Why Europe Must End Its 30-Year Digital Winter to Ensure Its Long-Run Future

Card Networks, FinTechs Help Consumers Navigate Subscriptions Maze

From Netflix and Spotify to Amazon Prime, it’s increasingly common for consumers to maintain multiple subscriptions. However, juggling these subscriptions across a web of apps can be challenging, especially when each platform has its own terms and conditions, potentially resulting in unexpected charges, even after a subscription has been canceled. 

It’s a challenge Visa’s new Subscription Manager tool is aiming to solve, streamlining multiple subscriptions across various merchants. The platform consolidates key aspects of subscriptions, allowing cardholders to easily track where their card details are stored, identify recurring payments, and stop them if necessary. 

“Managing subscriptions can often feel like a maze, with consumers sometimes feeling trapped in a cycle of confusing charges,” Kathleen Pierce-Gilmore, global head of issuing solutions at Visa, said in a Wednesday (April 3) press release emailed to PYMNTS. “Our goal is to make this process simpler and ensure cardholders know exactly where their money is going, and when.”

Mastercard is also tackling this issue with its Smart Subscriptions program unveiled last month. The solution, available to all financial institutions, enables consumers to manage subscriptions, categorize spending, monitor upcoming bills, and receive personalized offers from merchants.

However, card networks are not the only players addressing this problem. 

FinTech firms such as Barclays-backed Youtility offer embedded connectivity between banks and utility suppliers, enabling consumers to efficiently manage household subscriptions directly from their banking apps while potentially saving money on recurring contracts.

The U.K. embedded subscription management platform, which serves clients such as Virgin Money, Wagestream, and Pockit, was acquired by price comparison website Squeeze last October, a move which the U.S.-based FinTech said “will allow banks to embed essential money saving actions and help all customers, not just the financially savvy […].”

For multimodel subscribers who constitute a significant portion of the subscription market, these tools are particularly invaluable. 

Findings detailed in “The Impact of Subscription Models on Consumer Choice,” a PYMNTS Intelligence and sticky.io collaboration, reveal that nearly 50% of all subscribers fall into this category, with subscriptions spanning a variety of services or products across different verticals. 

Multimodel subscribers also make up half of loyal customers, identified as having the highest total lifetime value (LTV) across retail subscriptions, averaging over $2,500. This highlights how meeting the preferences of this subscriber segment can significantly boost a provider’s revenue, as highlighted in the study.

Indeed, the convenience afforded by digital tools allows multimodel subscribers to efficiently navigate their diverse array of subscriptions. Whether it’s streaming services, meal delivery kits, or beauty boxes, users can set preferences, receive notifications, and manage payments seamlessly on a single platform, enhancing their overall subscription experience.

Furthermore, these tools empower users with greater control over their subscriptions, providing transparency regarding billing cycles, pricing changes, and upcoming renewals. With this clear visibility, users can assess the value proposition of each service and make informed decisions about their subscription commitments.

Moreover, digital tools often come equipped with customization features, allowing users to tailor their subscription experience to their preferences. Whether it’s selecting specific content preferences for streaming services or adjusting delivery frequencies for subscription boxes, users can personalize their subscriptions to better suit their needs and lifestyle.

In conclusion, digital tools and platforms are reshaping the subscription economy, making it more convenient and manageable for consumers, particularly multimodel subscribers. These tools centralize subscription management, provide transparency and control, as well as offer customization options, making navigating the subscription landscape a breeze.