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How can payment systems improve subscriber management?

(Image credit: Image source: Shutterstock/MaximP)

Subscriber management and billing are crucial for many online Media outlets – it enables them to track and understand their subscribers, implement flexible business models, and ultimately, drive recurring revenue streams.

With the support and insights of Global Payments, MPP Global helps Media companies to do just this. Here, Nick Corrigan, MD UK&I of Global Payments, and Paul Johnson, CEO and Co-Founder of MPP Global, explain their partnership and some of the latest trends in the ecommerce and content monetisation industries.

What does Global Payments do?

[Nick]: Global Payments provides payment solutions to companies around the world. We offer a broad range of services, from payment terminals and mobile payments to ecommerce and fraud protection. Using these, we can then offer businesses support that is tailored to their specific needs.

Crucially, though, we see our role as going beyond the technology we offer, ensuring that we’re supporting the businesses we work with to grow and succeed. By providing them with seamless payment solutions and data-driven insights into customer spending behaviours, we offer customers ongoing support that makes all the difference to their businesses.

What does MPP Global do?

[Paul]: MPP Global delivers eSuite, the world’s smartest subscriber management & billing platform providing blue-chips in the Media sector with the freedom to deploy flexible business models that drive recurring revenue streams. eSuite powers next-generation lifecycle management that enables the acquisition, monetisation and optimisation of customers.

How is Global Payments supporting MPP Global?

[Nick]: MPP Global has predominantly focused on the publishing and TV & entertainment space. However, as they continue to expand across the whole Media sector, especially with the functionality combining physical goods & digital content, this is where we could support. MPP Global is using our Payments API, which enables them to white label our ecommerce gateway for their clients, such as Sky/Now TV, SF Anytime and Leeds Utd.

This enables them to sell any physical / digital product or subscription across multiple platforms, protect subscription revenues with predictive churn algorithms, create targeted marketing campaigns, promote voucher codes, offer free trials, eliminate guesswork, optimise marketing resources – and much more!

We’ve worked together since 2016, with the first of MPP Global’s clients going live on this gateway in 2018. MPP Global also use our APM suite and Fraud Management tool, and the relationship is going from strength to strength. We had a record month for processing in December, with circa 8m transactions processed, and we’re already looking at a potential partnership to generate acquiring referrals into the teams. Working with MPP Global is a great opportunity to work with a truly global brand, offering us the chance to support their clients throughout Europe, North America and Asia.

Why do organisations like MPP Global need to have a good payment solution?

[Paul]: The leading companies across the Media sector are continually looking at innovative ways of engaging their customers and giving them the optimum experience, with subscriptions frequently being at the heart of that. The ability to deliver the right content to the right people, at the right time, is a significant competitive advantage. By working with Global Payments to offer a powerful payment solution, MPP Global ensures that clients can offer the breadth of payment types, methods and currencies required by their customer base. This also enables expansion into other territories which might previously have been a challenge without such payment provision.

How do payment solutions impact a business’s success?

[Nick]: People often underestimate the difference that a payments solution can make to a company’s success, but the impact can be huge. Seamless payments solutions ease the path towards better relationships with customers, but the additional insights into their spending behaviours and patterns is where real advantage can be gained. The data provided from payments, from postal code heat maps and transaction timings to how often customers return, can be invaluable in helping organisations decide how to interact with customers and make wiser business decisions. With MPP Global, for example, our gateway provides insightful analytics which helps to deliver the right data to the right stakeholders.

How important are payment systems to customer experience?

[Nick]: Payments plays a huge part in customer experience. There are probably times where you have been ordering some items online, have been recommended some extra items in the process tailored to your exact needs, then, when it comes to the payment, it’s a slow and disjointed process and the payment method you want to use isn’t accepted. Seamless payment systems allow customers to pay when they want and how they want, but need to be viewed as part of the whole customer journey.

How important is the customer experience in subscriber management?

[Paul]: As subscriptions have evolved, it has become about far more than just the transaction. A subscriber wants to feel like they are paying for something that is tailored to them and not feel like they are part of a 1: many model. This permeates through the entire journey, from the early discovery phase through to making the decision to purchase. Often making such a decision includes selecting a bundle that suits them, at a preferred frequency, paying using their chosen type and local currency and potentially having their subscription delivered to more than one address. The ability to temporarily pause subscriptions also enhances the subscriber experience and increases the likelihood that they will continue with their subscription.

[Paul]: MPP Global is seeing trends across different areas of content monetisation initiatives that our clients in the Media sector are looking at taking advantage of. Subscription flexibility is one, giving customers the ability to access the products and services they want without necessarily being tied into a lengthy subscription term. ‘De-bundling’ and ‘pop-up’ subscriptions are being utilised across the sector to capitalise on these opportunities, such as giving customers the ability to choose one topic area from a newspaper subscription or purchase a one-off sporting event. All of these innovative business models require payment flexibility to be a success.

Customer retention is another significant trend. The reduction of churn, both voluntary and involuntary, is key in order to retain as much business as possible. With such functionalities as automatic card updater and flexible payment retry rules, clients can reduce customer attrition significantly. This has a game-changing impact on the company’s bottom line and improves the customer’s experience as they don’t encounter breaks in their subscription service.

[Nick]: Businesses will need to re-evaluate their approach to ecommerce to ensure they’re up to date with the latest developments in this evolving industry. One of the key trends we will see develop over 2019 is the impact of PDS2. PDS2 is a game changer for the EU payments industry, and we’ll soon see it having a significant impact on how people choose to pay. Payment methods that let consumers pay with their online banking tool rather than by card, such as Trustly and iDeal, will be boosted by Open Banking initiatives and will become more and more popular.

What is the role of ecommerce for MPP Global?

[Paul]: eSuite supplies Media companies with a holistic subscriber management & billing cloud platform, featuring fully-integrated Identity Management, CRM and ecommerce without compromising functionality or requirements. The platform supports physical products and digital content, further reducing the need for a complex tech stack. This is all operated within a PCI-DSS Level 1, SOC1 and GDPR compliant environment, significantly reducing risk and cost for clients. When the speed of launching new products and services is considered too, this enables clients to experiment with new business models in the knowledge that they can implement them with minimum effort and easily track their success.

Nick Corrigan, MD UK&I, Global Payments
Paul Johnson, CEO and Co-Founder,
MPP Global
Image source: Shutterstock/MaximP