VAU and MAU Will Eliminate Churn on Your Subscriptions, Here’s How - DirectPayNet

VAU and MAU Will Eliminate Churn on Your Subscriptions, Here’s How


We’ve all felt the sting of chargebacks, faced declines, and grappled with customer churn. These are not just “problems”; they’re actually revenue leaks that can bleed a subscription business dry if not addressed.

Enter Visa Account Updater (VAU) and Mastercard Account Updater (MAU), the unsung heroes in the payment ecosystem that can help you overcome these challenges. These services are designed to keep card information updated in real time, making life easier not just for you, but for your customers as well.

So why is this so crucial? Because up-to-date card information is the backbone of successful recurring payments, and recurring payments are the lifeblood of your subscription service. Imagine not having to chase customers to update their expired credit card or new account number. Sounds like a dream, right?

Common Challenges Subscription Merchants Face

Running a subscription-based business isn’t a walk in the park. While the recurring revenue model is lucrative and scalable, it comes with its own set of hurdles that can throw a wrench into your operations. Let’s break down some of the major challenges:


Ah, the dreaded chargeback—a term that strikes fear into the hearts of merchants everywhere. When a cardholder disputes a transaction, it puts you in a sticky situation. Not only do you have to deal with the loss of revenue, but there are also additional fees, and it impacts your relationship with acquirers. And let’s not even get into the reputational damage it can cause.

Declines Due to Outdated Payment Information

Ever run a batch of recurring payments only to find out that a significant number failed? Declines due to outdated card information are a real headache. An expired credit card, a changed account number, or even a deactivated debit card can wreak havoc on your revenue stream. These declines are more than just numbers; they’re missed opportunities and failed customer interactions.

Customer Churn

Customers are the lifeblood of any subscription service, but keeping them around is easier said than done. While some churn is natural in any business, involuntary churn due to payment issues is like adding salt to the wound. Customers often forget to update their card data, leading to service disruptions. Before you know it, they’ve moved on to a competitor, and you’re left picking up the pieces.

Suffering from chargebacks? Tell us about it, we’re here to help.

What are Visa Account Updater (VAU) and Mastercard Account Updater (MAU)?

Now that we’ve painted the somewhat grim picture of the challenges you could face, let’s talk solutions. Enter VAU and MAU, your knights in shining armor. What exactly are these services, and how do they make your life easier?

Definition and Function

Visa Account Updater (VAU) and Mastercard Account Updater (MAU) are services designed to automatically update card-on-file information. Simply put, when your customer’s Visa or Mastercard card information changes—be it a new card number, an updated expiration date, or even account closure—these services ensure that you have the updated card information.

Real-Time Updates

In an era where real-time updates are more a necessity than a luxury, VAU and MAU are right on the money. They provide real-time card updates to ensure seamless transactions. This is game-changing for subscription services where timely, recurring payments are the norm rather than the exception.

Role of Card Issuers and Acquirers

You might be wondering who makes this magic happen. The card issuers are the ones who send this updated information to a centralized network. Acquirers, on the other hand, access this centralized database to get the latest scoop on card details. All of this happens behind the scenes, so you and your customers don’t have to break a sweat over it.

The beauty of VAU and MAU is that they take several gnarly challenges off your plate, automating what could otherwise be a cumbersome process. Now you don’t have to chase down every customer whose card has expired or been replaced. And your customers won’t have to face any service interruptions due to outdated payment information.

Why is It Important for Subscription Merchants?

Let’s start with conversions, the holy grail of any business. VAU and MAU can significantly improve your conversion rates by eliminating one of the major friction points in the customer journey: outdated or incorrect payment information. With updated card details, transactions are more likely to go through successfully, leading to more revenue for you. It’s that simple.

Remember those pesky chargebacks we talked about earlier? With VAU and MAU, you can effectively minimize them. By ensuring that card data is current, you reduce the risk of failed transactions and the resulting chargebacks. This is a direct saving of both money and time spent on dealing with chargeback disputes.

Your customers want a seamless experience. Having their subscription renew without any hiccups increases overall satisfaction and trust in your service. Plus, this level of automation ensures that your service is accessible to all, including those who may not be tech-savvy enough to update their card information manually.

Involuntary churn can be a significant drag on your growth. VAU and MAU help you reduce this by making sure that service interruptions due to payment failures are minimized. This means that customers who like your service can continue to enjoy it without a break, increasing customer lifetime value.

How Do VAU and MAU Work?

Alright, let’s get down to the nuts and bolts of how VAU and MAU actually operate. You’re probably curious about the lifecycle of a credit or debit card within these services and how the card information magically updates itself. Let’s dig in.

Lifecycle of a Credit/Debit Card within VAU and MAU

Imagine a customer’s credit card expires and they get a new one from their bank. Instead of this leading to a failed transaction on your end, the card issuer sends this new card information to VAU or MAU. These services then update the card-on-file information for all the merchants where the cardholder has a recurring payment or subscription.

Voilà! The new card is now in your system without you lifting a finger.

Real-Time Update of Card Information

The beauty of VAU and MAU lies in their real-time capabilities. Once a card issuer sends an update—say a new expiration date or a changed account number—the information is immediately available to acquirers and through them, to you, the merchant. This ensures that you’re always working with the most current data, reducing the risk of transaction declines.

Role of Card Issuers in Account Updates

Card issuers play a crucial part here. They are responsible for sending updated card data to VAU and MAU, ensuring the card-on-file information you have is always up-to-date. This collaboration between issuers and these updating services is what makes the entire process tick.

Get in touch for help integrating VAU and MAU on your backend.

How to Integrate VAU and MAU

So, you’re sold on the benefits of VAU and MAU and are itching to get them integrated into your system. Fantastic decision! Let’s look at some general steps to help you implement these services without breaking a sweat.

Communication with Card Issuers and Acquirers

First things first—touch base with your acquirer or payment processor to find out what you’ll need to get started. They’ll be your gateway to these services, so good communication is key. Most major acquirers are already set up to offer VAU and MAU services, making this a relatively straightforward process.

Technological Integration

Depending on your payment gateway and how your recurring payment system is set up, the technological integration might differ. You’ll likely need to tweak your API calls or modify your payment system configuration to ensure it can accept and handle updated card information. Your acquirer should provide documentation to assist with this.

Testing and Validation

Before you go live, you’ll need to test this system rigorously. Verify that your system correctly updates the card-on-file information and that transactions go through successfully with the updated data. Your acquirer can often provide a sandbox environment for this.

Ensuring Accessibility

Make sure that your customers are aware of this new feature. While the primary goal is to make the process seamless and behind-the-scenes, transparency is key. An email or notification informing them that you’re adopting VAU and MAU to improve their experience can go a long way.

Want to Implement VAU and MAU for your subscription business?

From the challenges you face as a subscription merchant to the life-altering benefits of Visa Account Updater (VAU) and Mastercard Account Updater (MAU), we’ve dug deep into what it takes to optimize your recurring payment process.

But let’s get down to brass tacks: all these optimizations are most effective when you have a reliable, high-risk merchant account that understands the nuances of your ecommerce business. That’s where DirectPayNet comes in.

Why continue juggling multiple challenges when you can simplify and improve your operations? Open a high-risk merchant account with DirectPayNet and enjoy not only the benefits of VAU and MAU integration but also specialized solutions tailored to your unique business needs.

Ready to take your subscription business to the next level? Don’t wait for another declined transaction or chargeback dispute.


About the author

As President of DirectPayNet, I make it my mission to help merchants find the best payment solutions for their online business, especially if they are categorized as high-risk merchants. I help setup localized payments modes and have tons of other tricks to increase sales! Prior to starting DirectPayNet, I was a Director at MANSEF Inc. (now known as MindGeek), where I led a team dedicated to managing merchant accounts for hundreds of product lines as well as customer service and secondary revenue sources. I am an avid traveler, conference speaker and love to attend any event that allows me to learn about technology. I am fascinated by anything related to digital currency especially Bitcoin and the Blockchain.