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How to Make Money through Payment Service Provider’s Affiliate Programs?

Business partners, clients, fans… Most (if not all) online entrepreneurs have them. It’s what makes their business possible. A lot of businesspeople know perfectly well that their network or fan base can be a golden opportunity to earn additional money.

How to do it?

Affiliation with a payment service provider is one of the possibilities.

And how do the affiliate programs offered by PSPs work?

That’s what we are about to find out today!

How Does Affiliation Work?

We get many questions in regard to our affiliate program.

Our clients very often would like to promote our services to their customers and partners, but, at the same time, they’d wish to get something in return for their recommendation. To capitalize on it.

And of course: we indeed do offer an affiliate program, although we don’t shout about it from the rooftops.

Our standard affiliate is someone we have chosen, someone in whose endeavors we have put our trust. It’s not a random person, somebody who found us by accident and suddenly decided to affiliate with us.
We try to keep things this way.

Why do we keep a low profile on our affiliate program?

As it happens, we work in finances.

We know from experience that there are many risks looming round the corner. Risks such as money laundering, chargebacks, refunds etc. And this is precisely why we prefer to know our partners inside out and have trust in them.

It makes it easier for us to trust the businesses they end up directing our way.

The settlement.

We offer two ways of becoming our affiliate. If you are interested in becoming our partner, I strongly encourage you to make yourself acquainted with both methods before you make any move.

The first method: a flat fee for every new customer.

The second method: a percentage taken from the recommended customer’s total amount of transactions made.

There’s no “better” or “worse” choice. Everything depends on the business model of the affiliates and the kind of clients they point in our direction.

But first, let’s try to dissect these two affiliating models.

A flat rate:

a fixed amount of money for every person who comes to us thanks to our affiliate’s recommendation. Most often it’s a fee which depends on how big that new client is. In short: it’s a one-time payment for a newly acquired customer.

As for the percentage from the transactions:

it’s a fixed percentage from all of the operations the new client makes. Every month the affiliate gets a percentage from the volume the customer has processed. Which means that every month there are earnings from all of the clients acquired during the affiliate program membership.

Which option is better?

I bet you think the second scenario seems like a much better deal.

Well, it doesn’t necessarily have to be the better one.

Here’s why.

Most importantly: you can’t always foretell if clients process anything at all, and, when they do, what amount it will be. And so: you may find yourself in a situation where you have found a hundred new clients and still haven’t gained a thing, because none of them is processing payments.

The first scenario suddenly seems more tempting, doesn’t it? You get the money as soon as the new client shows up, and you don’t need to worry about their processing habits.

Who is the first scenario for?

It’s for those who are not sure who they are going to lead to us. A good instance here are bloggers, (and a situation in which everyone may use their affiliate link or a discount code displayed on the blog) vloggers and, generally, people who present the link to a wide audience, making it available for all.

Therefore, it’s a good option for those who don’t fully know what the new client’s turnover/revenue is (e.g. for platforms/accelerators/consultants aiming at target group of startups and small businesses.)

For whom will the second scenario work better?

It’s best for those who know well the businesses they recommend. For those, who are aware of how much money these companies process, and who are sure that after the recommendation they’ll actually use their PSP account for processing, and not just use it as a backup solution.

The second scenario is better for those who have good and close connections with the clients they bring, and, of course, especially when those customers are big companies.

Time to Talk about the Money!

There are no specific regular fees or percentages which an affiliating businesses earn from every PSP. Every provider offers different rates, often the fees vary for different types of affiliates (based on the kind of recommended clients, their turnover and other factors).

In the first scenario

it can be a one-time fee for every new client gained (let us say, $20 for a new customer), or a range of some kind, for instance: $5 for a client that’s processing less than $1,000 a month, $10 for $1,000-5,000 a month, $20 for $5,000-$10,000 a month, $40 for 10,000-100,000 a month, $100 for a customer processing more than $100,000.

These all are, of course, exemplary data, so they are not accurate; they were plucked out of the air for the purposes of this article.

For the second scenario,

let’s assume that the paid rate is 0.5 percent of the monthly volume of each client or, again, range from 0.1 percent for the less processing clients, and grow depending on the processing volume, for instance 0.5 percent for those who process more, and 1 percent for those who process the most funds.

It can also be based on the types of transactions, on the country in which the merchant or the buyers are situated, and so on.

Finally, the money an affiliate is going to get may also be a percentage of the PSP’s revenue earned thanks to a recommended client. For instance: 20 percent (again, remember that those are purely fictional data.)

All of this is, again, based on a particular case and there are no general answers.

Some Things Just Don’t Happen

We are getting asked quite often if someone might choose the second scenario (percentage from a monthly processed funds) and gain 20 or 30 percent from the volume processed by the recommended client.


How exactly, supposing that the PSP gains around 2.8 percent for every transaction, would we be able to give to our partner 20 percent or more? (And, what’s important, the exemplary 2.8 percent is made of various fees: the acquirer‘s money, the credit card institution’s fee, the processor’s chunk of the collected sum, and so on.)

The answer in this case is short and realistic: no, definitely not possible.

The Delayed Payment

There’s one more thing that you should be aware of when we’re speaking about affiliating with payment service providers.

It’s the possibility of delays of payment for the recommended new customers.

Most often (and we are also the practitioners of this method) the money for acquiring a new client is sent to the partners after some time has passed. For instance: three months after the new merchant account was created.

Or after a full month of processing.

Or yet another way.

Why is the delay necessary?

There are two main reasons:

  1. If the PSP has to pay a provision based on a volume the merchant is processing, there needs to be some money processed first. This way the PSP will know what amount they have to pay their partner.
  2. The delay is necessary because of the risk of returns. What good does it do when a recommended merchant processes $100,000 during the first month, if overall there is $90,000 lost on chargebacks, and the remaining 10,000 has to be refunded?

The PSP has to make sure that the new merchant is, indeed, a “good” merchant.

Are the PSP Affiliate Programs Profitable?

Yes, very much so.

It’s just not as easy as “get us a new client and collect your reward” type of situation. Some complications are simply engraved in the nature of the financial business.

If you take some time to become accustomed to the process, it may prove very rewarding!


Experienced executive, people-oriented leader, doer, entrepreneur. CEO at PayLane. Business educator on Also on Twitter.

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