How to describe affiliate marketing in 2023? It seems that for the majority of people that phrase immediately brings images of a gold rush.
Yet instead of gold mines now we have social networks and advertising platforms, and instead of gold miners we have the same kind of risky fortune seekers, who want to avoid the harsh fate of a lifetime working in a dusty factory.
Another thing that makes modern affiliate marketing akin to gold mining is the booming industry of “shovel salesmen” (we’re talking about services for affiliate marketers).
So, today we’re going to talk about one such service.
If you still haven’t heard about PST.NET, then you’re either not into affiliate marketing or you’re not reading news from the industry (how do you work then?).
“PST provides media buyers with trusted virtual payment cards from US and European banks”, – that phrase is learned by almost every media buyer because new materials about the service are constantly in the news.
Service’s audience grows every month in geometric progression, here is traffic data on www.pst.net for the last 5 months from SimilarWeb.
Taking into account long visit duration and low bounce rate, we can conclude that PST.NET is being used by more and more affiliate marketers.
Naturally, market capacity of payment solutions for affiliate marketing is limited, while none of the other payment services not only shows no growth, all of them are noticeably losing their audience.
It is not difficult to guess where this audience flows to.
Question arises – are frequent publications in the media able to be the sole reason for such an explosive growth of the service’s popularity? Obviously not.
Then another question is waiting to be answered, what is the reason for such attention? Most likely, it can be explained by conditions and features offered by the service.
Let’s satisfy our hunger for research and answer the main question – what is hidden under the hood of increasing popularity of affiliate marketing payment services?
Let’s take a look at the main page of PST: the ticker immediately focuses our attention on services that can be paid for by virtual cards from PST: Facebook Ads, Google Ads, Instagram Ads, Tiktok Ads, Microsoft Ads – those VCCs are clearly designed to pay for all kinds of digital advertising (although such services as DigitalOcean, Miro and Canva are also mentioned there).
This is not the first time we hear the words “best virtual cards”, so let’s get closer to the specifics.
Users can get their first virtual card in about 5 minutes (taking into account registration and depositing via USDT), so there is already one strong advantage over competitors.
It is important that to issue the first card there is no need for any documents (in other words PST provides cards without KYC), although in that case card deposit is limited to $500, but that is quite enough for the test.
What’s important: there is an opportunity to deposit with multiple methods such as Visa & Mastercard cards, as well as with bank transfers (Swift, SEPA).
There is an automatic withdrawal, but withdrawal amount must exceed $500. Deposits and withdrawals are made instantly, without involving customer support.
There are 6 types of cards available for different purposes (advertising, online shopping, etc) and there are cards with 3D-Secure support (SMS confirmation codes that will appear in a personal account and Telegram-bot).
There are no limits on the number of cards or spends.
There is a popup window on the homepage that promises the opportunity to get 100 free cards for a test, a very low price on all additional cards ($1), and a top-up fee of only 2%.
Click on that popup and enroll into PST Private – it’s a special program for affiliate marketing teams and users with high turnover (from $30k per month), who are offered such attractive conditions.
On the landing page it is mentioned that Visa Platinum Credit cards are offered for PST Private members (that’s cool 👍), and at the end of the page users can leave their contacts (Telegram or Skype) to join the program.
What about teamwork? PST service offers advanced functionality for teamwork, and users can get acquainted with those features after getting a Master Account status (to get that status users need to contact the support team).
The following features are available to the Master account:
- Inviting and dismissing team members, managing their roles
- Setting team members’ limits
- Instant cards and funds transfers between members’ accounts
- Top-up request system (team members send top-up request to Master account, then Master account can approve transfers in one click)
- Transaction history of all members and operations, reports can be downloaded in CSV format
Among the interesting features of the service we can also note its own BIN checker, which not only allows users to check the information on BIN (BIN can tell various info about payment cards) but shows real-time statistics on the performance of virtual cards from PST (that’s real innovation right there).
Service discloses information about the percentage of approved/rejected transactions for specific BINs, average spend on cards with those BINs and the statistics on billing thresholds.
In addition to the web version, PST has a mobile application too (only for Android so far, iOS version is in beta testing).
Mobile app copies all the functions of the web version, but in a more smartphone-friendly format.
Overall, after a personal acquaintance here are what we can say about the reasons for the popularity of this virtual payment card service:
- Simple and fast registration (easy to try)
- Terms beyond competition (they give 100 cards for free in case of big spends, $1 per card, and top-up fee just 2%)
- Multiple deposit methods (cards, bank transfers etc)
- Instant withdrawals (no need to contact support)
- 3DS support (transaction confirmation codes)
- BIN checker to track the status and performance of BINs
- There is a mobile app
Has PST succeeded in creating a new industry standard for virtual cards for affiliate marketing in 2023?
As always, it’s up to professionals to answer that question for themselves.