, and how they can easily update credit card information. This information should be displayed in all correspondence, like receipts and order confirmations.
The Last Word
If you want to take your business to the next level by giving customers the convenience of paying with credit and debit cards, then you need to obtain a magazine sales merchant account.
When you are ready to apply, consider eMerchantBroker.com (EMB). EMB specializes in providing payment solutions for high-risk merchants and is committed to exceeding expectations by using its expertise and competence to deliver unsurpassed customer satisfaction. Its online application process is simple and easy, and, though it makes no guarantees, most magazine sales merchant account get approved in a just a few days.